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Technicolor Pulls Out Of Digital Equipment As Demand Dries Up

Technicolor Pulls Out Of Digital Equipment As Demand Dries Up

By CARLOS MARTINEZ

San Fernando Valley Business Journal

Technicolor Digital Cinema, one of two digital movie projection and equipment makers in the United States, has stopped marketing its equipment until Hollywood develops a standard for digital filmmaking.

Dave Elliott, chief executive of Technicolor Digital, said that besides the studios being slow to agree on technology standards, theater operators have cut back on plans to acquire the costly digital equipment.

Boeing Co. is now the sole major developer of digital film equipment for motion pictures.

The slower-than-expected pace of implementing digital technology is a setback to Technicolor’s two-year effort to move beyond film and blank videotape manufacturing. It remains one of the nation’s biggest videocassette, DVD and CD manufacturers.

Technicolor Digital is a Burbank-based unit of Technicolor Inc., which in turn is owned by media conglomerate Thomson S.A.

Technicolor Digital had plans to install its equipment in 1,000 theaters nationwide by the end of 2002. In 2001, it had placed its equipment in 31 theaters, although it declined to say how many of those systems are in use.

The major studios established the Digital Cinema Initiative LLC in 2000 to write industry standards for digital cinema, but issues such as resolution quality, piracy safeguards and method of delivery remain up in the air.

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