New Life for Old Cinemas

Nov. 3, 2004
Crown International and JBL Professional have introduced the DigitalB-ChainNetworkBridge (DBCBridge), which enables cinema owners and managers to easily repurpose theaters for alternative applications such as pay-per-view sports and entertainment events, multi-site corporate meetings and even live performances.The DBCBridge technology distributes multiple channels of uncompressed digital audio over standard fast Ethernet hardware for use in traditional 35mm cinema, digital cinema and e-cinema applications.  “Digital B-Chain is unique,” said Stephen Morris, Director of Marketing for Cinema and Touring with Crown International, “in that it enables cinemas to cost-effectively upgrade to digital cinema-readiness without the massive cost layout of converting to Digital Cinema. And yet it immediately delivers quantifiable improvements in sound system performance, efficiency and reliability.” The DBCBridge accepts standard analog and/or AES digital audio and CobraNet™ digital channels from other Cinema processors (Dolby®, DTS®), Cinema Servers, or Alternative content Media Players. It bridges these sourcesto a Crown DBC network for distribution to amplifiers. The DBCBridge also provides the necessary system equalization, which is stored and recalled via presets for use in both feature films and alternative content programming.“Digital B-Chain technology is being applauded by theater-goers and theater managers alike,” said Chuck Goodsell, Director of Cinema Marketing at JBL Professional. “As we see the number of installed systems growing, it has become evident that DBC has emerged as the system of choice for this market.” DBC Systems are being installed worldwide with locations in Switzerland, Japan, and the US. An example of this growth is evidenced by the rapid adoption of DBC within the MarcusTheatres chain. Marcus has installed three DBC systems to date in Elgin, IL, Addison, IL and Columbus, OH to complement their new UltraScreen® locations, and more are on the way. Mark Collins, Manager of Projection Services for MarcusTheaters observed, “System control is, perhaps, the most important consideration for us. We need to be able to monitor and control every aspect of the system”Crown International ( is headquartered in Elkhart, IN. JBL Professional ( is headquartered in Northridge, CA. Both companies are members of the Harman Professional (HPro) group of Harman International companies (, which also include AKG, AMEK, BSS Audio, dbx Professional, Lexicon Pro, Soundcraft, and Studer.

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