CinePostproduction Speeds SHARC Digital Cinema Distribution With Aspera

CinePostproduction, a German post-production facility, has deployed high-speed file transfer software from Aspera, an IBM Company, to speed the delivery of Digital Cinema Packages (DCP) directly to cinemas. The CinePostproduction SHARC distribution platform enables easy ingest of DCPs from studios and distributors via the SHARC web portal, and Aspera On Demand running in the cloud delivers the DCPs quickly and securely to on-premises storage in cinemas over a wide range of available infrastructure to accelerate and simplify distribution.

With the transition from 35-millimeter film to Digital Cinema, film producers and distributors are faced with a challenge of how to deliver the DCP master, typically around 150GB but as large as 400GB, to cinemas for viewing. Distributors have invested heavily in digital cinema encoding facilities to produce and quality control check a digital cinema package before release, while cinemas have upgraded to state-of-the-art digital projectors. However, the most common method for distributing DCPs to cinemas today continues to be shipping specialized hard disks via courier or satellite delivery.

SHARC replaces these traditional slow, unreliable and expensive delivery methods with a state-of-the-art hybrid cloud distribution platform comprising a secure online web portal for ingest, as well as CinePostproduction’s own advanced scheduling and tracking system, and Aspera FASP high-speed transfer technology running in the cloud for fast and secure delivery directly to cinemas.

The hybrid distribution platform is cost effective because theaters can utilize their existing infrastructure to achieve maximum speed delivery; they simply install the SHARC download client software, which contains an embedded Aspera Client, and receive DCPs directly from SHARC to the theater over their existing broadband connection. Unlike satellite delivery, which only makes sense for large-scale distribution to hundreds of theaters at the same time, CinePostproduction’s SHARC powered by Aspera is much more flexible and cost effective even when delivering a new DCP to a single theater.

The compute and storage resources needed to distribute DCPs change over time depending on the number of movies and the number of theaters involved in the release. Running Aspera On Demand in the cloud allows CinePostproduction to scale up transfer capacity as needed to meet the variable demand and guarantee on time delivery to cinemas.

“Most of our studio and production customers were already using Aspera to deliver content to our post-production facilities,” says Thomas Ramin, branch manager, CinePostproduction. “Embedding Aspera on Demand running in the cloud directly into our SHARC digital distribution platform was an obvious choice and allowed us to extend the benefits of high-speed digital delivery to movie theaters using SHARC.”

“Production and distribution companies need a secure, fast, and cost effective way to deliver their digital movies to theaters,” says Arnd Kohrs, sales director, DACH at Aspera. “Aspera FASP can fully utilize the available bandwidth for maximum speed transfers over their existing infrastructure, and encryption over the wire and at rest ensure the content remains secure.”

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