Hoyts enters digital cinema age

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Hoyts enters digital cinema age

HP scores major server and storage deal.

Cinema giant Hoyts will convert its cinemas Australia-wide to digital projection underpinned by server and storage infrastructure supplied by HP.

It is expected 32 cinema complexes will go digital under the project, covering "over 300 screens".  Deployment will start in Sydney as a proof-of-concept with full rollout to commence early next year.

HP servers and storage solutions will be used to run theatre management systems centrally and at each site. The systems are used to control multiple screenings at once.

Specifically, HP ProLiant DL380 servers running an SQL database and specialist applications, along with HP StorageWorks X1600 network storage system and HP StorageWorks modular smart array, will be installed into each of the cinema complexes.

Content will be stored in a library management system housed on the HP modular smart array. Large sites will require 14TB of usable storage to store the content.

The theatre management system server "will ingest and store content, then process, schedule and manage the transfer of content to individual auditorium servers for screening", according to Hoyts group technology director Adam Wrightson.

"The servers will be required to store feature films, trailers and advertising with features having average file sizes in excess of 250GB," he said.

"Because these servers may be ingesting several pieces of content at the same time, strong processing power, fast file sharing and reliability are a critical requirement."

The theatre management system will also be connected to an HP ProCurve 2901al switch via a 10Gbps connection. Each auditorium has its own network running on HP 2510 switches, Wrightson said.

HP will also be supplying desktops, printers and dedicated back-up server solutions for each of the sites.

Partners Daraco Services and eintellego have also landed work as part of the deal.

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