Digital Cinema Projectors for movie theaters and open air cinema.

DCI stands for Digital Cinema Initiative. In its purest form it is intended to ensure that the reproduction of content, is reproduced within a defined and measurable set of specifications to an audience. The idea being that everyone has the same high quality visual and sound experiences as intended by the content creators. The same concept as McDonald's, so a cheeseburger tastes the same in Boston as they do in St Petersburg. Video killed the radio star. Netflix killed the cinema. Lada dada dada da-da da.

On top, Digital Cinema has been designed for film distribution, content protection and integration with ticketing systems in mind. In order to receive the newest content or specific content from film distributors, the prerequisite is to have DCI compliant equipment. There are a select few Manufactures that brought into the licensing for the DCI standard when it was created, thus there is a limited choice of such DCI compliant equipment to choose from.

Block Buster vs. Arthouse: Do I need a DCI projector?
DCP vs. DCI?

DCP stands for Digital Cinema Package. Simply put, it is the file format used in professional playback of movies. They can be either encrypted or unencrypted. If you want to show the newest content or specific content with the rights to do so, the DCP files you receive from your local film distributor will almost always need a KDM (Key Delivery Message). Each KDM enables one version of the movie to play on a target playback device (DCI compliant projector) for a limited duration, which could be hours, weeks, or months. In some cases of arthouse movies or older movies your film distributor will allow the playback of unencrypted DCP files. Completely negating the requirement of DCI projectors. You need to ask yourself if your are intend to show blockbusters (required DCI) or not arthouse type content (possible non DCI equipment) - speak to your intended film distributor before investing in DCI equipment.

In its darkest form, DCI feels like price fixing. In the refurbishment concept where we strive to give products a second life cycle, we have experienced hardship to be able to supply our customers equipment, on a demand basis within a realistic time frame. If you want to be a big bar in the city center, it works best if you pay protection money to the local mafia, higher running costs, same concept. Our stock tends to be always sold out... if you want to buy new, there we can help. But on a more positive and forgiving note, there is a big service aspect built into DCI equipment that the average person trying to enter the DCI market will not initially understand and value (which is built into most price and distribution models from suppliers).
DCI can also relate to DCI 2K resolution, DCI 4K resolution, the color space DCI-P3. All DCI projectors will have a native DCI 2K or 4K resolution. DCI projectors have evolved over time, therefore there are series 1, 2, 3 and 4 projectors. Series 1 being the oldest and cheapest. Series 4 newest most up-to date and expensive. To play back DCP files you will also require a DCI server which come as external unit or as a integrated unit in the modern form (ICP ICMP).

Key points to consider if you really need DCI:

  • Current Blockbuster Movies vs. Arthouse and older movies
  • its way more expensive than if you don't
  • No point starting or wasting your time if you don't have the funds
  • the most basic setups with older used equipment (Projector, Lens and Server only) will normally start from 15000 euro
  • color grading studios mastering content before it is released, intend for theater upwards of 100000+ euro

Over the years we have amassed a large pool of worldwide service partners who will offer you full service including all necessary gear (projection, sound, seating, ticketing, installation, service). We are happy to make the introductions. Sometimes we will have an DCI Projector diamond for you. Sign up to our DCI newsletter to receive updates on what we are able to source or refurbish for you. Very few and valuable emails you shall receive.

And one scam warning from our personal Experience: be aware of Chinese suppliers that claim to offer good pricing on refurbished DCI Projectors. Better donate your money for a good cause than to them :-)