Samsung and Sony have both proposed that theatre owners replace their projector and canvas with a large-size LED display. Samsung has now installed the "world’s first LED cinema screen", complete with 4K DCI and HDR, in South Korea.
10 meters wide with 4K + HDR
The South Korean TV maker has for almost a decade sold its LCD TVs as “LED TVs”, which is nonsense, so you are excused if you are a little confused. These cinema screens are true LED displays, where each individual pixel is a light emitting diode – no LCD panel required.
The industry is developing LEDs that are small enough to bring these types of displays into the living room. We recently saw the first example of this with the 262-inch ‘C Seed’ TV. Samsung and Sony have also proposed (1, 2) that theatre owners use the technology to replace the projector + canvas installation that moviegoers have associated with cinema for over a century.
And it may actually happen. Samsung today announced that it has installed the “world’s first cinema LED display” at the Lotte Cinema World Tower in South Korea. How much it cost to install the system was not disclosed.
The screen is nearly 10.3 meters (33.8ft) wide and has been built up from smaller LED modules. The resolution is standard 4K DCI (4096x2160 pixels) and peak brightness reaches around 500 nits (146fL), which is enough to reproduce HDR (High Dynamic Range) in a dark cinema environment. Samsung added that peak brightness is “10 times greater than that offered by standard projector technologies”.
- “Through sharper and more realistic colors, complementary audio and an elevated presentation, our Cinema LED Screen makes viewers feel as if they are part of the picture,” said HS Kim, President of Visual Display Business at Samsung. “We are excited to partner with Lotte Cinema to bring this technology to theater-goers, and look forward to continuing to shape the cinema of the future.”
Samsung has previously said that its technology can enable much larger screens at up to 90 feet wide, and that the screens have achieved full DCI (Digital Cinema Initiatives) compliance. The company also said that the much brighter LED screens will enable theatre owners to show events, concerts, sports events, and gaming competitions.
A module-based LED screen is one way to bring HDR video to the theatre. Dolby has partnered with Christie to install laser-based projection systems to achieve the same goal at so-called ‘Dolby Cinema’ locations. There are over 100 Dolby Cinema locations spread across the US, Europe, China, and soon the Middle East.