SIM2 has teamed up with the US’s Entertainment Experience, LLC to offer just-released movie blockbusters as part of a home-cinema package. spoke to the high-performance HD projector specialists to find out why they’ve launched what appears to be yet another HD format when the public is still wavering about Blu-ray.

SIM2 has announced it is starting a “better-than-blu” home-theater package.

The Italian firm has teamed up with Entertainment Experience, LLC to provide a hardware-software combination offering just-released movie blockbusters.

Customers will get sent movies that are stored on a hard drive in a DCI format accepted by Hollywood studios.

The HDD slots into a bespoke media server – a Digital Entertainment Center – and the movie can then be watched on SIM2’s top-selling C3X 1080 projector.

It might seem a strange decision to launch what appears to be yet another HD format when the public is still wavering about Blu-ray.

Especially when a huge contention with it is the high price of Blu-ray discs and players.

But Alan Roser, managing director of SIM2 UK, said the intention was neither to challenge blu-ray nor appeal to the mass-market.

“It’s not mainstream and it’s not intended as a replacement for Blu-ray,” he said.

So who will buy the home-theater package?

Roser said the high-end home theater delivery system was being aimed at its 3-chip DLC projectors rather than less expensive single-chip products.

He said home theaters of this type were often set up in a dedicated home cinema with a curved and acoustically transparent screen.

“We do not believe there is any value in this for budget projectors. This is really a high-end service – it take things up to the next stage.”

With SIM2’s C3X 1080 projector costing around USD $33,000 and US sales in the “low thousands”, it’s definitely a niche market.

But as the world’s smallest three-chip DLP projector, the C3X 1080HD projector is capable of imaging at up to 1920x1080p at 45 mbp/s.

To complete the package, customers need to buy a USD $10,000 media server and then pay USD $40 for each movie.

Major blockbusters will be available within a “short time” of their release – and before they are out on Blu-ray.

Digital Entertainment, LLC has said that the solution’s movie content ultimately will encompass more than 4000 major titles from multiple studio and distribution partners.

Commercial Digital-cinema Technologies In The Home

Roser said while Blu-ray was “absolutely stunning” for 95 per cent of consumers, those with the means to watch HD on giant wide screens had to have the very best – even if that meant a significant investment.

“The important thing is to get this wonderful technology within a wonderful platform,” he said.

Roser said the movies will be encoded in a DCI-like format that gives them a higher bitrate and better depth of colour than Blu-ray Disc.

The package will be available “soon” in the US and it will be rolled out to other markets once complications with international licence agreement schedules are resolved.

“It’s all a question of time. It’s all about the licensing and getting studios comfortable with content because they are concerned about piracy,” said Roser. “It’s also about keeping theater owners happy.”

As few people can afford to install this “better-than-blu” home-theater package, that shouldn’t be too difficult.

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