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Cinemark Plans 4K Upgrade Starting in 2010

Posted on Friday, June 19th, 2009 3:29 PM

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Cinemark announced yesterday that it plans to roll out 4K Digital Cinema Projection systems in more than 3,000 screens in the United States and 1,600 in Latin America. The new systems will be using equipment from Barco, DLP Cinema technology provider Texas Instruments, and media server provider Doremi.

"Cinemark selected the DLP Cinema 4K Barco projector and Doremi Cinema Server solution as we believe it is the best in the industry in terms of projection, quality, reliability and value," states Alan Stock, CEO of Cinemark Holdings, Inc. "Cinemark will continue to offer our customers the best viewing experience available."

According to an article in Variety, the rollout will begin in 2010. The Variety article goes on to say that the technology will be capable of showing even a 3D image on 75'-wide screens (3D is often a challenge because it limits the amount of light that hits the screen compared to standard 2D).

This announcement is significant for a couple of reasons. First, it's the third major theater chain to announce installation of 4K digital cinema systems (See the Regal and AMC announcements). Second, this is the first announcement of a 4K system from Texas Instruments using their DLP technology. The other two announcements are using a competing technology from Sony, and if Sony had sealed a deal with Cinemark, it would have created a virtual monopoly of 4K systems in the marketplace, all supplied by Sony. Having two players in 4K should provide for more innovation and price competition, which means that consumers should see more features and more theaters installing the systems due to (hopefully) lower costs from the competition.

Cinemark's press release states that it is the world’s second largest exhibitor in the theatrical motion picture industry. As of March 31, 2008, Cinemark operates 420 theatres and 4,846 screens in 39 states in the United States and internationally in 12 countries, mainly in Mexico, South and Central America.

Sources: Cinemark Press Release, Variety

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