Fathom & Cinedigm: reinventing cinema entertainment

Tuesday's post on  A POWERFUL NOISE introduced me to Fathom.  It seems like a great service but I have no idea about the pricing.   I am curious to hear more from folks that have used it.

From Fathom's website:

Fathom, the entertainment division of National CineMedia (NCM), is reinventing the who, what, when, where and how of cinema entertainment. It’s a revolutionary concept that uses NCM’s vast nationwide Digital Content Network to deliver truly one-of-a-kind entertainment events — all showcased in amazing High Definition with Cinema Surround Sound — to movie theatre audiences across North America. And each benefits from extensive marketing support.

Working directly with the country’s leading entertainment producers, Fathom offers unique marketing and distribution opportunities for highly coveted programming: live concerts, theatrical and DVD premieres, live broadcasts from The New York Metropolitan Opera, sports events, exclusive stand-up comedy engagements and much more.

The Digital Content Network is comprised of more than 14,500 digital screens, with 75% of the screens in the top 49 markets. This puts well over half of US households within 10 miles of the theatres, including Regal Cinemas, United Artists, Edwards Theatres, AMC Theatres, Cinemark/Century, Clearview Cinemas, Kerasotes Theatres, Goodrich Quality Theaters, Hoyts Theatres, Marcus Theatres, Malco Theatres, National Amusements Theatres and Georgia Theatre Company. Additionally, Fathom has limited distribution in local performing arts centers and theatres in specific markets.

Fathom’s technical staff receives, tests, encrypts and digests source content for seamless playback over the network to all participating theatres’ auditoriums. Each auditorium is tested for optimum audio and visual presentation prior to event day. Plus, Fathom has a dedicated “event management” department that manages all troubleshooting before, during and after the event to ensure its success.

It's mostly been opera, concerts, and anime so far, but they have also presented This American Life and a live event with the film IOUSA.  The full list is here.

Another similar service is Cinedigm, which to date seems to have focused solely on live events.
Michael Walker over at PangoFilms just tipped me to this announcement in BusinessWeek that says that focus is about to change.  They have just done a distribution pact with Olympus Pictures  for some indie films. Things a be a changin'...