Michael Karagosian is founder and president of MKPE. An astute leader in the development, protection, and marketing of new entertainment technologies, specializing in the theatrical exhibition / cinema, special venue, and theme park markets. Skilled in identifying strategic opportunities and structuring efforts for results. Articulate in driving value and message. An expert in driving standards and collaborative efforts. A highly productive team player. Accomplishments include the negotiation of virtual print fee (VPF) subsidies with the major Hollywood studios for the purchase of up to $300M of cinema equipment in Ireland, Philippines, and South America. Represented the interests of the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) during the development of the DCI Digital Cinema System Specification. Over 30 years of experience driving market strategy, research and development, intellectual property, standards development, and industry relationships.
An engineering graduate of U.C. Berkeley, also performed graduate work in technology and business at Santa Clara University and UCLA. Member of the AES, the ASC Technology Committee, a SMPTE Fellow, and awarded the ShoWest Award of Appreciation for Contribution to the Advancement of Digital Cinema in 2006.
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 the 70mm split surround format, introduced with the original release of Apocalypse Now, and precursor to 5.1 sound. He led the development of Dolby's flagship studio and cinema products in the early 80's. The Dolby CP200, his first full-featured cinema sound processor, became the reference 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 Dolby fellow 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 continued to serve as a committee chairperson in the effort for 13 years. 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, reviewing intellectual property rights, and 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 occurrence 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, and co-chaired studies on higher frame rates.
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.