updated 06:45 pm EST, Thu November 15, 2007
Apple TV in the theater
An independent film maker last weekend successfully used an Apple TV to show his film on the big screen in a neighborhood theater in Brooklyn. Writer-director Scott Dacko of the new political film The Insurgents is using an Apple TV to replace expensive digital tape decks and circumvent many of the problems and expenses that plague digital film makers with limited budgets. "As far as I know, we're the first people to have ever done this," Dacko told The Register. "And it looked great."
Dacko admitted that the image appeared "a little flawed" in some places due to strong compression from Apple's video codec, but the entire setup cost pennies on the dollar when compared to the wide variety of digital media formats required by movie theaters.
"For an indie filmmaker, this is a huge cost, and it's a huge pain in the ass," Dacko said. "And you never know if they're really going to be able to play. The theater might say they take HDCam, but then you get there and they don't take HDCam SR. Or you've got 4.4.4 HDCam, and they only play 4.2.2."
Renting a low-quality DigiBeta tape deck would have cost the film maker $1,000, while renting an HDCam deck with the required HDCam projector would bring the cost up to $10,000, according to the report.
Dacko even admitted to purchasing the Apple TV the very night before the premiere of his movie.
"I wish I had thought of this before," he added. "I could just create multiple versions on my movie on Apple TV - in every possible aspect ratio and format. All the theater would have to do is plug it in."