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Re: Kodak and Cineon

In a message dated 97-10-24 10:06:40 EDT, Alan wrote:

<< I fail to understand why they feel this will have no effect on their
Spirit optics and sensor manufacturing activities? >>

Two Kodak core businesses are optics and special image sensors (which they
make mainly for the U.S. government).  Little doubt, Kodak considers imaging
blocks for Spirits to be special-order products that are assembled whenever
Philips needs them.  For Kodak, it's probably a good business; all the
necessary R&D has already been done and it's just a matter of fabrication.
 It's not like they have to maintain a staff of programmers to debug and
update software for Spirit, and it's not Kodak's sales and support staff that
have to sell and maintain it.

<< If  the size of the worldwide market for Genesis and Lightning does not
justify their continued participation, I would be intrigued to learn why they
feel the conventional telecine market is different - or are we on the verge
of a major increase in world demand for telecines? >>

I think the problem is Genesis and Lightining are niche products which
require considerable ongoing investment of time and capital for support,
software development, etc.  This type of investment usually takes years to
pay off.   
What Kodak needs right now to get Wall Street off its back are investments
(or "divestments") that give the bottom line a quick boost!

Being a multibillion-dollar company already, I suspect Kodak might have asked
themselves if it was worth spending 10% to 20% of their management time on
the Cineon/Lightining division if it was only going to make them a couple
million dollars more.  They accomplished their main goal, which was to show
people that film is an ideal transport medium for digital effects.

Of course, should they decide that they just have to get back into the
digital film scanner business again, they could simply buy the next biggest
scanner manufacturer in the world, and the three that come after that.

<< I would be intrigued to learn why they feel the conventional telecine
market is different - or are we on the verge of a major increase in world
demand for 
telecines? >>

Looking at the whole digital television situation, it's most probable that
there will be a gradual trend towards DTV, not a klondike gold rush.
  Rebuilding all the TV stations, production, and post production facilities,
and converting or replacing all of the existing TV receivers in the country
will take years, and cost billions of dollars to accomplish.  During the
transition period, existing telecines will still be useable by upconverting
their outputs.  So there won't be a big pileup of new telecine orders right

But one thing has to be said about video and film: nothing ever goes
backwards.  Once people got used to color in films and TV, nobody wanted
monochrome (except for special effect).  Once people get used to high quality
pictures on digital television sets, they won't sit still for today's quality
levels.  When television picture quality becomes a big deal, business for
film and telecine manufacturers will be very good.

Cordially yours,
Christopher Bacon 

++ Thanks to Jesper Andersen of Copenhagen for support of the TIG in 1997 ++
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