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Transforming the Cinema Industry with Infocomm Technology

Opening Address by Khoong Hock Yun, Assistant Chief Executive, Industry, Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore At Cathay's Digital Cinema Launch, Orchard Cineplex

Mr Khoong Hock Yun, Assistant Chief Executive, Industry,
Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore
Opening Address - Cathay's Digital Cinema Launch, Orchard Cineplex
Singapore, 16 October 2003

His Excellency Philippe Kridelka, Ambassador of Belgium
Board of Directors, Cathay Organisation
Distinguished Guests
Ladies and gentlemen

1. Good evening to all of you. First and foremost, let me extend my warmest congratulations to Cathay Organization on your pioneering move to bring digital cinema to Singapore. Today's launch marks a momentous milestone in the development of Singapore's cinema industry as it signifies the motion-picture industry's transition to a new age of creative expression, exhibition and business growth.

Benefits of Digital Cinema

2. Digital cinema is now a reality, thanks to technological advances in digital compression, storage, delivery and digital projection. Now the pleasure of a cinematic experience will not be compromised by traces of dust, scratches and jittery images that may be an undesired feature of most 35-millimeter film screenings. Instead, we will enjoy movies with both picture and audio quality that stays pristine, sharp and steady. I will leave Cathay and their project partners to further demonstrate the wonders of digitisation.

3. But Digital Cinema is not just about perfect images and sounds. Digital Cinema can also provide movie audiences with new entertainment possibilities with a wider variety of content offerings. Not too long ago, some of us got to enjoy David Bowie's music concert "live" from London via satellite in this very hall, interacting simultaneously with viewers from across Europe, North America and the Asia Pacific. This world's-first breakthrough was made possible because of digital display and distribution technologies, which will change our current definition of what makes up a cinema movie experience.

Digital Cinema Exchange Initiative

4. Our vision is for Singapore to become a key node in the management, processing and distribution of all kinds of digital content, be it movies, concerts or sports events. Digital Cinema has been identified as one of IDA's key focus areas under our Digital Exchange initiative announced earlier in March this year. Through the Digital Exchange, IDA aims to increase the value of digital transactions flowing through Singapore from S$150million to S$500million by 2006.

Singapore as a Digital Exchange Hub

5. We believe the advent of Digital Cinema will change the way movies are distributed. By switching to a digital distribution mode, distributors will benefit in the long run from significant cost savings and increased levels of security in the digital delivery of content. The growth of Digital Cinema will also help to generate more downstream demand for digital intermediate services. These intermediate or value-added services include digitisation, storage, hosting, security, treasury functions, localisation and distribution and are essential to the management and delivery of digital content.

6. Singapore offers a conducive business environment for digital processing and distribution for Asia. For example, as a telecoms hub for Asia, Singapore's submarine cable capacity stands at 21 tera bits per second. With such capacity, theoretically, we can transmit the entire "Titanic" movie from Hollywood to Singapore in a fraction of a second! Many of our data centres have attained international performance standards, offering premium hosting facilities and managed services. In addition, our satellite network also offers content distributors extensive coverage to most parts of the world. Singapore also offers a clear and transparent legal framework for the protection of intellectual property.

7. As a trading hub, Singapore also offers numerous free trade links with various key economies such as Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland, Iceland, Norway and most recently the USA. This allows for a free flow of goods, services and most importantly, content, which will foster a more vibrant digital distribution and trading environment here.

8. I am pleased to see the successful collaboration between key industry players like Cathay, Christie, EVS and Texas Instruments to set up the first digital cinema screen in Singapore. IDA will continue to grow the Digital Cinema industry and help industry players build a value chain of activities in this arena. Together, we can build a strong ecosystem for the management and distribution of digital content. This will help to reinforce Singapore as a Digital Exchange for the world.


9. In closing, I wish Cathay and your partners every success in rolling out Digital Cinema in Singapore. I am sure this will set the stage for more players to join us in this initiative and bring the cinema industry into the digital era of today.

10. Thank you.