Mrs Tan Ching Yee, Chief Executive Officer Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore Speech - Launch of Digital Cinema Pilot Press Conference, Eng Wah Suntec Cineplex

Mrs Tan Ching Yee, Chief Executive Officer
Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore
Speech - Launch of Digital Cinema Pilot Press Conference, Eng Wah Suntec Cineplex
Singapore, 19 November 2003

Mr Lim Hock Chuan, CEO, MDA
Mr Goh Eng Wah, Chairman, Eng Wah Organization
Ms Goh Min Yen, MD, Eng Wah Organization
Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

1. Today is a special day. Two MITA agencies, the IDA and the MDA, are coming together to announce the pilot deployment of 21 digital cinema screens by Eng Wah Organization. This deployment will position Singapore as a leader in Digital Cinema in Asia. I understand that the deployment will put Singapore ahead of most Asian countries, with the exception of China, in the number of Digital Cinemas available.

2. Digital Cinema is widely seen to be the most significant technological advancement in cinema exhibition since the advent of digital sound. This pilot deployment of Digital Cinemas by Eng Wah has put us a step closer in realising IDA's vision for Singapore to be a Digital Exchange, a global digital distribution hub for content and services. This Digital Exchange strategy outlined in IDA's Connected Singapore blueprint leverages on Singapore's position as an infocomm hub and further enhances it by adding new uses such as Digital Cinema. The entire Digital Cinema value-chain will bring about three benefits.

3. First, the transformation of existing activities due to the use of ICT. For example, instead of projectors and film reels, workers will now handle servers, fibre optics or satellite, and brand-new Digital Cinema projectors. Significant cost-savings, including those due to more robust protection of Intellectual Property, are expected.

4. Second, the creation of new activities. Digital distribution is only the first step. The next step will involve value-adding work done in Singapore, like post-production, dubbing, subtitling, re-purposing, digital assets & rights management, and management of regional distribution. All new activities that require a combination of creative talent, management expertise, and technological capabilities. Beyond Singapore, we have ambitions to be the regional Digital Cinema hub. The promise is more GDP and more jobs. In a joint study1 commissioned by IDA and MDA, the Digital Cinema industry is projected to create up to 5,000 infocomm and media jobs in the areas of infrastructure and post-production over a period of three years.

5. Third, more choices for consumers. In addition to better quality digital film, movie-goers can expect to catch the hottest boy band or Korean pop star perform "live" in your neighbourhood cinemas.

6. In short, Digital Cinema promises cost-savings, new growth and jobs, and a superior movie-going experience.

7. Digital Cinema is a new field. It plays to Singapore's strengths but also requires new capabilities and skills to be developed. This is why both IDA and MDA are coming together to make it work. IDA is keen to see the application of infocomm technology, in all aspects of business and life. Digital Cinema is another extension. Infocomm and digital media companies will benefit from new revenue opportunities in the supply of new equipment, the provision of satellite and fibre optic links, and the provision of services such as - hosting, data centres, systems integration, digital processing, and localisation.

8. By being a regional hub, Singapore becomes better positioned to grow a new cluster of content related activities here. This aligns with MDA's aim to create "Made-by-Singapore" content. Content processing and content creation can become mutually reinforcing, and create a larger marketplace for Singapore's technologically savvy creative talents.

9. I wish to applaud Eng Wah for taking the first step to convert 20 halls into new-age Digital Cinemas, and installing an additional digital screen at Legends Fort Canning Park, which can be an ideal location to host other forms of digital content. IDA and MDA are supporting Eng Wah to defray part of the costs needed to invest in new infrastructure and equipment, and for manpower development. The total project cost is about S$9 million and will stimulate demand for equipment sales and supporting services.

10. IDA is committed to promoting the innovative use of ICT in the cinema industry, and to helping infocomm and media companies reap economic benefits in this high-growth area. IDA will continue to work hand-in-hand with the MDA to establish a robust Digital Cinema value-chain in Singapore. Together we hope to pave the way for more players to join us in this endeavour to become a global Digital Exchange.

11. Thank You.


1 Digital Cinema: Global & Regional Implementation (February 2003) by Intermedia Partners

Last updated on: 13 Mar 2023