DEG Welcomes IMAX As a Member | Meet Vikram Arumilli, SVP and GM of IMAX Streaming and Consumer Technology

DEG Welcomes IMAX As a Member | Meet Vikram Arumilli, SVP and GM of IMAX Streaming and Consumer Technology

May 22, 2023 | DEG welcomes IMAX, a innovator in entertainment technology, back to the organization. IMAX combines proprietary software, architecture, and equipment to create experiences that take viewers beyond the edge of their seats to a world they have never imagined, enabling top filmmakers and studios to connect with audiences in extraordinary ways, whether in theaters or the home. IMAX Enhanced offers the most immersive viewing experience outside of a theater by bringing together best-in-class certified devices, remastered content and elevated streaming for the ultimate home viewing experience.

DEG recently caught up with Vikram Arumilli, IMAX’s SVP and GM of IMAX Streaming and Consumer Technology, to discuss the company’s vision for expanding high streaming quality and creative intent across the digital entertainment ecosystem.

DEG: Can you tell us a bit about IMAX’s vision for preservation of creative intent across any device?  

VA: IMAX’s vision for the preservation of creative intent across any device has been at the heart of what we have done theatrically for decades. It’s what has allowed us to build such a deep following among our fans and gain the support of the biggest studios and industry-leading filmmakers. We know that often when content is consumed outside of theaters, it’s done so in ways that provide convenience for consumers, while sacrificing creator intent due to the quality of devices, and quality of transmission. We want to be the mark of creator intent, quality, and premium experiences wherever content is being consumed, regardless of the device or platform used for consumption.

DEG: What are the biggest challenges in delivering streaming content with the required quality in home entertainment windows? 

VA: Firstly, there is fragmentation in terms of devices, viewing environments, and bandwidth availability. This fragmentation makes it difficult to ensure consistent quality across various platforms and devices. Additionally, the absence of a standard definition or mark for what constitutes quality further complicates the delivery of streaming content. These challenges must be addressed to ensure that viewers can enjoy the highest quality streaming experiences in their home entertainment windows regardless of how they consume it.

DEG: How does IMAX continue to innovate in the physical media (disc) space?

VA: Physical media buyers are the most devoted fans, and the ones who care the most about quality. To that end, we’re looking to establish a more prominent presence in this space,  whether with theatrical content or prestige episodic content. Our proprietary DMR (digital remastering) process allows us to deliver the highest fidelity picture in 4K UHD HDR10+ format, complimented by the true IMAX theatrical mix available in 7.1.4 (using DTS:X). Furthermore, content shot with select IMAX cameras allows for optimized and/or native 8K content delivery, resulting in a more vibrant and visually captivating picture on a growing selection of top-of-the-line 8K televisions.

DEG: What do you view as the biggest opportunity for IMAX in the next 5 years?

VA: One of the biggest opportunities for IMAX in the next five years lies is our IMAX 3.0 strategy. We are a technology company that enables the best premium, high quality content consumption experiences wherever that content is being consumed. This presents us with a tremendous opportunity to be the mark of quality, not just for movie fans,  but to consumers of other types of content we will now enable as well… in the home and beyond.      

Avatar (2009)

DEG: Is there a particular piece (or pieces) of content that originally sparked your passion for state-of-the-art image and sound quality in entertainment?

VA: I’ve always had a deep interest in sports and media, and entertainment played a significant role in my childhood. I found myself captivated by small details in live sports broadcasts, including the iconic NBA on NBC jingle (Roundball Rock), the innovative on-field cameras used by the original XFL, the glowing puck featured in NHL games by Fox, and the visually striking graphics used in the original NFL on FOX broadcasts.That said, it was a theatrical experience that truly solidified my passion. I distinctly remember watching the original Avatar for the first time at the Prasads IMAX in Hyderabad, India, back in 2009. The sheer scope and scale of the movie left me awestruck. From the epic visuals to the sound, I was completely mesmerized by how the movie was made. And the rest is history.

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