Prima Cinema at CEDIA 2013 - AVS Forum

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Scott Wilkinson's Avatar Scott Wilkinson
02:05 PM Liked: 1188
post #1 of 21
10-04-2013 | Posts: 1,346
Joined: Sep 2001

I've heard of services like Prima Cinema for some time, but CEDIA Expo 2013 marked the first time I got to see it in action. This company does one thing—deliver first-run movies to home theaters. And by "first-run," I mean day and date with their release in commercial theaters.

 

How is that possible? First, you apply to become a Prima Cinema client. That's right, you must be vetted by Prima Cinema and its studio partners to make sure you have a sufficiently high-quality AV system with a screen measuring at least 100 inches diagonally, you have no more than 25 seats in your home theater, you have a business-class static IP address with unlimited data, and you aren't likely to try to pirate the movies you receive.

 

The Prima Cinema server presents a graphic user interface from which to select first-run movies to play in your home theater. Photo by Mark Henninger

 

Once you're accepted as a client, you purchase a Prima Cinema server ($35,000), which presents a graphic user interface with all the available movies. When you select a title and verify your identity with a fingerprint scanner, it is downloaded to the server over the Internet—which could take a while, since each title is about 40-50 GB using a proprietary codec—after which you have 24 hours to watch it once. You can skip back up to five minutes, but you can't rewind from the end to the beginning and watch it again. Each 2D title costs $500, while 3D movies are $600, and when a movie leaves commercial theaters, it is no longer available from Prima Cinema.

 

The demo system at CEDIA 2013 included a Digital Projection Titan projector, 135-inch-wide, 16:9 Stewart FireHawk G3 screen (not what I'd choose in a blacked out room), Meridian digital sound system, and Cineak theater seats, which were mighty comfy at the end of a long day of walking the show floor. Interestingly, the screen was not perforated, and we were told that the DSP7200HC center speaker below the screen somehow elevates the sound to appear to come from the center of the screen.

 

We watched a bit of Rush, Ron Howard's new movie that opened around the country on the Friday of CEDIA. Based on a true story of two Formula One racing rivals in the 1970s, the image definitely had that '70s look—high-ISO color-negative film stock, high contrast, lots of film grain—which we assumed was the director's intent and that the system reproduced very accurately. On the other hand, the sound was pretty bad—somewhat muddled with ill-defined bass, and the dialog did not seem to be coming from the center of the screen. I've heard the Meridian system sound great in other demos, so this one must not have been set up very well.

 

Obviously, the Prima Cinema service is intended for Hollywood bigwigs and other 1-percenters who want bragging rights about showing first-run movies in their homes. For the rest of us, it's off to the commercial theater or wait for the Blu-ray.

 

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fierce_gt's Avatar fierce_gt
04:19 PM Liked: 969
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10-04-2013 | Posts: 4,607
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for 500bux a title, that seems like you are paying for the rights to charge admission, no?

definitely aimed at ppl who would have to buy out the entire theatre to go see a movie 'in public', otherwise there's really no way to justify 500bux a pop and consider it anything other than obscene.

still, that's pretty disgusting
bullpuss's Avatar bullpuss
04:41 PM Liked: 51
post #3 of 21
10-04-2013 | Posts: 155
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Wow i guess this is geared towards the 1% lol........
Scott Wilkinson's Avatar Scott Wilkinson
05:05 PM Liked: 1188
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10-04-2013 | Posts: 1,346
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fierce_gt View Post

for 500bux a title, that seems like you are paying for the rights to charge admission, no?
 

