Microspace in orbit with d-cinema content delivery

Signs 250 North America locations

Microspace Communications Corp. said that it has commitments to install its satellite service for the delivery of digital-cinema content at 250 locations in North America, representing an estimated 2,500 screens.

The company also said last week that it anticipates reaching 500 locations by the end of 2008.

Meanwhile, the company is looking to grow in new markets. "We are looking to Europe being our next area of expansion," said Curt Tilly, manager of digital- cinema distribution at Microspace.

Methods of delivering digital-cinema content include shipping hard drives and satellite distribution.

"For a small number of locations, satellite delivery for any industry doesn't make a lot of sense," Tilly said. "Our rough break-even point, we think, is about 400 locations. We can go back to the studios with 400 locations and say that we can be more cost-effectlve than the process of duplicating drives, shipping drives, tracking drives and getting them back. There are also advantages with security; satellite delivery is getting more secure than a hard drive. It's also going to be more efficient in a theater from a workflow point of view."

Tilly said that Microspace might deliver as many as 20 movies via satellite by year's end. "We have a very strong lineup of content available from the studios,'' he said. "As these get installed, we will have content to put across the network and into exhibitors' hands."

The Microspace system supports multiple platforms, including those from Kodak and Dolby.