Samsung wants theaters to replace movie projectors with LED displays, and Sony is working on something similar. At CinemaCon, Sony showcased a module-based display with 4K resolution based on ‘Crystal LED’ technology, reports Hollywood Reporter.
Crystal LED in the cinema
Sony has been quieter than Samsung, perhaps because the Japanese company has no product to sell yet. Nonetheless, Sony used CinemaCon to showcase a 16-foot LED display designed to replace the movie projector at the theater.
The display is based on so-called ‘Crystal LED’ technology. Like Samsung’s version, this is a real LED display without a LCD panels and other filters. Sony is using RGB (red, green, blue) light emitting diodes to create the picture.
If you recall CES 2012 five years ago, Sony unveiled the first prototype of the Crystal LED technology to the public. Back then it was destined for the living room but the company later abandoned those plans in order to focus on a module solution that it has chosen to name CLEDIS (Crystal LED Integrated Structure). The screen size is determined by how many modules that are installed.
The prototype at CinemaCon was a 16-foot screen, which corresponds to a little less than 5 meters across – considerably smaller than most projection canvases and also Samsung’s ditto. Sony is reportedly planning to exhibit a larger 32-foot version next month at NAB. Provided that the modules are the same, this screen should deliver 8K resolution.
Sony CLEDIS at CES 2017 in January
4K and 120fps
Hollywood Reporter reports that as part of the presentation Sony was showing a clip from Ang Lee’s ’Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk’ that was recorded and mastered in 4K resolution and 120 frames per second. All other Hollywood movies, except The Hobbit, are presented in 24 frames per second.
Sony’s display can reproduce this format in its full glory as long as it is in 2D. In 3D the display is capable of reproducing 4K at 60 frames per second.
Unlike Samsung, Sony does not appear to have a complete package ready for installation. The company is “testing the waters” with exhibitors and studios and declined to comment on price. However, it appears that these LED module solutions will be more expensive – at least right now – than projectors.
At CinemaCon, Sony also demonstrated a new 4K laser projection system and “projection mapping” where parts of the image expand beyond the screen onto the walls. When FlatpanelsHD visited Sony Pictures in Hollywood in 2013 the studio explained how it sees 8K resolution, the next step after 4K, as having the potential to deliver images that extend beyond the field of vision of the viewer.