Xinghe Huanyu COCO Park is located in the central business district of Shenzhen, China. The cinema was formerly known as the Futian Broadway Cinema, which opened in 2006. In 2021, a new cinema owner took over and chose cinema solutions from GDC Technology to upgrade the sight and sound. It is now a multiplex of five auditoriums and eight VIP-class theatres with a seating capacity of more than 750 seats.
After eight years of operations, Futian Broadway Cinema decided to sell the business as the cinema is not as competitive as before. Nowadays, moviegoers have a much higher expectation from experiencing motion pictures with bright images with vivid colors. In China, audience surveys were also showing an increased demand for immersive sound. Despite the China cinema market in 2020 was smaller than that in 2019, there was an increase of RMB 80 million box office at immersive sound theatres. The box office of immersive sound theatres increased from 4.8% in 2019 to 8.4% in 2020. To maintain competitiveness, Xinghe Huanyu Cinema decided to have a complete audio upgrade after taking over the business.
The upgrade of Xinghe Huanyu Cinema mainly has two aspects: 1) sound experience; and 2) operation management.
First, the cinema equipped one auditorium with a DTS:X immersive audio system to fully immerse the audiences by delivering a rich, realistic 3D sound experience. The immersive surround accurately locates specific sounds (known as objects) in various speakers throughout the auditorium. Just as the filmmaker intended, DTS:X immersive sound is coming from any direction toward the audience: from the front, from the ceiling, or even surrounding them. Mr. Zhu Ming, Assistant General Manager of Shenzhen Xinghe Huanyu Cinema Investment Management Co., Ltd. said, “Nowadays, moviegoers are demanding, they have a much higher expectation on sound experience. To fulfil their needs, we have equipped the theatre with DTS:X immersive sound solution to offer realistic sound effects making the scene more impressive and immersive. It also improves the cinema quality standard.”
Xinghe Huanyu Cinema has adopted GDC SR-1000 media servers and Cinema Automation CA2.0 to improve operation management. Mr. Zhu explained, “the cinema upgrade aims to improve both the moviegoing experience and cinema operation efficiency to reduce costs.” The five auditoriums are equipped with the ultra-reliable SR-1000 IMBs designed with diskless CineCache 2TB (built-in cache memory). The IMBs has changed the way how projectionists work that they no longer need to waste the time or energy to ingest the content. The SR-1000 IMB with CineCache enables incredibly fast content ingestion during playback. It allows the content transmission at lightning speed across IMBs via 1Gbps LAN without interrupting playback. It takes only approximately 30 minutes to transfer an average movie between IMBs.
The five auditoriums with SR-1000 IMBs are seamlessly integrated with GDC’s Cinema Automation CA2.0, which is a combination of an automated theatre management system and a giant library of thousands of movies. The CA2.0 allows the automatic projection equipment power-on/off, quality check, show playlist generation and update, playback, show cancellation, and server storage space clearance; ingestion and transmission of advertisements and keys, etc. Part of automation is enabled by a Power Management Adapter (PMA) which intelligently switches on/off of the cinema equipment; and Quality Management System (QMS) which monitors the projection quality, sound level, screen brightness, color, and more. If the measurements do the match the pre-set values, QMS will alert the operator promptly.
The upgraded Xinghe Huanyu Cinema opened on October 1, 2021 and immediately received positive feedback from the moviegoers:
• “Both the seats and the acoustics are even better, although the previous Broadway acoustics were already good.”
• “The two-hour movie-watching experience was very good. It was a treat!”
GDC’s Cinema Automation system CA2.0 helped reduce the cinema’s manpower, storage hardware, and personnel training time that allows the cinema to concentrate on improving other areas such as customer service.