Satellite could become a mean to deliver films to African cinemas


Satellite is a mean to deliver films across European cinemas and that could become a reality with African cinemas. Marc Welinski, Director of Marketing at Eutelsat told Balancing Act on 21 June 2013 that Eutelsat’s footprint for this type of service includes North Africa. In terms of business model, Film distributors pay for the installation and the transmission, and Eutelsat gets a low set fee per cinema theatre for live performances. This could provide African cinema chains an interesting solution at their drive-ins and indoor cinemas.

DSAT Cinema, the Eutelsat and dcinex joint-venture company specialising in satellite delivery of films and live events, announced that 1,000 cinema complexes in Europe, representing approximately 7,000 screens, are now fully equipped for satellite reception. This makes DSAT Cinema's satellite network the most comprehensive in Europe.

With the steady expansion of digital cinema, the dematerialized transmission of films via satellite is a fast, secure solution for broadcasting content to an unlimited number of cinemas in a given coverage area. Using satellite technology, DSAT Cinema also broadcasts live events from locations that include New York's Metropolitan Opera, Moscow's Bolshoi Theatre and the Royal Opera House in London.

DSAT Cinema is installing equipment in cinemas that comprises a dual-feed satellite antenna and a professional decoder from International Datacasting powered by SensioHiFi 3D technology.

Fabrice Testa, CEO of DSAT Cinema explains: "Using capacity on the EUTELSAT 5 West A satellite, DSAT Cinema is able to broadcast digital content to all fully-equipped cinemas in Europe irrespective of their location at uploads speeds of up to 70 Mbit/s. By combining this capacity with a second transponder on this satellite or on EUTELSAT 8 West A, it is possible to achieve aggregate throughput of up to 140 Mbit/s, enabling a 150 Gbyte digital film to be delivered in less than three hours."

All decoders are controlled from the DSAT Cinema network operations centre to ensure fast and secure delivery of the content. 1,000 in Europe are now under contract and equipped with a full installation.

The company's client portfolio includes major cinema chains like GaumontPathé, UGC, CGR, UCI, Kinepolis, The Space and many independent cinemas.

DSAT Cinema's network of fully-equipped cinemas is mainly concentrated in Italy and France which each account for over 300 complexes, as well as Austria, Germany and Switzerland that together account for over 200 cinemas. A further 150 sites are located in Spain, Benelux, Czech Republic and Slovakia with the remaining installations principally in Poland, Romania and Scandinavia.

Marc Welinski, Chairman of DSAT Cinema, concluded: "We operate the most extensive cinema network connected to satellite in Europe. Our objective is to double the size of the network in the next two years to benefit from economies of scale that will allow us to offer our customers the most flexible and efficient service at the best conditions."

With over 1,000 cinemas under contract, DSAT Cinema, a joint-venture between Eutelsat and dcinex™, deploys and controls the leading European network for cinema distribution via satellite. DSAT Cinema is the solution chosen by most distributors for the dematerialized delivery of digital films and by providers of alternative content for the distribution of their live 2D and 3D events. Thanks to the satellite expertise ofEutelsat and the operational support of dcinex™and OpenSky, DSAT Cinema has set up a vast cinema delivery network infrastructure comprising capacity on two satellites, two teleports and a Network Operations Centre, a multilingual hotline, and a logistical back-up service by hard disks. With over 450 films already delivered and over 250 broadcast live, DSAT Cinema has become the leading pan-European reference for the electronic delivery of content to cinemas. For more info visit here: