Michael Karagosian is president of MKPE Consulting LLC, a consultancy he founded in 1988. Originally focused on the development of cinema products and theme park systems, the company has evolved to address the challenging demands of business development for emerging technologies in cinema.
Michael has broad experience and deep connections in the cinema industry, where he plays important roles in strategy and business development in new technologies. He led negotiations for Virtual Print Fee equipment subsidies for the diverse regions of Ireland, Philippines, and South America. He consults in the area of intellectual property in cinema technology. He has played instrumental roles advising strategy and marketing for numerous industry players. And he is recognized as a leader in the development of standards for digital cinema.
Michael is an Electrical Engineering and Computer Science graduate of U.C. Berkeley, and performed graduate work in technology and business at Santa Clara University and UCLA.
Michael's career began in Silicon Valley with Interdesign, where he designed semiconductor integrated circuits for Intersil, Burr Brown, Memorex, and others. His interests pulled him towards audio, first as an executive of consumer loudspeaker manufacturer DWD Audio, and later with Dolby Laboratories, where he led the development of Dolby's early cinema products for film. At Dolby, he developed 70mm split surround, introduced with the original release of Apocalypse Now, and precursor to the 5.1 format. He led the development of Dolby's flagship studio and cinema products in the early 80's. One of his products, the Dolby CP200, became the reference cinema sound processor for THX. Hooked on cinema, Mr. Karagosian continued to explore audio for cinema as Chief Engineer for BGW Systems, where he oversaw development of systems for large format and special venue cinema. As a consultant, he employed his talents in large format cinema development for Iwerks Entertainment.
In the 90's, with Clyde McKinney, Michael co-founded, and was President of, Cinema Group Ltd, responsible for product concept, marketing, and sales for the CinemAcoustics division of Peavey Electronics. CinemAcoustics offered the first complete line of THX-Approved sound equipment for cinemas, and its sales efforts extended worldwide. Michael's technology contribution was the CinemaMatrix™ digital matrix surround decoder, installed in top screening rooms, including those of Skywalker Sound and Pixar. In the late 80's and 90's, Mr. Karagosian also consulted Walt Disney Imagineering in the development of animation control and sound systems for new attractions and theme parks.
In 2000, he became a founding member of the SMPTE digital cinema standards committee, and has been the longest standing committee chairperson since. For 11 years, during the formation of digital cinema standards, Michael consulted the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO), chaired the NATO Technology Committee, and represented the exhibition industry in discussions with Digital Cinema Initiatives (DCI) during the development of the DCI Digital Cinema System Specification. He also led development of the NATO Digital Cinema Requirements, first released in 2007. In parallel, he assisted numerous companies in the development of new products or services for digital cinema, sharpening strategies and marketing efforts, as well as building industry relations.
Michael has made numerous contributions to digital cinema, bringing focus to the preservation of Director's Intent in content packaging and distribution, and early to recognize the high value that 3D would bring to the rollout of digital cinema. He drove the first public demonstration of 3D at ShoWest in 2005, and served on the board of directors of the innovative 3D conversion company In-Three. Recognizing that inappropriate security key management would be a threat to business operations, he played a role in reaching a handshake agreement between major distributors and exhibitors to preserve the exhibitor's ability to move movies in response to audience demand in the presence of content security systems. From early analysis of the market, he was first to warn manufacturers of the pending "chasm" in digital cinema equipment sales, before its occurence in late 2007. In SMPTE, he initiated and chaired the development of digital cinema packaging (DCP), the Facility List Message (FLM) for security key management, and the cinema industry's first standards for accessibility. Michael currently co-chairs the SMPTE Study Group for Higher Frame Rates (HFR) in 2-D and 3-D.
In 2006, Michael was awarded the ShoWest Award of Appreciation for Contribution to the Advancement of Digital Cinema. He is a SMPTE Fellow, was a contributing author of Understanding Digital Cinema and the EC publication Digital Cinema Perspectives, and is the publisher of mkpeReport, MKPE's online publication studying the cinema technology marketplace. He has given over 40 public presentations on digital cinema, and written hundreds of articles on the subject, many of which have been translated in several languages.