Imagine a technology, which could network a number of theatres, facilitating
the screening of a single movie simultaneously at different places. No need to
imagine that as ChitraJaal is all about networking theatres. It is all set to
weave a Web of movies, masti and magic around all the theatres in the state of
AP. The project is scheduled to start in one theatre in each of the 1,100 odd
mandals within the state of AP and screen the same movies at the same time in
all the networked theatres. The project is the brainchild of Krishna Prasad of
Chennai based Spartek Group, which will be backing the $ 100 million venture and
is expected to be ready within a period of two years.
When ready, each of the theatres will seat a minimum of 300 viewers at a
single point of time. The concept of so many digital theatres screening one show
at the same time is the only project of this kind. ChitraJaal has already
initiated talks with the partners to set up theatres across the state having a
minimum of 600 sq. yards of land, ChitraJaal will provide the digital equipment
and connect the theatres with its broadband networks.
“It’s a one of its kind project in the Asian region, I don’t think
anyone else has done it before.
The idea is that once we start our broadband service, we will have enough
bandwidth to manage the movies over the network. We have formed a separate
company- NextAge Broadband to provide the necessary bandwidth for the screening
of a movie in different places in a networked environment.
NextAge would control the decoding, content enabling and content downloading
to all the digital theatres. The theatres will receive an uninterrupted, high
resolution, digital entertainment simultaneously,” said, Keshav Pitani,
Project head for ChitraJaal.
The move is going to wipe out the conventional movie release and screening
system which depends on projectors and film reels. When the project will be
realized the viewers will be able to get to see films all across the state on
the day of the release without any hassles. The current practice is to reach a
limited number of film reels from one center to another to cover the entire
ChitraJaal is also in the process of establishing contacts with producers and
distributors across the world including those in India, with whom it would sign
MoUs for screening of films in a networked environment.
“A big project like this needs thorough knowledge of the subject and as
there is no such project so the amount of uniqueness involved is also very high.
We are going to implement the project in a phased manner. As of now, we are in
the implementation phase of the Broadband Project. Once that is done, we will be
focussing on the rural IT service Hubs, after that we will be focussing on the
movie business,” Pitani informed. ChitraJaal will be started after the
broadband project is up and running within AP. The project once up and running
would provide the screening of a single movie at different locations
simultaneously. “We are going to network the theatres wherein the technology
would make it possible to work on a store and play model instead of live
streaming method. Existing theaters will need some technological upgradation. We
think the normal cinema theaters in big cities may not be affected at all.
However, in the B and C class centers there could be a change and we are working
on the costs involved in the upgradation,” he added.
Though it will take about two years for the final implementation of the
project but it is for sure that once completed the project is going to catch the
eyeballs of a number of people in the business of entertainment. The success of
the project will depend on the implementation of it as well as on the quality of
service it promises to bring.