Pics, live events set for premium home viewing

Digital content provider Cinedigm has pacted to license its content library to startup high-end home theater company Prima Cinema.

Launching this summer, Prima will offer hardware costing about $35,000 and content for “Premium Home Theater” — deluxe home screening rooms like those found in execs’ homes. Its hardware is designed by BMW Designworks, and it promises better-than-Blu-ray quality, in 2D and 3D, on firstrun theatrical releases.

Current theatrical releases are delivered to the customer’s own Prima box as secure files for approximately $500 each, and each will be available as long as the pic is in theatrical release. Viewers are charged per film, as if buying a ticket to watch the movie.

Investors in Prima include NBCUniversal and Best Buy Capital.

“Prima is to the box office what private jets are to commercial aviation,” said Prima founder-CEO Jason Pang. “The idea is you’ve spent all this money and all you’re watching is DVDs and ‘Monday Night Football.’ Why not watch a real movie?”

Prima subscribers will gain home access to live events presented by Cinedigm in theaters. The pact marks the first time Cinedigm has licensed its live events for home theater viewing.

“We think live events and 3D events will be a big upside down the road,” Cinedigm chairman-CEO Chris McGurk told Variety. The Cinedigm library of specialty content is also included, including concerts, ballet, theater, opera and sports.

Theatrical pics under the deal include titles that were included in Cinedigm’s acquisition of New Video. Recent acquisitions that will be available for viewing include Sundance Documentary Audience Award winner “The Invisible War” and SXSW Midnighter Audience Award winner “Citadel.”

While the Prima systems and content will be priced for elite buyers, McGurk said, “There are a lot of home theaters around the world that are capable of acquiring this technology.”

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