Chennai-based Pyramid-Saimira Group has signed an MoU with Delta Electronics Inc., Taipei, Taiwan, for design, development and sourcing of projectors for digital cinema market in India. With the development, the cost of upgradation of existing projection systems is expected to come down drastically.
Speaking to exchange4media, P S Saminathan, Managing Director, Pyramid-Saimira Theatre, said, "Going digital is something which has been attempted in India quite recently over the last one and a half years or so. The reason for failure of players to successfully install digital systems includes the use of sub-standard projection systems. That has been addressed through our current offerings."
The company hopes that this benefit the film industry significantly as the digital cinema viewing experience will bring in more audiences to the theatres. In the last three months, Pyramid-Saimira has competed upgrades in 32 locations in Tamil Nadu, including the Abhirami MegaMall at Chennai. It soon hopes to spread its operations to other parts of India.
On the cost of upgrades, Saminathan added, "A system which cost Rs.35 lakh some time ago will not cost just Rs 18 lakh, and one which cost Rs15 lakh is now priced at Rs10 lakh or so. Due to high cost of projectors, some players have gone in for low quality projectors, which were not designed for these rugged applications and proved to be a failure."
The agreement is expected to address the issue of customisation to suit Indian conditions by developing standardised, India-condition specific projectors at optimal cost-points. Delta will design, develop and manufacture these 'ruggedised' projectors. Segments of the market to be addressed include video parlors and theatres in villages and towns.
According to Saminathan, there exists a potential to upgrade 15000 cinema screens in India alone over the next three years. While theatres are projected to form the bulk of the systems, he estimates non-cinema screens to contribute 25 per cent to the total.
This would include school auditoriums, long distance education initiatives, small screen theatres and the like, he said.