NEC Starus in ShoWest bow


NEC Corp. of America is launching a new version of its Starus screen server this week at ShoWest. The system is designed to allow theater operators to build and manage playlists that support the Digital Cinema Initiatives specification's JPEG2000 for digital-cinema distribution as well as legacy MPEG2 files, which still are used for advertising and preshow content.

"The primary function is supporting the DCI spec, but adding MPEG functionality allows for preshow content without the need for a separate server," said Kurt Schwenk, GM of NEC's Digital Cinema Division.

The system handles scheduling and playlist administration, via an enhanced user interface. It is designed to support 3-D films and enable 2K and 4K playback. The new server provides security features including CineLink II encryption and both Thomson's NexGuard and Philips' CineFence forensic watermarking technologies. It also is designed to allow multiplex control at the screen server level so that theater operators can remotely monitor all servers within the multiplex from any one server.

NEC developed the technology to continue running scheduled playlists, even in the case of a network outage. The system can be used with NEC or third-party digital-cinema projectors.