European cinema goers will have their first chance to see a film in digital light projection (DLP) technology this week when the Disney/Pixar film Toy Story 2 premieres.
Five cinemas in Europe, including three in the UK, are replacing conventional film with hard disks and an optical chip-based projector.
Toy Story 2 was the first major studio feature-length film to be released simultaneously in both digital and traditional film formats when it premiered in the US in November last year.
The DLP technology used on the computer-generated film has been created by Texas Instruments. It promises far sharper colour and visuals than traditional 35mm film, and will not scratch or fade.
The technology will, however, require huge investments by cinemas to install digital projection systems, so it will be some time before it takes off.
Film studios plan to download encrypted movies direct to cinemas in the future. This would save huge amounts of money on film printing and distribution costs.
The all-digital showings of Toy Story 2 will be held at the Odeon Leicester Square in London from 4 February, and from 11 February at the UCI Trafford Centre in Manchester and the Warner Village in Finchley Road, London.
DLP technology has previously featured in all-digital showings of Disney's Tarzan and Bi-Centennial Man, and in Lucasfilm's Star Wars: Episode 1 - The Phantom Menace.
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