Movies, of course, started as reels of film and remained like that for the better part of a century. About six years ago, digital distribution began and those movies were distributed as discs or on hard drives. Now, the three biggest theater chains in the country – Regal, AMC and Cinemark – have all but assured satellite distribution will begin to take hold.
/Film report that both studios and cinema chains are almost ready to start using satellite connections to provide cinemas with movies digitally. Using satellites make sense since it can provide exceptional download speeds as there’s no upstream to deal with (most satellite connections still require another type of connection for uploading).
Many cinemas (I’m British, sue me) already use digital projection technology but it still relies on something being physically shipped to each location. By effectively implementing a digital distribution system for new releases it would mean no shipping fees, lost/damaged reels or storage devices and, from the studios’ point of view, tighter control of the movie’s distribution.
The article suggests potential problems if some sort of connection problem would happen but I don’t think that the feed would be active during show times, rather it would be downloaded once in advance (similar to how Steam works) and then made available to use. It’d be insane to have an active connection for every movie at every show time.