ITU is working on
technology with the potential to radically transform the large screen
entertainment industry. While much of the work on large screen digital imagery (LSDI)
is handled in ITU's Radiocommunication sector (ITU-R), a meeting of ITU-T's
Study Group 9 has just consented a standard that completes a
vital link in the chain meaning that from a film being shot to its display in a
cinema-like environment, all processes involved in the making of LSDI movies
can be truly digital.
Large screen digital
imagery (LSDI) is a family of digital imagery systems that includes very large
screen presentation of programmes similar to the non-digital IMAX and OMNIMAX
systems. LSDI is described as an optimal approach to the presentation of
high-definition television (HDTV) programmes, to a collective audience on
cinema-like screens in a cinema-like environment.
The ITU-T Recommendation
defines how “super HDTV” images – up to four times the quality of standard HDTV
- can be delivered to cinema-like venues, bypassing traditional distribution
methods. It defines transport technologies for LSDI with resolutions 3840 x
2160 and 7680 x 4320 pixels.
Currently all movies, even
those that are produced digitally, are distributed on film. This method is
costly. Electronic distribution via satellite and/or fiber-optics or cable
television, will eliminate these costs and also allow a much more efficient
distribution channel. In addition it could give cinema owners a much greater
level of independence.
channels such as terrestrial transmission will not generally be used to deliver
LSDI content. But the ability to broadcast in real-time means that live
broadcast to LSDI equipped theatres will be possible. This convergence between
telecoms and broadcast permits the presentation of new types of content unavailable
until recently to cinema audiences.
Sports, concerts, dramas,
plays, cultural, educational and industrial events can now be presented to
audiences alongside traditional features.
According to the Draft New Report on Large Screen
Digital Imagery produced by ITU-R: "In North America, the transition to
LSDI is proceeding at a rapid pace and as of now, there are over 9000 LSDI
theatre screens in daily operation with more being planned and installed this
year... LSDI is a reality in North America."
In Asia, China according to
the report is taking the lead supported by high-level government commitment,
and in Europe there are numerous