AccessIT targets 10,000 installations


Access Integrated Technologies is putting in place the largest digital-cinema deployment plan to date.

The d-cinema systems provider's target is to install an additional 10,000 networked d-cinema systems -- about 25% of the total screens domestically -- to exhibitors nationwide and in Canada during the next three years.

AccessIT Media Services Group president Chuck Goldwater said that to accomplish this, the company is in negotiations with major movie distributors who supported its initial Phase 1 deployment of close to 4,000 screens, completed last month.

AccessIT also is in active negotiations with several exhibition chains that were ready to commit to Phase 1 but were unable to participate because of timing.

Phase 2 deployment is expected to begin in the first quarter and to continue for three years.

"We look forward to leveraging our proven technologies and experience in Phase 2," AccessIT chairman and CEO Bud Mayo said. "We anticipate our success, equity investment and cash flows in Phase 1, as well as a proven (virtual print fee) model, will assist us in securing lower cost debt under more reasonable terms. Our goal is to minimize or eliminate any further equity investment by AccessIT."

Studio agreements will be structured so that they may be amended for international deployment. Goldwater said that while the economics will vary, the basic terms and conditions will be consistent throughout the world. These would include variations of the VPF model, adherence to the Digital Cinema Initiatives technical specification, and expectations of performance and reliability.

AccessIT's plan will build on the company's relationship with projector maker Christie USA and playback system developer Doremi Labs. It might include other interested vendors.