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Digital Cinema Displaying Rapid Global Growth

Texas Instruments reports that there have been more DLP Cinema projectors installed worldwide in the last 12 months than in the last 12 years.

Nearly one-half of the world's theater screens will be digital using DLP Cinema technology by the end of this year, predicted Texas Instruments, as CinemaCon kicked off in Las Vegas.

Also on Monday, TI -- whose DLP Cinema technology is behind digital cinema projectors made by Barco, Christie and NEC -- reported that there have been more DLP Cinema projectors installed worldwide in the last 12 months than in the last 12 years. In 1999, Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, An Ideal Husband and Tarzan were first few movies to be screened digitally for paying audiences, launching the transition.

"Although the digital conversion was steady for the first 10 years, 2010 will be noted as a milestone in digital cinema history, as the number of DLP Cinema projectors nearly doubled in one year," said Dave Duncan, manager of DLP Cinema for Texas Instruments. "Together with our partners, nearly one-half of the world's theater screens will be converted to DLP Cinema by the end of 2011."

TI reported that in the period between March 2, 2010, and March 2, 2011, the number of DLP Cinema screens showing 2D Hollywood content worldwide grew 101% from 16,446 to a total of 33,110, and 128% for 3D Hollywood content, rising from 9,758 to 22,287. These counts do not include IMAX's digital installations that also use DLP Cinema technology, which separately grew from 155 to 296 screens during the same period.

According to TI, Latin America saw the highest amounts of growth during that 12-month timeframe, with 1,743 total DLP Cinema screens, a 187% increase, playing 2D Hollywood content; and 1,702 screens, a 184% increase, showing 3D.

In Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, the number of DLP Cinema installations rose to 11,428 (136% change) and 8,686 (136% change) for displaying 2D and 3D Hollywood content respectively. The Asia Pacific region saw a 118% increase to 8,343 screens for 2D Hollywood content, and a 142% increase to 5,447 screens for 3D.