Prima Cinema brings movies to home theaters on the day of the release for $500 a pop.

prima cinema brings movies to the home on day of release

While it might be hard to believe, Hollywood has long viewed the TV with suspicion, fearing that the “box” (now screen) in the living room would destroy the “movie business.” Since the early 1950s, when theatrical films began airing on TV, theater owners/operators have worried that if viewers could watch movies at home it would mean empty seats in the theaters.

Hollywood fought back in the late 1950s and early 1960s with a variety of gimmicks including 3D and CinemaScope – the former still being seen by many as a gimmick (James Cameron excluded) while the latter is why movies went widescreen and caused years of that dreadful “pan and scan” effect.  However, none of that was enough to slow down TV or home entertainment.

But with each new invention such as pay cable, the VCR, Laserdisc, DVD, high definition Blu-ray discs and, of course, streaming video, Hollywood has fought back, claiming it will be run out of business. Of course, time has prima cinema brings movies to the home on day of releaseproven that its concerns were a little overblown. Rather, these instances actually filled studio coffers with new revenue streams. Moreover, none of those aforementioned formats or technologies ever threatened to see first run movies bypassing theaters.

But now, perhaps theater owners have something to genuinely worry about as California-based Prima Cinema has developed a new system that could distribute theatrical run movies at home. For viewers, this means no sticky floors, no uncomfortable seats and no annoying patrons who talk back to the screen (you know who you are). And it also means no waiting for pay-per-view, Blu-ray/DVD or Netflix to see the latest movie at home. Prima Cinema is looking to deliver theatrical run movies that can be streamed at home even as they play at the local multiplex.

This will come at a cost however.

Wait a few months and the Blu-ray disc will set you back around $25. But if you want to see it the same day it arrives in theaters, it will cost you $35,000 for the player and biometric device, then $500 for each movie – enough to make the $15 movie theater tickets in New York City look like a bargain.

The concept here is that Prima would encode the film prior to the wide theatrical release and make it available to the Prima Cinema Player in a subscriber’s home. This would provide a theatrical-quality 1080p resolution digital copy to be stored on the player’s hard drive, ready to be viewed for at least as long as the film is in wide release. Of course, the studios wouldn’t want this system to be used by digital pirates, so each player would reportedly use a biometric security device that would “watermark” the films. Should it be copied, even with a camcorder, the watermark could identify the source. As planned, movies couldn’t be copied and could only be shown within a residence.

The question is whether there would be an audience for these movies at $500, but apparently there is at least the perception that an audience exists, because the system is garnering interest from some big names including Best Buy, Universal Pictures and venture capital firm Syncom Venture Partners.

The pricing, which is far in excess of the $60 that was to accompany the same day release of Tower Heist until theater owners managed to get the project nixed, is certainly aimed at a particular clientele – namely rich movie buffs who work at Hollywood studios or venture capital firms. And if $500 a film sounds unreasonable, consider that for just $20,000 you can get a full year’s subscription and enjoy multiple first run films – provided somone ponies up the $35,000 for the hardware, anyway.

The latter option could be popular if individuals get a “pool” of friends together and create a club. Considering the cost of going to the movies, it might only take getting 20 buddies to each chip in $1000 to see movies throughout the year at a friend’s home theater. But the question still remains: will enough content be provided to make this viable?

Aside from Universal, movie studios haven’t exactly been crawling over each other to get in line, so until that happens, and the price structure becomes a clearer (or more affordable), we should probably plan on continuing to wait – either in line at the theater or for a Blu-ray release.

Home Theater

Phiaton’s active lifestyle headphones do noise canceling on a budget

Looking for a set of active noise-canceling earbuds that can keep up with your active lifestyle, without breaking the bank? Phiaton's new Curve BT 120 NC could be just the ticket.
Gaming

Xbox One X vs. PS4 Pro: Which Console Is More Powerful?

Far from cooling down, the console wars are only getting more intense. We compare Microsoft's Xbox One X to Sony's PlayStation 4 Pro to help you decide which premium console is right for you.
Home Theater

The best Dolby Atmos movies for your home theater sound as good as they look

If you've got your hands on some sweet Dolby Atmos gear, the next step is to find films that take advantage of it. These are our picks in every genre for the best Dolby Atmos movies currently available on Blu-ray and streaming services.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Amazon Prime right now (December 2018)

Prime Video provides subscribers with access to a host of fantastic films, but sorting through the catalog can be an undertaking. Luckily, we've done the work for you. Here are the best movies on Amazon Prime Video right now.
Home Theater

5 sonic stocking stuffers to improve your loved ones’ listening life

Looking for some simple and affordable gifts to get the music nerd in your family? Here are five great gift ideas that will improve their listening life -- and won't cost you an arm and a leg to give them.
Home Theater

Set your ears free with the best completely wireless earbuds

If you can't stand the tangle of cords, or you're just excited about completely wireless earbuds, you're going to need some help separating the wheat from the chaff. Our list serves up the best true wireless earbuds around.
Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s more difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.
Home Theater

Block the outside world, tune into your own with the best in-ear headphones

Over-the-ear headphones offer top-flight sound, but they're not so easy to take along with you. If you're looking to upgrade your portable sound, check out our favorite in-ear headphones -- there's a model for every user and every budget.
Home Theater

These awesome A/V receivers will swarm you with surround sound at any budget

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to shopping for a receiver, so we assembled our favorites for 2018, at multiple price points and all loaded with features, from Dolby Atmos to 4K HDR, and much more.
Movies & TV

Celebrate the 25th anniversary of ‘The X-Files’ with the show’s 10 best episodes

The X-Files premiered 25 years ago, so here are the 10 best episodes of the award-winning sci-fi series. From alien-abduction drama to hilarious satires, these are the best episodes from all 11 seasons of the hit series.
Movies & TV

Can't get enough lightsaber action? Here's how to get your Star Wars fix online

Few of us want to deal with DVDs or Blu-ray discs anymore. Unfortunately, the Star Wars movies are few and far between when it comes to streaming. If you want to watch Star Wars online, check out our guide on where to find the films online.
Home Theater

Streaming services blast past networks for the most scripted TV shows in 2018

For the first time in history, streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon, produced more original scripted series than broadcast or cable channels, setting a new record for the number of TV shows on the air.
Home Theater

Netflix vs. Hulu vs. Amazon Prime: Battle of the streaming giants

Trying to figure out which subscription streaming service to use while sticking to a frugal entertainment budget? Check out our updated comparison of the big three: Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, and Hulu.