In a significant industry development, the Singapore government, and industry association SiTF Digital Media Chapter (Singapore), with the Entertainment Technology Center (ETC) at the University of Southern California (USA) ...
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, 14 March 2005 | For Immediate Release
Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore, SiTF Digital Media Chapter and Entertainment Technology Center (USC) Bring Together Industry Partners to Pilot and Establish Viable Model for Digital Delivery
In a significant industry development, the Singapore government, and industry association SiTF Digital Media Chapter (Singapore), with the Entertainment Technology Center (ETC) at the University of Southern California (USA), brought together leading industry players to develop a viable model for digital delivery across continents from USA to Asia. Initial tests of the pilot, the 'Cross-Continent Digital Content Transmission' or CCTx, established a secure, reliable and cost-effective digital delivery workflow.
This was announced by the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) at ShoWest 2005, Las Vegas, USA.
The CCTx pilot involves seamless end-to-end digital delivery from initial processing in the U.S. to appearance on a movie screen in Singapore. Partners involved in the initial tests of the pilot include SiTF DMC (for Singapore) and ETC at USC (ETC-USC) for project management, Thomson Technicolor for project consulting, GlobeCast, StarHub and 1-Net for international and local circuit and data storage, Christie, Dell, Texas Instruments and XDC (EVS Group) for technology provision.
Successfully hubbed and managed out of Singapore, the initial tests of the pilot involved the digital transmission of 3 movie trailers: Elektra, The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie and StarWars Episode 3 from Culver City, Los Angeles in USA to 1-Net Data Centre in Singapore. A total file size of 3.3 GB was delivered digitally via managed ATM fibre. These trailers were then played back from a XDC Cinestore Solo Server with Omega Decoder through a Christie CP2000 projector.
Singapore's Digital Cinema initiative, part of its Digital Exchange (DX) program, has gained momentum with the success of CCTx pilot. The DX initiative aims to extend Singapore's hub status into the digital realm to distribute, processing and management of content through Singapore to the Asian markets.
"The CCTx paves the way for a complete viable model that allows studios to deliver content digitally to Singapore, securely store it, localise it, and then distribute it to the region. As a Digital Exchange, Singapore has the capability to ensure reliable and accountable management, processing and distribution of digital content and assets from United States to the rest of Asia," said Hock Yun KHOONG, Assistant Chief Executive, Industry, IDA. "The pilot is also attracting more industry partners and support to address the issues facing digital delivery."
According to Motion Picture Association of America's former Senior Vice President, Mike Connors, "the pilot allows the industry to identify and resolve process and business issues critical to commercial adoption of a worldwide digital distribution system."
The pilot also marks the first time joint government-industry collaboration with the Singapore infocomm Technology Federation Digital Media Chapter (SiTF DMC) to develop a viable worldwide digital distribution model that can be commercialised.
Pak Lum MOCK, Chairman of SiTF DMC said, "By clustering the strengths of digital industry players in Singapore, we hope to create more partnership and business opportunities for them in Asia. The CCTx opens the door for such opportunities."
Charles S. SWARTZ, Chief Executive Officer of ETC-USC said "For digital cinema to take off worldwide, a global, interoperable distribution system is necessary. Pilots such as CCTx are crucial to international deployment and ETC-USC is proud to facilitate the transmission of digital files between Singapore and Los Angeles."
More partners will be involved in the CCTx pilot as it progresses to include different forms of content, transmission modes and digital processes such as localisation and sub-titling. Key learnings from the pilot will be shared with industry players keen to shape and play a role in the future of digital delivery.
Digital Cinema Developments in Singapore
Most Digital Cinemas in Asia, After China and Japan
In 2004, Singapore launched the world's first full 2K Digital Multiplex. Singapore currently has the highest number of 2K resolution digital cinema screens per capita in the world. Today, there are a total of 21 digital cinema screens in Singapore which translates to 15 per cent of the cinema network in Singapore. On a worldwide basis, Singapore has the fourth highest number of digital screens in the world, after USA, China and Japan.
More Digital Content & Content Offerings
To-date, more than 13 first run digital features have been screened in Singapore's digital cinemas. These movies include Shark Tales, The Incredibles, National Treasury, Elektra, Kungfu Hustle and Infernal Affairs III. A range of alternative content was screened at the digital cinemas, including the 'live' telecast of the Oscars Award Ceremony 2004 and 2005 at Cathay Cinemas. In August 2004, Singapore's National Day Parade was transmitted "live" for the first time via satellite to The Legends Fort Canning Club, owned by Eng Wah Organisation, a local exhibitor.
Apart from digital cinemas, Singapore can also provide value-added services such as digital subtitling, provision of infrastructure and digital distribution of content to desired locations in the Asia Pacific region.
Singapore as Ideal Location for Processing, Management and Distribution of Digital Content
Singapore is ranked first in the World for Networked Readiness Index 2004 - 2005 in World Economic Forum's latest Global Information Technology Report. In January 2005, Singapore was ranked as one of the Top Seven Intelligent Communities in the World by Intelligent Communities Forum (ICF) for its Digital Exchange vision, excellent Infocomm infrastructure and global connectivity.
