Digital cinema projectors market to be driven by the increasing popularity of 3D movies

Press Release   •   Oct 23, 2012 11:48 BST

The digital cinema projectors market has been forecast to reach a value of US$769.6 million by 2018, with market growth being driven by the shift towards digital cinema technology, the increasing popularity of 3D movies, growing popularity of virtual print fee (VPF), and the potential benefits associated with conversion to digital cinema.

Digital cinema refers to the use of digital technology to capture, distribute, or project motion pictures. A movie can be distributed via hard drives, optical disks (such as DVDs and Blu-ray Discs), or satellite and projected using a digital projector instead of a conventional film projector. Digital cinema is distinct from high-definition television and is not dependent on using television or high-definition video standards, aspect ratios, or frame rates.

The digital cinema projectors market is ideally positioned to experience growth in the near term due to the conversions of conventional projectors to digital cinema projectors. Additional demand emerges from a largely under-penetrated market for 3D and digital cinematography equipment.

Transformation to digital formats offer numerous benefits to cinema operators, mainly cost savings, which assume the form of cost involved for printing, physically transporting films, and retrieving the physical celluloid prints. Digital cinema also offers operators the flexibility of customized on-demand entertainment options.

On the downside, the initial costs for converting theatres to digital are high: $100,000 per screen on average. Theatres have been reluctant to switch without a cost-sharing arrangement with film distributors. A solution is a temporary VPF system, where the distributor (who saves the money of producing and transporting a physical copy) pays a fee per copy to help finance the digital systems of the theatres.

While a theatre can purchase a film projector for US$50,000 and expect an average life of 30-40 years, a digital cinema playback system including server/media block/and projector can cost 3-4 times as much, and is at higher risk for component failures and technological obsolescence. Experience with computer-based media systems show that average economic lifetimes are only on the order of 5 years with some units lasting until about 10 years before they are replaced.

The US currently represents the largest region within the global digital cinema projectors market. However, future growth in the industry is expected to materialise from emerging markets, with Asia-Pacific spearheading the growth.

For more information on the digital cinema projectors market, see the latest research: Digital Cinema Projectors Market

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