The purpose of a community focused organisation such as the Cinema Technology Committee (CTC) is not just to deliberate on matters of importance to the industry but also to act and support where required to improve outcomes. Recently, CTC has partnered with the UK Cinema Associate to address growing concern by charities and moviegoers over the state of audio description equipment within cinemas in the UK.
“Delivering the best outcomes for moviegoers relies on cinema operators regularly checking and maintaining all their equipment in the auditorium,” says Richard Mitchell, president of CTC. “Of course, due to the nature of the technology and its placement in the auditorium, audio description hardware can be inaccessible so can go unchecked for long periods of time. From a growing number of reports, it appears that some legacy hardware (which relies on infra-red technology) has either lost the ability to broadcast signals at sufficient strength to cover the auditorium or stopped working completely, thus causing a negative experience for consumers who rely on this service to enjoy the cinema experience. Often it is only when a moviegoer highlights the concern that the exhibitor realises there is a problem. The intention of both the UKCA and CTC through our joint initiative is to raise awareness over the importance of testing audio description equipment regularly,” Mitchell adds.
CTC has made its unencrypted test DCP available to cinemas. This includes within it additional test functionality to check output of channel 8 (traditionally used for audio description) from the audio processor or server. This freely available DCP also comes with an installation and best-practice guide for checking audio description and is available via the CTC website: www.cinema-technology.com/resources.
“The UKCA is hugely grateful to CTC for its help in developing a resource to help support the better maintenance and testing of assistive technology in cinemas. This will make a real and meaningful difference to the big screen experience for disabled cinemagoers and is just one example of a productive ongoing dialogue and partnership”, commented Phil Clapp, CEO of the UKCA.
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The membership and sponsorship scheme launched this year at CineEurope enables CTC to fund some of the exciting initiatives, research projects, training courses and events that the organisation has planned over the coming years. As a not-for-profit organisation, all of the money raised goes directly back into supporting the global cinema community and, therefore, creating a better experience for moviegoers around the world. Please join us today by visiting www.cinema-technology.com