In an effort to expand its services from the analog world into the digital, Thomson will be announcing a new division dedicated to digital cinema and electronic content distribution to the home.

(The Hollywood Reporter) -- In an effort to expand its services from the analog world into the digital, Thomson will be announcing a new division dedicated to digital cinema and electronic content distribution to the home.

Called Electronic Content Distribution Services, the Burbank-based division will be part of the Technicolor family of businesses and will be run by president Joe Berchtold.

Berchtold, who was co-leader of strategy and acquisitions at Thomson, will be responsible for the overall strategic development and growth for the division on a worldwide basis. He will oversee Technicolor's digital-cinema venture, including managing the 31 Technicolor systems in the marketplace and delivering studios' digital-cinema files to the 85 total systems in the U.S. marketplace.

On the digital-cinema side, the company is engaged in four initiatives. The first, SkyArc, is a distribution management system for digital content being used by cinema advertiser Screenvision. Used to manage the high-definition content of cinema advertising, SkyArc is upgradeable to digital cinema when a viable model is put in place. The company also has spent the past five years offering distribution services to the studios for their digital files. And ECDS wants to offer managed services to exhibitors once a transition to digital cinema begins.

But perhaps most importantly, the division is in the midst of working with all parts of the market to try to figure out the business models that can drive the digital-cinema rollout.

Meanwhile, the company's Electronic Content Distribution to the home provides managed services to enable content distribution over IP networks for telecom and online retail customers.

"We want to do the equivalent for what we do for DVDs for VOD, helping to make sure there is a process by which content gets securely distributed to the people who have the rights to use it," Berchtold said.

In March, Thomson completed a three-way acquisition of ContentGuard, a develop of digital rights management, with Microsoft and Time Warner.