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Sony, WB & Disney Pushing Digital Cinema Systems

Sony Pictures, Warner Bros. and the Walt Disney Co. are in early talks to form a joint venture to install digital cinema systems, reports HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. No details are set, but the trio of studios has issued offer letters to financial institutions, including JPMorgan Securities, for prospective bids for managing and financing. The studios should hear back from the investors by Nov. 5, 2004. As part of the new firm, the three studios would use the savings on prints and shipping to help fund the venture. The financial institution would secure the theaters.

Insiders told the trade that the three potential partners are supporting 4K resolution standard, which is much higher than the current standard 2K. Sony is the only hardware supplier developing 4K projectors.

Two years ago, the seven majors came together for the Digital Cinema Initiative to develop technical standards and explore business plans for the studios to fund the costly transition to a digital format. However, the Initiative came to the decision that business plans related to equipment rollouts were not its purpose.

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