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Digital cinema gets greener

Arqiva pledges to plant a tree for every digital film it delivers

Satellite and IP networks provider Arqiva has pledged to plant a tree for every digital film it delivers to a cinema via satellite.

The $1.2 billion U.K.-based company, which was instrumental in Blighty’s digital switchover, says the pledge falls in line with how it transmits data: minus packaging and via satellite.

Arqiva installs a receiver into cinemas that have digitized their projectors, enabling exhibs to receive live content such as sporting events, transmitted digitally straight from the distributors.

Barrie Woolston, Arqiva’s commercial director of satellite & media, says the rationale for planting a tree was twofold.

“We recognize that this is a large business and we want to be green and treat it seriously,” he says. “We thought we would leverage this as a marketing proposition but also as something that is contributing back into the ecology.

“For every DCP we deliver we will plant a tree as a contribution to the environment.”

To complement that, the company launched an independent report, “Satellite Delivered Digital Cinema: A Low Carbon Delivery Service,” which indicated that if 100 films per year were distributed via satellite to 2,000 sites in Europe (two films a week), it would save 800 tons of carbon.

The delivery of a hard drive cassette to a cinema for insertion into a digital projection is typically delivered by courier and therefore less environmentally friendly.

“We can transmit one film in the space of a number of hours simultaneously to all sites if they have the receiver built into their cinema,” says Woolston.

He added: “2010 is the turning point for digital cinema and we feel we’re well positioned.”

At Cinema Expo in Amsterdam last week, cinema content distributor Deluxe Digital London pacted with Arqiva to use its Euro digital cinema platform to transmit pics.

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