This can be the answer to the film piracy problem in the Philippines but a clear goodbye to the few we call "lagaristas". DCinema, Asia's pioneer in digital systems and integration, announced the full conversion of all theatres in the Philippines to digital cinemas at Annabel's Tomas Morato, Quezon City today. It is through DCinema's Virtual Print Fee (VPF) program now available in the Philippines that allows theater owners to go through the digitalization process by financing the first purchase of digital cinema equipment. This subsidy program, initiated by the six major Hollywood studios designed to allow theater owners to recoup a portion of the equipment costs.
It's a win-win situation for the theater owners, the distributors and the film producers as DCinema will become the deploying entity in the implementation of the VFP program to have all cinemas in the country running in digital technology. Like what Mr. Edward Tenejero of SM Cinemas had shared, it's going to cut costs not only on production but also on distribution costs because the conversion of all theaters to digital cinemas will save at least P50,000 in operations and distribution of movies. It's just going to be the hard disks they'd use and they can start showing the movie simultaneously in all cinemas nationwide through this program. With just 90 digital screens now in the country, it will take them eight years to convert cinemas nationwide to digital.
The shift to digital cinemas will also reduce the chances of piracy with tighter copy protection and the time-lock function that only allows a movie to be accessed at a preset time. This prevents unauthorized copies from being distributed prior to the world or local premiere. Mr. Rey del Poso, President and CEO of DCinema said that there are now sixty thousand digital screens up and running worldwide and around 28,000 of these were converted in 2011.
What does this spell for a movie buff like me and you? According to SM Cinemas, they are already studying on cutting the price of the ticket costs to engage more Filipinos to go to the theaters instead of buying those pirated DVDs in the market. This is just another milestone DCinema had just shared giving more opportunities for the Philippine movie industry to completely secure its rank and develop. It is high time for the Filipino movie theaters to be digital, it is time for the Filipinos to move forward. It is really time to start something to prevent piracy before the start of 2012.
SM Cinemas launched the first digital theatre in the country at Cinema 1, The Block at SM North EDSA. Ayala Digital Cinemas, Robinsons Galleria Digital Cinemas, Star Mall Cinemas and Bohol Quality Cinema have already embraced the technology and soon all theaters in provincial areas and malls will be converted by next year.For more information, visit www.dcinema.com for more details.