Barco, a worldwide leader in the Digital Cinema industry, announced today that it has been selected by IMAX Corporation as the exclusive, worldwide projection technology partner for its IMAX® theaters for the next seven years. Through its selection of Barco’s Guinness World Record winning Xenon lamp-based digital projectors, IMAX will immediately enhance The IMAX Experience® in its global cinema network. In addition, IMAX theaters will benefit from a new generation of high-performance, laser-based projectors, which are expected to be deployed in 2013.
Over the years, IMAX has established its reputation as the leading provider of awe-inspiring, immersive cinema experiences. In Barco, it has found an industry acclaimed technology partner that is able to further differentiate and maximize The IMAX Experience®. In the first phase of the partnership, the parties will integrate an enhancement of Barco’s existing Xenon-based projectors for use in IMAX’s current backlog and new system signings. This solution will be available in the second half of 2012. Simultaneously, Barco and IMAX will co-develop leading-edge laser technology – benefiting from Barco’s unique laser innovations and IMAX’s licensed Kodak IP. The companies will work together exclusively to manage the transition from Xenon-based to high-performance, laser-based projectors, which are expected to be deployed in 2013.
“Being selected by IMAX as the exclusive supplier for the world’s most immersive cinema experience is a strong endorsement of our leadership in the Digital Cinema projection business,” explains Wim Buyens, Senior Vice President of Barco’s Entertainment Division. “This partnership will strengthen our position as the premium provider of state-of-the-art cinema technologies that provide the perfect match for every screen, whether small or large. What’s more, it will enable us to further ramp up our manufacturing scalability and to continue setting the standard for future technologies.”
“As we continue to expand globally, it is critical that our technology partner keeps pace with our ambitions around innovation and growth,” said IMAX Chief Business Development Officer Robert D. Lister. “Barco is that partner. A leader in advanced digital and laser technology, Barco is well-known for its quality and integrity. We believe the result of this collaboration will further differentiate The IMAX Experience® for consumers, strengthening our value proposition for studios and exhibitors.”
Todd Hoddick, Vice President for the Barco Entertainment Division in North America, adds: “We are honored to have been selected by IMAX as their worldwide and exclusive digital projection technology partner. We are both excited and committed to bring the full weight of Barco’s operational excellence, integrity and ability to deliver on the ideals of the IMAX brand. Together we are determined to redefine the immersive cinema experience.”
The agreement with IMAX underscores Barco’s commitment to offer exhibitors the most comprehensive suite of products and solutions to create a premium movie experience in their auditoriums at the lowest cost of ownership. This is exactly what has made Barco a valued technology leader, – as illustrated by its long list of industry firsts and its Guinness World Record for the brightest projector – as well as a global market leader – reflected in the company’s 40% worldwide market share, market leadership in China and a strong global customer base.
Being appointed as the exclusive supplier of projection technology for the largest screens in the industry is a new milestone for Barco’s Entertainment Division, which has a long history of providing high-quality equipment to the Advertising, Rental & Staging, Branding & Retail, Sports, Digital Cinema and Corporate AV industry. In these markets, Barco continues to innovate with a full portfolio of pioneering imaging and sound products that optimize productivity and range from compact, reliable projectors for mid-sized businesses to the most powerful projectors, LED displays and image processors for operation in a broad spectrum of entertainment venues and outdoor events.