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Adlabs innovate with fiber-optic cable

India distributor to deliver movies by cable

HONG KONG — Adlabs, the movies division of India’s Reliance ADA Group, says it has become the world’s first cinema chain to commercially deliver movies to its theaters by fiber optic cable.

Company says it has operated more than 10,000 commercial screenings in full DCI-compliant 2K d-cinema and that more than 2,000 have been transmitted via fiber optic cables.

Movies are encoded at Adlabs’ d-cinema mastering facility at Film City in Mumbai and sent over a 200Mbps connection to its Reliance ADA headquarters in Navi Mumbai. There they are sent by dedicated cable to theaters as far as Ahmedabad, Gujarat, nearly 300 miles to the north.

Reliance ADA, which on Friday became the principal investor in the next incarnation of DreamWorks, is also one of the world’s top five fiber-optic cable owners through its Reliance Communications unit.

Unlike other Indian groups that have backed less powerful e-cinema systems, Adlabs has invested heavily in 2K d-cinema equipment and facilities. Its Wadala plex in Mumbai was its first to convert fully to digital presentations in April.

“Adlabs is implementing globally recognized digital cinema technology standards and processes and is, at the same time, pushing the envelope by introducing distribution technologies such as OFC,” said Anil Arjun, Adlabs Films CEO. “We intend to be an end-to-end world-class service provider covering mastering to delivery on site and are looking at significant expansion in this space aimed to cover 500 screens in the initial phase.”

Patrick von Sychowski, chief operating officer of Adlabs Digital Cinema, said: “The Adlabs Film City complex — which includes the Digital Cinema Mastering facility — is the first facility in Asia to receive the prestigious international Federation Against Copyright Theft accreditation. Using fiber for end-to-end delivery, we are able to offer unparalleled picture and sound quality.”

In 2005-06, Japanese telco NTT, in partnership with several Hollywood studios, experimented with fiber-optic digital delivery, but this effort did not lead to commercial use.

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