UK cinema chain Vue has announced a deal with Virgin Media Business to upgrade its backbone network from copper to fibre to deliver a number of improvements to its operations.
The service will launch in 2014 by which time Virgin will have plugged all 82 Vue locations around the UK into its network to offer faster data transfer speeds for the firm and an improved website and booking experience for customers.
Vue runs its 779 screens at its locations from servers hosted in each branch. It said that by hooking these servers to the fibre network, which will offer speeds four times faster than its existing copper connections, it can monitor and fix screen issues far more quickly from its centralised management location.
It also said that it would provide faster insights on customer booking data, so it can make quicker decisions on which screens should be showing which films, helping them switch high-demand films to bigger screens as and when necessary.
Roland Jones, technical services director at Vue Entertainment, told V3 that moving to cable fibre services was key for the firm as its business is now almost entirely digital, with every projector effectively a computer on its network.
“We have a massively distribute estate of computers and previously we have been connecting those over ADSL but the need for better control and the pass data between sites, in both directions, means we need a better set-up,” he said.
“Cable allows a much more stable, synchronise and non-contended connection to all site, so we can improve on our reporting and request to change movies between different screens.”
Jones added that it would also improve working conditions for staff by allowing a better connection to the wider internet and intranet for accessing cloud applications or sharing corporate documents.
Lee Hull, sales director of business markets at Virgin Media Business, added that with cinema technology becoming more data intensive all the time, the upgrade is vital for Vue.
“For businesses like Vue, where customer satisfaction is at the core of their values, outdated corporate networks aren’t up to the challenge in an age where the latest films are shown in a much sharper quality, like 4K resolution, as well as in 3D,” he said.
Earlier this month Virgin Media Business announced an upgrade to its offering to provide 4G mobile phone services on top of fixed network services.
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