At CinemaCon this week “Sony demonstrated a modular solution that stacks the company’s ultrafine LEDs in a unique surface mounting structure that serves as its light source. Each unit is 16 inches by 18 inches. The display at CinemaCon used 72 of these units in a 12-by-6 configuration to build a 16-foot-by-9-foot screen.” The result is apparently stunning and will revolutionize the quality of image we see on screen in the future.
For many movie goers, this should come as a surprise that movie theaters and still using projectors instead of some sort of ambiguous other technology. These LED laser screens will completely replace the projector once they come to market and will not only improve quality but also create a more immersive movie-going experience.
Meanwhile Samsung in Las Vegas “debuted the Samsung Cinema Screen which is 445 type (10.3×5.4m) using 96 LED cabinets that accommodates the modern theatre dimensions, delivering magnificent picture quality at 4K resolution (4,096 x 2,160 pixels). Thanks to the direct-lit LED tech powering the display, the cinema screen has the capacity to offer peak brightness levels nearly 10 times higher than standard cinema projectors (a maximum of 500 nits), allowing to show on-screen contents in not only dark rooms but also brighter surroundings. As the first-ever theater-sized High Dynamic Range LED display, which is the next-generation core visual image technology, the Samsung Cinema Screen promises unprecedented picture quality with much higher contrast ranges.” The Samsung LED screen seems relatively similar to the Sony one, but Samsung has reached a deal with theaters to test out these screens and Samsung’s screen reduces the amount of money the theater needs to spend on redoing their theater to accommodate the new technology. It seems like Samsung has a leg up on the Sony technology.
The one theater in charge of this laser projection charge is Barco. They are a “digital cinema leader” and has “the largest portfolio of laser projectors in the industry. Today, more than 50 theaters have become all-laser multiplexes – tripling the number in less than a year – by utilizing a combination of Barco Flagship Laser and Smart Laser projectors”. It is unclear whether or not Barco is involved with Samsung or Sony, or these three are all competitors in the laser projection market. More competitors are good for theaters, as that reduces the price of these new screens, and more theaters will be able to make the change.
According to Barco’s VP of Cinema, changing to laser projecting screens will be 100% worth it as the lasers are more cost effective that regular projecting, save energy, and will bring in the money. Also surprising, is that viewers seemed to notice the difference. “According to Barco’s research, 95 percent of moviegoers who’ve seen a movie with laser projection rated the image quality as “excellent.” Two-thirds said that they would go to the cinema more often because of laser. And three-fourths said they would pay more for it.” So in the end, the theater end of the industry seems to embrace this new technology in hopes that it will bring more people in and more people coming back again and again to spend their money.