Digital Cinema Ltd (DCL) plans to upgrade the first phase of its Irish D-Cinema installation in an exclusive agreement with US digital technology company DTS.

The agreement provides for both parties to work together to facilitate the wider rollout of digital cinema in Ireland. So far 15 cinema sites are operational.

DCL is an Irish subsidiary of Avica which set up its European HQ in Thurles, Co Tipperary nearly two years ago with plans to provide the world's first countrywide digital movie and advertising distribution network. DCL is supported by a team of technicians based in Co. Tipperary

DTS will upgrade DCL's existing Irish network to ensure compliance with the latest studio requirements for release of D-Cinema movie content.

This will require meeting the JPEG2000 file format compatibility and security features defined in the DCI standard specification.

DTS will also bring additional functionality to the network by introducing its management software. This suite of tools is designed to make distribution and playback of D-Cinema movie content a simple and reliable process for both the studios and exhibitors.

'We are very pleased and excited to be working with DTS in the upgrade of our current system.' commented Ian Kirby, MD of DCL.

'This critical upgrade brings us to a level of compliance with the DCI specifications that is essential for the receipt and playback of D-Cinema movie content today, and puts us firmly on track to maintain the compliance levels we will need going forward.'

Speaking on behalf of DTS Tony Nowak, MD of DTS' European cinema business, said, 'Under this change of strategic direction for the company, we are developing our flexible solutions to meet the needs of content owners and exhibitors in the transition to digital cinema. We are very happy that DCL have chosen to work with us on this upgrade, and we plan together to roll out the full 500-screen network in the coming months.

Of Avica's exclusive licensing agreement with DTS Nicholas Clay, Chairman and CEO of Avica commented, 'We are very excited about this partnership with DTS and the opportunity to fully develop the digital cinema market. We look forward to the work we can accomplish together. when DTS' leadership in digital entertainment is aligned with Avica's position in digital cinema technology.'

The Avica Technology Corporation based in California has also entered into an exclusive licensing agreement with DTS.

The agreement provides DTS with exclusive global rights to utiliseAvica's suite of technologies, products and services, including Avica'sFilmStore family of products which handle content delivery andpresentation for distribution networks.

Under the terms of the agreement, DTS also has the exclusive option toacquire the assets of Avica once certain conditions have been met.