Theater Coalition Launches Live Event Streaming


Going to the movies may no longer be a prerecorded affair.

A coalition of theaters and studios today announced the launch of a live satellite broadcasting system for cinemas. The Digital Cinema Distribution Coalition (DCDC) satellite network this spring and summer will live-stream video game tournaments from League of Legends and Electronic Sports Leagues events, among others, said Chief Executive Randy Blotky.

The DCDC network was established as a means to more cheaply distribute cinema-quality video via satellite downloads, instead of shipping films via reels or hard drives. Now that the network is in place and additional technology is available it can facilitate live-streaming events.

Theaters equipped with special servers will be able to show two high-definition video streaming sessions at once, while simultaneously downloading two pre-recorded films.

The satellite network allows theaters to show more non-film content, such as live sports events, video game tournaments and television shows for viewing parties.

It could also allow theaters to justify short-term releases, perhaps showing films such as “101 Dalmatians” in the week before Christmas or offering limited showings of an indie film that might not have large audience appeal. In the past, the distribution costs of short-term releases made it more difficult to justify those kinds of events.

The DCDC declined to disclose pricing, only to say that it would be uniform and would likely to fall as the network grows in scale.

Launched in 2013, DCDC was formed by Warner Bros. Entertainment, Universal Pictures, Regal Entertainment Group, Cinemark Theatres and AMC Theatres and reaches more than 2,000 theater sites are part of the coalition.

Technology reporter Garrett Reim can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @garrettreim for the latest in L.A. tech news.

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