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Tuesday, January 8, 2013
PRIMA Cinema tricks out home theaters

By Katie Linendoll

PRIMA Cinema
For $35,000 (and $500 per movie), you can watch new movie releases from the comfort of your home.
We’ve all seen "MTV Cribs," so it’s no secret that pro athletes love to trick out their home theaters. And if you go through the expense of having a home theater, watching flicks like "Scarface," "The Godfather" and whatever else is out on DVD is so yesterday. Why watch old movies when you can view the same films that are currently playing in theaters from the comfort of your own home? Baller.

PRIMA Cinema is a California-based company that can make you a Hollywood insider. PRIMA members can enjoy newly released films at home as soon as they’re released in theaters. All they have to do is download (not stream) the movie for $500 (apiece) from the PRIMA unit, which connects via HDMI. The company promises that PRIMA will deliver much higher quality than Blu-ray disks as well as top-notch sound in lossless PCM or Dolby TrueHD.

For security purposes, the unit even comes with a remote fingerprint reader, so that only the owner can play the movie. PRIMA also supports full HD and 3D films, with a particular focus on opening-weekend releases, and each device comes with 2TB of storage, which allows for 50 full-length films.

Todd Lokken, PRIMA's senior vice president of marketing, says that private screening parties are popular among members. “Many of our clients hold their own 'premiere' parties, just like in Hollywood -- but with a much smaller audience, obviously,” says Lokken. Red carpet not included.

I should note that it’s not cheap. At a cost of $35,000 for PRIMA alone, the unit is for the early adopters and the elite. And to think I was upset about Netflix jacking its price up a few dollars two years ago. On the bright side, no athlete wants to get caught in public sobbing to "Les Miserables."

While PRIMA officials say that athletes and team owners have already purchased the system, they’re keeping the names under wraps out of respect for client privacy. Still, I have the perfect spokesperson in mind for the system -- none other than former NFL receiver Terrell Owens, who already has his own built-in catchphrase: “PRIMA, get your popcorn ready!”

Stay tuned daily as I spotlight more noteworthy gadgets from the CES show floor that sports fans and even pro franchises should watch.