South Africa: Ster-Kinekor Places Order of New Digital Cinema Solution

Technology & Convergence

Christie Digital Systems Canada has announced that Ster-Kinekor Theatres has confirmed a major deal, as it undertakes full conversion of its cinema estate to digital. This will be the first time that the brand's Solaria, Solaria One and Solaria One+ and its IMB and 4K resolution have all featured in the same deployment.

The South African group currently has Christie Series 2 cinema projectors operating but this will grow considerably to 180 Christie Series 2 projectors along with 198 Solaria One and Solaria One+ projectors, which will be available from the end of 2012. These come complete with lens, custom-designed Xenon lamp, Christie integrated media block (IMB) and easy-to-operate screen management software (SMS).

The new deployment will also include 4K DLP Cinema projectors for use at selected cinemas in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban and Cape Town, chosen after careful evaluation against competitive models.

The theatre group began the conversion process in 2008, turning its first five screening rooms into 3D digital with the help of the brand's 2K projectors. Because of this success, it set a target to become 100% DCI-compliant by mid-2013 and formed a partnership with Arts Alliance Media (AAM) to expedite this. 

Ster-Kinekor Theatres CEO, Fiaz Mahomed, says that the upgrade is a critical step in helping the company grow the business and take film viewing to the next level. "Christie is crucial to this development and its close relationship with Arts Alliance and overall bid was compelling. The digital conversion will ensure a heightened viewing experience and is critical in meeting the very real demand from our valued audiences in seeing the best film content at its best."

He also believes that the solution offers many competitive advantages. "The superior optics and high brightness are ideal for 3D applications and the projectors also provide low cost of ownership," he said. "As for the 4K platform, the high frame rate and 4096 x 2160 resolution moves the whole experience a step further."