No; I believe that part of the vetting process is to make sure you don't charge admission.


fierce_gt's Avatar fierce_gt
07:02 PM Liked: 969
post #5 of 21
10-04-2013 | Posts: 4,607
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Wilkinson View Post

No; I believe that part of the vetting process is to make sure you don't charge admission.

definitely only reasonable for extremely famous celebrities that wouldn't be able to go out in public without being harassed then. even still, i'm amazed they can charge that much for the movies. seems like they'd get away with it better if they charged a monthly service fee or something instead, but I guess the crazy price would discourage the owners from doing things it wasn't designed for(like multiple viewings with many viewers)

too bad, maybe one day I won't have to wait several months to watch a movie in a good theatre...haha
DeadEd's Avatar DeadEd
12:38 AM Liked: 85
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10-05-2013 | Posts: 500
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More like the 0.001%
JustMike's Avatar JustMike
03:43 PM Liked: 24
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10-07-2013 | Posts: 2,245
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Correction: if I understood their demo correctly, the content is already downloaded to the server in advance of the release date of the film. When you swipe your fingerprint to complete the purchase, it's already there and ready to watch.
BigHat's Avatar BigHat
05:14 PM Liked: 12
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10-07-2013 | Posts: 389
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Considering the trash most movies are these days, $35k for the honor of paying $500 for a movie is comical.
BIGmouthinDC's Avatar BIGmouthinDC
05:25 PM Liked: 738
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$500 for a movie doesn't seem out of line if you just ordered a $1000 bottle of wine with dinner. I see this as an opportunity to get some of our oil money back on this side of the pond.
tannerjr's Avatar tannerjr
06:10 PM Liked: 10
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10-07-2013 | Posts: 100
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If I've got $100,000 wrapped up in a dedicated setup, I'd say dropping $500 to invite the guys over isn't going to be missed. And you'd better believe I'm gonna show em and tell em how much that $35,000 server cost!
tannerjr's Avatar tannerjr
06:11 PM Liked: 10
post #11 of 21
10-07-2013 | Posts: 100
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👆👆has a theater that costs far less than $100Large and the guys are STILL impressed. wink.gif
imagic's Avatar imagic
06:36 PM Liked: 3077
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10-07-2013 | Posts: 6,420
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tannerjr View Post

If I've got $100,000 wrapped up in a dedicated setup, I'd say dropping $500 to invite the guys over isn't going to be missed. And you'd better believe I'm gonna show em and tell em how much that $35,000 server cost!

 

It is worth considering that the ultra-rich not only don't care about $500/pop movies or $35,000 servers—the security risk posed by going to a public movie theater—even if the specific in question amphitheater is rented for a private screening—is not worth it. Plus, that private screening at a real movie theater is sure to cost more than $500.


Evilchicken's Avatar Evilchicken
07:18 PM Liked: 10
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$500 seems perfectly in line with who this is designed for. Consider if you told a person that makes $50,000/year it would cost $50 to have movies in there home on the same day as release . That's exactly what you're saying to the person making $500,000 a year with a cost of $500. To some people $500 is like $5...... eek.gif
Doug Blackburn's Avatar Doug Blackburn
08:01 PM Liked: 228
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigHat View Post

Considering the trash most movies are these days, $35k for the honor of paying $500 for a movie is comical.

Bad movies are not a modern problem.... Theodore Sturgeon (s-f author and a very good one) said "90% of everything is crap" and it is damn true. 90% of the cars sold are crap, 90% of the art produced is crap, 90% of the homes built are crap, 90% of new buildings are boring as crap, 90% of books published are crap, 90% of the stuff in supermarkets is crap and 90% of the movies made every year since the dawn of movies are crap, though I might be convinced to go with 80% of the movies released every year are crap. Nobody sets out to make a bad movie -- everybody involved believes the movie is going to make them money. Unfortunately, there's an art to making good movies that is elusive and it cannot be captured every time by ANYONE. Name any one great director and look at everything they made and you will have the occasional clunker -- it happens to everybody. It's easy to whine about movies not being better, but CLEARLY, if it was easy to make great movies every time, we'd be getting a lot more great movies.
AMS 511's Avatar AMS 511
11:54 PM Liked: 10
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10-07-2013 | Posts: 9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Blackburn View Post

Nobody sets out to make a bad movie -- everybody involved believes the movie is going to make them money. Unfortunately, there's an art to making good movies that is elusive and it cannot be captured every time by ANYONE. Name any one great director and look at everything they made and you will have the occasional clunker -- it happens to everybody. It's easy to whine about movies not being better, but CLEARLY, if it was easy to make great movies every time, we'd be getting a lot more great movies.

