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Airtel Considering The Digital Cinema Business

While their DTH and IPTV services haven’t yet been launched, and Bharti Airtel is considering entering the Digital Cinema business, reports Business Standard. Manoj Kohli, JMD and CEO of Bharti Airtel has said that they will definitely cover Digital Cinema “in the long term”. There are two key players in the Digital Cinema business in India – UFO Moviez, and BSE listed Pyramid Saimira.

Currently, the digital distribution of cinema is taking place via satellite – films are encrypted and stored on a centralized servier, then distributed via satellite to the theatre, which decrypts and projects the film on screen. Digital Delivery allows films to be exhibited in remote areas, and also enables distribution on the day of the release. Earlier, prints were distributed physically, where there was a risk of theft and piracy.

As per UFO Moviez’ site, they make exhibition equipment available to theatres at a deposit of Rs. 2 lakh, though specific charges for film exhibition are not mentioned.

Airtel has said they’re currently studying various models, and hasn’t taken a call on it yet. The report suggests that Airtel can distribute films through optical fibre connections, instead of satellite. Airtel had better hurry, though – UFO Moviez was rather aggressive with their rollout last year.

Related: UFO Moviez Group Buys Defunct VoD Service MovieBeam; Plans $100 Million Investment For North America, UK

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