The Commercial Cinema Market in India

In India's cinema market, several developments are taking place, that greatly effect the importance of cinema sound reproduction. Developments that are relating to the technical- , commercial- as well as the marketing side of the Indian cinema industry.

On the technical side, the "buzz-word" over the last few years has been "Digital Cinema". Now with the long-awaited Digital Cinema audio standard being a reality in India, a new platform has been created with 24-bit resolution, non-compressed (!) audio over up to 99 channels; This offers tremendous opportunities to very significantly raise the quality of cinema sound reproduction. However, in order to meet the intentions of the standard, new thinking is required..

Another (commercial) result of digital cinema is the changing role of the cinema from simply presenting movies, towards “alternative programming” presentations, like live broadcast/transmissions, (video)conferences, global business seminars/presentations, musical events, and more.

The marketing side of the Indian cinema industry sees increased competition between cinema exhibitors, both of single screen cinemas and multi-screen muliplex cinemas. In the increased competition, exhibitors are experiencing that emphasis of quality over price is essential for long-term profitability. They are thus demanding more than “the obvious”, also in sound experience, to distinguish themselves from the next-door cinema.

And last, but definitely not least, the consumers and patrons expectations have raised tremendously; The combination of “CD-quality” sound/vision (Blue-Ray, DVD, flat-panel TV), together with the sensitive-priced surround home-theatre systems, make cinema compete with the “living-room experience”.

Cinema has to do utmost efforts to exceed customers expectations.

With these new (digital) developments entering the cinema market, new challenges have arrived for existing equipment; Requirements of the sound system have changed; Speech, music and effect should be reproduced with finest detail and fullest dynamics. With the digital cinema sound standard stating “non-compressed” sound formats, current loudspeaker reproduction systems, utilizing compression-driver technology, are not capable of reproducing all digital cinema has to offer.