In Hollywood a good movie is one that is profitable, a bad movie is one that is not. It has nothing to do with the quality of movie.
PGTweed's Avatar PGTweed
07:43 AM Liked: 23
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10-08-2013 | Posts: 185
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Combine Prima Cinema with your own private IMAX Home Theater ($2 Million) and you would have a sweet setup.
darklord700's Avatar darklord700
03:02 PM Liked: 29
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10-08-2013 | Posts: 346
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1 percenter's income is only in the $200K or so catergory, can't afford $500 a pop a movie when $500 buys you only 3 month lead time to see the movie first hand.
Speed Daemon's Avatar Speed Daemon
09:42 PM Liked: 22
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10-09-2013 | Posts: 419
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While this offering is not for the 99%, it's a great proof of concept for companies that might see a market for versions that will be affordable for the masses.

I can't help but recall how my one-time neighbor Bing Crosby almost single-handedly created the first market for things like the videotape recorder, the multitrack audio recorder etc. Bing wasn't a visionary; he just wanted cool toys at home!

I don't think that there's any doubt that a market for "better than Blu-ray" movies at home exists, and is big enough that it would make good business sense for a company like Prima Cinema to spin-off a lower cost version of its product for a wider audience. The home market is a goldmine, and Hollywood would be smart to mine the gold that isn't satisfied with DVD and Blu-ray. We're becoming a realtime society, and the sooner the established industries figure that out, the better it will be for us all.

Off the top of my head, I can see using something like crowdfunding to bring first release movies direct to people's homes. If there are enough reservations for a given film, the broker releases that title to home subscribers, and the theaters get a cut of the lost profits. (At least for now...) If there's not enough interest, let the theaters take the entire risk (Until they wise up...). Win-win-win.
CRGINC's Avatar CRGINC
06:24 PM Liked: 11
post #19 of 21
10-12-2013 | Posts: 307
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I totally agree. I am tired of renting BD from Netflix to have them come scratched and either not playable or pause half way through the movie. I don't need to see the movie when it is released in the theaters, but would like BD or slightly better quality to be delivered electronically to my home. Neither Cable nor streaming has the picture or sound quality that I want. There is a large market for this. The only question is will the movie studios allow it?
durack's Avatar durack
03:30 PM Liked: 26
post #20 of 21
10-22-2013 | Posts: 377
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evilchicken View Post

$500 seems perfectly in line with who this is designed for. Consider if you told a person that makes $50,000/year it would cost $50 to have movies in there home on the same day as release . That's exactly what you're saying to the person making $500,000 a year with a cost of $500. To some people $500 is like $5...... eek.gif
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeadEd View Post

More like the 0.001%

I doubt 99.9% of those making $50K a year will even consider the possibility of paying $50 for a movie, same goes for 500K and $500 movies.

$500 movies are for those guys/gals. biggrin.gif

http://www.hgtv.com/million-dollar-rooms/show/index.html

http://www.hgtv.com/specialty-rooms/a-grand-tour-multi-million-dollar-spaces-from-hgtvs-million-dollar-rooms/pictures/index.html
Art Sonneborn's Avatar Art Sonneborn
05:10 PM Liked: 49
post #21 of 21
10-22-2013 | Posts: 22,307
Joined: Jun 2000
Yes,this really isn't for low end millionaires. I just can't see the 500 USD per film thing.Additionally, I'm surprised that it uses HDTV color space rather than DCI. This is the biggest advantage that DCI cinema has over something like what I have at home.



Art
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