The Filmless, Wireless Cinema — Overhyped!

from the could-be-anywhere dept

It’s mostly just yet another attempt by Intel to hype up WiMax (and shame on Wireless News for claiming this was WiMax — let’s say this again, with feeling — WiMax does not exist yet), but at Sundance, Intel and a filmmaker demonstrated how a digitized movie could easily be distributed somewhere wirelessly. The process seemed a bit more involved than it needed to be: streamed to Salt Lake City from Intel’s offices in Oregon, sent by “microwave” to Park City, and then beamed up a mountain using not-really-WiMax. What’s interesting, is the article then makes some suggestions about how this could change movie viewing, allowing for the creation of “microcinemas.” If your local cafe suddenly wants to show a movie, they could log in, choose the movie, pay the fee, and go. The industry gets wider distribution and doesn’t have to pay for film or the shipping of film. That’s the theory at least. The reality might not be so nice. First, nowhere is it explained why this needs to be wireless. A fiber optic network would do the trick just as well, so the whole focus on this being wireless is a total red herring. Second, the movie industry is pretty tied up with the current distribution network, and no theater is going to be particularly happy to find out that the cafe down the street is showing a first run movie and competing with them. Finally, for smaller groups, this sort of offering is still going to have to compete with someone just going out and getting the DVD (or, worse, having some one download the film via BitTorrent).

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Comments on “The Filmless, Wireless Cinema — Overhyped!”

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itchyfish says:

Re: Wireless

Ummm, wires cost money, even the magical fiber optic kind. “Gee, I have this theater, in a poor location, and there’s a building available for a good price a few blocks away that would increase my traffic 5 fold, but I can’t move because there isn’t a fiber line on that block and the cost putting in fiber makes the building unaffordable.”

Now I can locate my theater where it is easily accessible and makes the best sense for my business. I’m not restricted to locations that have fiber.

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