Singapore is well-placed as the regional digital distribution hub for content leveraging on its cutting-edge infocomms infrastructure, well-established status as a business hub, competitive regulatory policies, strong IP rights protection and ready availability of skilled manpower.
Singapore already has over 1 million square feet of advanced data centre space. It is one of the most connected cities in Asia with more than 16 Gbps of extensive and direct Internet connectivity to over 20 countries. This comprises 6 Gbps to the USA and over 8 Gbps to Asian cities such as Australia, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia and Vietnam. In addition, Singapore's direct Internet connectivity to major ASEAN countries is at least 100 Mbps per country.
Singapore's network infrastructure is also particularly well-suited for digital delivery of data centre space with its 26 Tbps of submarine cable capacity and international and regional telecoms connectivity to more than 100 countries.
Singapore's recent launch of business continuity and disaster recovery standards means that the cinema industry can have a higher level of confidence in the security and reliability of the digital cinema data storage facilities.
Singapore was ranked first in Asia for Intellectual Property Rights Protection by PERC 2004 and Global Corruption Report, 2003, making it an excellent location for companies to securely store and distribute digital content.
ISSUED BY CORPORATE & MARKETING COMMUNICATION DIVISION
INFOCOMM DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY OF SINGAPORE
About Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore
The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) is committed to growing Singapore into a dynamic global infocomm hub. IDA uses an integrated approach to developing infocommunications in Singapore. This involves nurturing a competitive telecoms market as well as a conducive business environment with programmes and schemes for both local and international companies. For more information, visit https://www.imda.gov.sg/.
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Partners In the Cross-Continent Digital Content Transmission (CCTx) Pilot
Singapore infocomm Technology Federation Digital Media Chapter (SiTF DMC)
The Digital Media Chapter (DMC) aims to promote and assist in the deployment and adoption of broadband technologies, digital media and entertainment content through strong working relations with government agencies, local trade associations, and international organisations. DMC is working with IDA, local and foreign industry players to develop the digital distribution network. It aims to enable digital content, digital images, video and audio content to be transmitted from one point to another securely and to help content owners monetised digital content.
Singapore infocomm Technology Federation
The Singapore infocomm Technology Federation (SiTF) is Singapore's premier infocomm trade industry association. It brings together more than 600 corporate members from MNCs and local companies, which together account for over 80% of industry revenues, and assists them in business development, market intelligence, overseas trade missions, networking and alliances. For more information on SiTF, please visit www.sitf.org.sg.
Entertainment Technology Centre at University of Southern California
Founded in 1993, the Entertainment Technology Centre at the University of Southern California (ETC USC) is a neutral, stand alone research organisation in the School of Cinema-Television devoted to identifying new, pivotal entertainment technologies and creating projects to analyse and test them. ETC USC's efforts include the Digital Cinema Laboratory and the New Digital Home. Among ETC-USC's sponsors are the USC School of Cinema-Television; all the major studios- Sony Pictures Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox, Universal Pictures, Viacom/Paramount Studios, The Walt Disney Company and Warner Bros.; LucasFilm; Laser Pacific Media Corporation, a Kodak company; Panasonic; Thomson and Cisco Systems. For more information, visit www.etcenter.org.
"Technicolor, as a leader in the deployment and support of Digital Cinema Systems and Services, is pleased to be contributing to the CCTx project. The lessons learned by these efforts benefit service providers, allow for continued advancement of the art, and ultimately serve the end users of Digital Cinema," said Michael STERLING, Principal Technologist, Technicolor Digital Cinema.
Thomson (Euronext Paris: 18453; NYSE: TMS) provides technology, systems and services to help its Media & Entertainment clients - content creators, content distributors and users of its technology ? realise their business goals and optimise their performance in a rapidly changing technology environment. The Group intends to become the preferred partner to the Media & Entertainment Industries through its Technicolor, Grass Valley, RCA and Thomson brands. For more information: www.thomson.net.
"We're very pleased that our Singapore-based digital screening facility with our CP Series projector has been selected as the official research site for this industry-wide CCTx initiative. By working jointly with some of the leading names in the cinema community, we're glad to be able to actively contribute to the evolution of cross-continent digital transfer developments using our latest projection technology," commented Gordon TAY, Director of Sales, Christie. "Based on the 2K 3-chip DMD DLP Cinema Technology, our CP2000 projector is one of the world's most comprehensive d-cinema solutions and would allow us to deliver high performance, high-resolution 2048x1080-pixel projection with consistent playback for all the video data transferred to the research site.
