All About The Prima Cinema Home Theater Experience

Get the red carpet home theater experience from Prima Cinema

Prima Cinema is undergoing re-organization of its platform and partnerships, which may include changes to its required equipment and content offerings. When more information becomes available, their webpage and this article will be updated accordingly. In the meantime, the following provides an overview of the Prima Cinema concept and its previous equipment requirements and related costs.

Home Theater of the Stars

Kanye and Kim have one, so do Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher, and Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi are in the "club" as well. What's the deal? They all have Prima Cinema integrated into their home theater systems - and you can add Prima Cinema to your home theater too - for a price.

Empty movie theater
Empty movie theater.  technotr / Getty Images

What Prima Cinema Is and How It Works

Prima Cinema is a system that allows you to watch select first-run Hollywood Movies in your own home theater without the hassle of driving to the local cinema and hunting for a parking spot, standing in the lines, and putting up with rude moviegoers talking to each other or on their cell phones.

Prima Cinema Player

The first part of the system is the purchase and installation of the Prima Cinema Movie player. Prima Cinema delivers movies to the player via internet download, where it is stored until viewed. The base player is capable of outputting 10-bit color at 1080p/24 resolution. 4K is available from higher end entries in Prima's product line. Aspect ratio playback fluctuates with respect to the aspect ratio used by the filmmaker or studio for the specific film release, and audio can be output in Uncompressed Multi-channel PCM.

To connect to the rest of your home theater system, the Prima Cinema player has two HDMI outputs, one of which can output both audio and video, and a second output that is used for audio output only, for cases in which that is required (similar to this example), or desired by user.

Also, there is a USB service port (not used for media playback), as well as a built-in Ethernet/LAN port for connection to your internet router. The Prima Cinema must be connected to the internet - access to 10mbps broadband speed is required - 20mbps is desired for the most efficient movie file downloading process.

Movies are stored on a 2-Terabyte Raid-5 disk storage system which can store up to 50 films (they can be stored until they are viewed - once viewing starts you have 24 hours to watch each film).

The Prima Cinema Player can be shelf or rack mounted, as desired.

The Movies

Of course, in addition to the player, you need access to actual movies you can watch. Well, here is what you need to know. The movies are supplied with a 24-hour viewing window at $500 dollars a pop. You can extend the rental period, but you will incur additional fees.

That's right, in addition to forking out $35,000 for the base movie player (and its installation), you need to be able to afford the daily $500 rental fee to watch that favorite movie. Also, it is important to note that you are required to rent 10 movies upfront ($5,000).

With that 24-hour rental window, be sure to clear out your appointment calendar and any other distractions that might interrupt your movie viewing - so, just as with going to the movies, you still need to set a specific time aside to watch your movie, you just get to watch it at home.

Also, to ensure security, films can only be viewed after Prima Cinema player recognizes the authorized owner's fingerprint using the player's fingerprint reader.

The Bottom Line

If you have some extra cash to spend on your home theater setup, as well as a continuing flow of disposable income to satisfy your movie watching habits, then the Prima Cinema might be just for you. You will not only have something in common with some of your favorite celebrities, but even China is getting into the act, courtesy of a partnership between IMAX and Prima Cinema.

One thing to keep in mind is that even though Prima Cinema will work with most home theater receivers, TVs, and video projectors - you really need a high-end home theater setup to fully appreciate what this service offers. In other words, that $35,000 cost for the Prima Cinema player and $500 rental for each movie is only a small portion of your total cost of enjoyment.

The Prima Cinema System is only available through select dealer/installers.

If you are interested in the Prima Cinema concept and it is not available, there is also a similar service called Red Carpet Cinema that offers a first-run film movie rental program in combination with supporting equipment.

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