ESA title


  • ACTIVITYFeasibility Study
  • STATUSCompleted
  • THEMATIC AREAMedia, Culture and Sport

Objectives of the service

The project ISIDE intends to develop, implement and validate a satellite based system of N-Cinema (N for networked), oriented at providing a range of services and applications in the field of D- (Digital) and E- (Electronic) Cinema.

Over a period of two years, the project will realise a permanent validation platform for N-Cinema, in order to cover the complete representation of the relevant service value chains. The objective will be to validate and promote different forms of exploitation of the theatres, ranging from featuring digital movies, digital advertising and alternative contents to live events, shows in virtual reality and interactive applications. The project would also optimize and validate new European standards in order to provide a complete and working platform for digital entertainment distribution.

A key point to be verified will be the applicability of specific business models which apply to the different opportunities for exploitation of the ISIDE system.

The project will be oriented at developing a sound technological platform adopting a set of specifications intended to maximise a combination of interoperability and sustainability. Using an interactive satellite-based delivery network, the ISIDE platform will be operated by a central facility, thus eliminating the need for the theatres to manage and control the various equipment.

ISIDE will be instrumental in launching a network of cinemas with a critical mass to allow the continuation of the operations after the conclusion of the ESA contract on a self-sustainable basis.

The N-Cinema platform will become an asset open to third parties interested in developing, testing and validating innovative applications targeted at digital theatres.

  1. Use Satellite connection between theatres and Cinema-Service-Centre (C-NOC):
    • Support of Push for contents delivery;
    • Support of Live Events for new contents and new business models.
  2. Establish a real connection between the cinemas, through a satellite bidirectional network for content delivery, with the relevant return channel and remote control;
  3. Create, through a dedicated uplink facility and a diffused network of receiving/interactive Networked-Cinema (N-Cinema) sites, a distribution/exchange highway for contents and events, overcoming the barriers between various types of cinemas;
  4. Create an "on-line" catalogue of contents to be requested from Cinemas and delivered through satellite;
  5. Set-up a permanent Validation Platform, located at BIC Lazio facilities at Tiburtino Technopole in Rome, able to represent a "reference ambience" for test-screening contents, testing technologies and facilities, checking innovative exploitation new business models. BIClazio shall also promote Incubation services for SMEs ( small and medium enterprises) from the audiovisual sector, interested in deploying testing and promoting their innovative services through the facility;
  6. Create a "Computer Aided Cinema", i.e. end to end digital solution with the improvement in the operation of the cinemas and in the distribution of contents.
  7. Perform, through the Validation Platform, a real market start-up through a PILOT Operation period of 12 months where projections open to paying public will be performed, with a wide range of innovative "digital" contents that seconds the ultimate international market trends.
  8. In the first year of the project, a major promotional event during the Festival named "Cinema - Festa Internazionale di Roma", bringing prestige and visibility to the project at the highest levels of the industrial and institutional bodies in the international Cinema and Audiovisual landscape.

Value chain:

Current Status

The pilot activities of the ISIDE n-Cinema system have been completed. The final data package with all the deliverables has been finalised and the Final Review has been successfully carried out on the 27th of April 2010.

Since the Digital Cinema industry is emerging and the satellite is a key asset, the ISIDE consortium has decided to make available to potentially interested projects the ISIDE validation platform (VP) at BIC Lazio for additional two years after the conclusion of the ISIDE contract with ESA. The ISIDE VP is made available, in association to a demonstrator of the digital cinema kit at ESRIN, as part of the ESA Charter for Applications Platform (C4AP).

It is worth noting that today the Digital Cinema is a reality, especially in the Italian market. The ISIDE project is already generating some important revenues to its partners.

Prime Contractor(s)

Status Date

Updated: 27 September 2011