Michael Karagosian is the founder of MKPE, a business development consultancy based in Los Angeles, California. Known for his work supporting the worldwide theatrical transition from film to digital projection, Michael has been a leader in the cinema industry for over 30 years. Successes include the negotiation of virtual print fee subsidies covering over $300M of digital projection equipment in Ireland, UK, Philippines, and five countries in Latin America. Michael was a driver behind digital 3D in exhibition, and served on the Board of Directors for pioneering 3D conversion company In-Three.
In the exhibition market, Michael consulted the National Association of Theatre Owners for 11 years, driving the development of foundational standards for digital cinema and representing the technology interests of theater owners during the development of the DCI specification. He conceived and led the standards effort for cinema closed captions, enabling competition and dramatically reducing the cost of compliance to US ADA law. Michael's effort paved the way for the US Department of Justice Final Rule on Movie Captioning in 2016, which specifically names him and his work.
Michael worked to develop, defend, and monetize the intellectual property of Pendrell/ContentGuard, MasterImage 3D, and Laser Light Engines. Prior to the digital transition, he co-founded and led CinemaAcoustics, a division of Peavey Electronics, was Chief Engineer of BGW Systems, and consulted to Walt Disney Imagineering. He led the development of Dolby's flagship cinema and recording studio products in the late 70's and early 80's, including 70mm stereo surround for Apocalypse Now and the first THX-approved cinema audio processor.
A graduate of UC Berkeley, Michael is a SMPTE Life Fellow, a Life Member of the Audio Engineering Society, a former co-chair of the ASC Technology Committee on Next Generation Cinema Display, and a recipient of the ShoWest 2006 Award of Appreciation for the Advancement of Digital Cinema.
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, then with Dolby Laboratories, where he led the development of Dolby's flagship studio and cinema products in the early 80's. At Dolby, he developed the 70mm stereo surround format, precursor to 5.1 surround sound, for the original release of Apocalypse Now. He later led development of the Dolby CP200 Cinema Audio Processor, which became the reference sound processor for THX, and led development of Dolby's first 24-channel noise reduction unit, the SP-24. Michael continued to explore audio for cinema as Chief Engineer for BGW Systems, where he oversaw development of crossover and amplifier systems for large format and special venue cinema. Upon forming MKPE, Michael drove large format cinema projects with first client Iwerks Entertainment.
Cinema Group Ltd was co-founded by Michael Karagosian and Dolby fellow Clyde McKinney in the 90's. The company was 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 served as President, and contributed 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, he also consulted for Walt Disney Imagineering in the development of animation control and sound systems for new attractions and theme parks.
In 2000, Michael was a founding member of the original SMPTE digital cinema standards committee, DC28, and continued to serve as a committee chairperson in the standards effort for 13 years. For 11 years, during the formation of digital cinema standards, Michael served with the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) as its Digital Cinema Consultant, chairing the NATO Technology Committee, representing the exhibition industry in discussions with Digital Cinema Initiatives (DCI) during the development of the DCI Digital Cinema System Specification, and guiding the preservation of exhibitor business rights during development of the digital cinema security model. He also led development of the NATO Digital Cinema Requirements, and led the industry in the development, standardization, and rollout of assessible closed caption technologies for cinema.
Michael's accomplishments in digital cinema include the Digital Cinema Package (DCP), the Facility List Message (FLM) for security key management, the cinema industry's first accessibility standards for closed captions and descriptive audio, and the chairing of studies on higher frame rates and laser illumination. His work in closed captions dramatically lowered the cost of competing systems, making it affordable for exhibitors. He is referenced by the US Department of Justice in its 2016 Movie Captioning and Audio Description Final Rule. He was also a champion of digital 3D, driving the first public demonstration of 3D at ShoWest in 2005, serving on the Board of Directors for pioneering 3D conversion company InThree, and consulting MasterImage 3D. He consulted numerous companies in the development of new products or services for digital cinema, sharpening strategies and marketing efforts, reviewing and advising intellectual property rights, and building industry relations. He was first to predict a pending "chasm" in equipment sales in 2007, in the midst of the early rollout of digital cinema.
Michael is a contributing author of Understanding Digital Cinema and the EC publication Digital Cinema Perspectives. He is the creator of Cinepedia, an education site for digital cinema technology. He is also the publisher of mkpeReport, an online publication analyzing the cinema technology marketplace. Michael has given over 40 public presentations on digital cinema in four continents, and written hundreds of articles on the subject, many of which have been translated in several languages.