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Prima Cinema Finally Goes Live

Sections: 3D, Projectors, Video, Video servers

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Prima CinemaIf you’re sick of waiting for your favorite movie to come out on video, then Prima Cinema is for you, assuming that you have a heck of a lot of money. For a mere $35,000, you can join the Hollywood elite watching the latest Hollywood films in the comfort of your home theater, assuming you have 25 seats or fewer in your home cinema. Of course, this privilege doesn’t come without strings attached. Not only will you have to pony up $500 per film ($600 for 3D), but it seems like more of a marriage than a product purchase, as John Sciacca of Residential Systems discovered in his review. Current films available on the Prima System  are essentially limited to Universal releases like Rush, Riddick, Kick Ass 2, The World’s End and a few more.

The way it all works is that first a Prima representative visits your house to ensure your theater meets the “private” specs, you sign a membership agreement and your ID is scanned. Then you have to establish a static IP address with your ISP, which is then registered with the company firewall as part of a massive anti-piracy system. If your IP changes for any reason, it necessitates a service call to register the new one. When you want to watch a movie, the owner’s fingerprint is required to authenticate the transaction, and you have a single viewing in 24 hours to enjoy the movie with no controls beyond a play/pause button.

The good news is that once you actually have the system in place, and pony up at least $20 per person for a screening, the quality of the presentation is top notch, reportedly on-par with the best that commercial cinema has to offer.  While selections are currently limited to Universal Pictures, Magnolia, and a few others, Prima hopes to sign everyone in Hollywood before long.

Let’s face it, though: this system isn’t intended to be for everyone. It’s for rich people with a lot more money than time, or people who are famous enough that a trip to the local multiplex is problematic, but it’s also a more affordable solution than a full-on D-Cinema and/or 35mm setup, or even IMAX Private Theatre.

I think there’s a great use for this technology that isn’t being talked about, however, and that’s re-introducing the movie theater to the rural audience, or even to third world countries. By allowing individual payments on the thumb scanner, and utilizing something like Kinect to count people (to make sure they’re paying), a system like this could bring the movies to community halls all over the world. My relatives in rural Maryland have to drive 40 minutes to get to a two-screen theater that used to be a small single, where the screen is only about 100 inches and the sound system abysmal. Instead of coughing up $150,000+ for a modern sound and projection system, this could easily do the job for half that. Hopefully once it’s tried and proven in people’s homes, Prima and the entire industry can look at how to exploit this great technology. Find out a lot more by hitting up the source link.

Via: [Residential Systems]

Prima Cinema System Specs:

• 2 Terabyte hard drive stores up to 50 films in RAID-5 array
• 1080p24 full HD video in 4:2:2 sampling and 10-bit resolution, including 3D
• Dolby TrueHD or LPCM multi-channel audio
• Separate biometric fingerprint reader powered via Cat-5 PoE
• Multiple security measures ensure content security
• IP controllable via a number of automation systems or iOS
• Connections: (2) independent power supplies, (2) RJ45 Ethernet connections, (2) USB ports, (2) HDMI outputs (1 full audio/video, 1 audio only)

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