Christie is a leader in visual solutions for world-class organisations, offering diverse applications for business, entertainment, and industry. A leading innovator in film projection since 1929 and a pioneer in projection systems since 1979, Christie has established a global reputation as a total service provider and the world's single source manufacturer of a variety of display technologies and solutions. Christie offers comprehensive solutions for cinema, large audience venues, control rooms, business presentations, training facilities, 3D and Virtual Reality, simulation and education as well as industrial and government environments. Christie solutions are used in over 75,000 locations worldwide, including more than 10,000 projectors and displays networked with ChristieNET(tm) networking devices. For more information, visit www.christiedigital.com.
Dell Inc. (NASDAQ: DELL) is a trusted and diversified information-technology supplier and partner, and sells a comprehensive portfolio of products and services directly to customers worldwide. Dell, recognised by Fortune magazine as America's most admired company and No. 3 globally, designs, builds and delivers innovative, tailored systems that provide customers with exceptional value. Company revenue for the past year was US$49.2 billion. For more information about Dell, and its products and services, visit www.dell.com.sg.
"Singapore has accomplished a breakthrough feat for digital cinema with a global satellite transmission of content," said Brooke WILLIAMS, Asia Business Development Manager, TI DLP Cinema? Products. "We have been happy to work with IDA to ensure compatibility with DLP Cinema? projectors, and look forward to continued successful collaboration to make digital cinema a success in Singapore and the Asia/Pacific region."
XDC (EVS Group)
"XDC supports the Singapore Initiative to push forward the Digital content exchange and is really confident that it is the right way to develop and encourage Singapore to become a central hub for the Digital cinema in Asia" said Bernard COLLARD, General Manager, XDC (EVS Group).
XDC is a subsidiary of EVS Group which employs 145 persons worldwide with major offices in Hong Kong and New York. Besides taking over and expanding the international sales of CineStore servers and all related activities, XDC is launching the first pan-European digital cinema network for distribution and projection. XDC offers full logistic services for distributors, like content preparation, delivery, QC, archiving, etc. A complete package solution is also proposed to European exhibitors (projector, server, satellite dish and receiver) without investment, but with all the advantages of digital technology. XDC company employs 30 persons. More info at www.evs-global.com, www.xdcinema.com.
INFRASTRUCTURE & DATA STORAGE
"GlobeCast is pleased to be associated with this project. Digital cinema is here to stay and we plan to be active in this sector. This pilot project exemplifies the robustness of GlobeCast's network and its ability to deliver the large files associated with digital movies."
GlobeCast (www.globecast.com) - a subsidiary of France Telecom - is the world's leading satellite services company, operating a global network of satellite distribution platforms for DTH and cable broadcast, enterprise media and advanced IP-based content delivery. The company's global presence includes 15 teleports and technical operations centers throughout America, Europe, Asia, Australia, the Middle East and Africa. GlobeCast offers the complete range of satellite broadcast solutions, including TV channel distribution, secure satellite Internet delivery, webcasting, satellite newsgathering, direct-to-home distribution, sports programming backhaul, program origination, studio production, special events mobile production and audio distribution.
"By providing a secured, reliable and cost-effective digital delivery network in Singapore for this pilot, StarHub is helping to pave the way for the international film community to engage the local film industry better," said Alex SIOW, Head of Business Markets, StarHub. "By ensuring their digital assets are stored safely, delivered more rapidly and managed more simply than ever before, the international film industry will be assured that Singapore - and StarHub - continues to maintain its innovative and competitive edge in today's digital environment."
StarHub is a Singapore-based info-communications company providing a full range of information, communications and entertainment services over fixed, mobile and Internet platforms. StarHub operates a 3G mobile network in addition to its GSM network. It also operates its own nation-wide broadband network that delivers multi-channel cable TV, data, voice and Internet access. StarHub added Digital Cable to its cable TV offering in May 2004. StarHub was listed on SGX-ST in October 2004.
Driven by a passion for listening and providing what customers want, StarHub endeavours to bring affordable and premium quality services with innovative and useful features to all its customers. StarHub raises the level of competition in Singapore, challenging others as well as challenging itself, to constantly introduce new world-class services at competitive prices. This unwavering commitment will further strengthen Singapore's position as a leading info-communication hub in the region. Visit StarHub at www.starhub.com for your communication needs.
"This project provides 1-Net with the opportunity to fine tune our business model, operation processes and integrated workflow to be a Digital eXchange hub for the region. We looked forward to the commercial rollout for the global transmission of cinematic content," said Greg CHIA, Director, Commercial, 1-Net.
1-Net Singapore is a leading infocomm technology solutions provider and the operator of the nation's broadband network, SingaporeONE.
As one of the pioneers of broadband development in Singapore, 1-Net operates the nationwide core network of Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) switches to facilitate the delivery of broadband multimedia services.
1-Net currently manages telco-class Internet Data Centers, along with providing domestic and international connectivity, managed services, managed security and consultancy, and media delivery services.
1-Net is a wholly owned subsidiary of MediaCorp, the largest and most established broadcaster in Singapore with a complete range of media businesses spanning TV, Radio, Entertainment Productions, Movie Productions, Newspapers, Magazines, Electronic Media and other broadcasting services.