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Not sure where to post this. News seemed like the obvious place but I can't post there but this seems of interest to everyone here as it is about one possible future for Theatrical presentation.

 

Giant LED displays for the cinema:

 

https://www.redsharknews.com/business/item/4751-samsung-launches-hdr-led-cinema-screen

 

Freya

 

 

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Anyone else find this fundamentally wrong for some reason?

Not really, if it can produce comparable picture quality of better why not? Probably impractically expensive right now and audio would need to be resolved - since you couldn't place speakers behind the screen.

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Not really, if it can produce comparable picture quality of better why not? Probably impractically expensive right now and audio would need to be resolved - since you couldn't place speakers behind the screen.

 

You could probably place speakers beneath the screen like a supersized soundbar or something?

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It might save money on new build multiscreen cinemas. For starters you wouldn't need a projection booth. You could just have a common server room where DCP servers feed all the screens from.

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I spoke to some of the LED screen suppliers about this at NAB, since it was clearly on the verge of becoming feasible.

 

The situation is that the first one went into one of the studios in LA as their preview theatre a couple of years ago (not sure if I'm allowed to say which, but one of the major ones) and it costs a fortune. It's way, way more expensive than a projection system. That said it obviously has far better performance, and it's clear that this will become the norm.

 

P

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You could probably place speakers beneath the screen like a supersized soundbar or something?

Perhaps but its more tricky on a bigger screen - since the sound will sound like its coming from below the screen. It won't sound as locked to the screen in the way you get with perf screens.

 

I'm sure prices will come down with economies of scale - the market for giant hi-rez LED screens is much much larger then that of cinema projection

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I think the biggest issue here is the lack of up-grade-ability. In a typical theater, you have your screen and you can swap out projectors for, I would assume, far less cost than ripping out what is essentially a wall as technology changes. WIth this, you're stuck at 4K, it is what it is. Further, I wonder what kind of power consumption and heat this thing will generate.

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Anyone else find this fundamentally wrong for some reason?

Yes, and the reason it's fundamentally "wrong" is that you could comfortably watch it with the house lights on.

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Yes, and the reason it's fundamentally "wrong" is that you could comfortably watch it with the house lights on.

 

or just comfortably watch it in your house even! ;)

 

Freya

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I'm sure prices will come down with economies of scale - the market for giant hi-rez LED screens is much much larger then that of cinema projection

 

 

I think you are right too. This thing is perfect for huge music concerts in stadiums and for big conference presentations and the like.

 

 

 

That said it obviously has far better performance, and it's clear that this will become the norm.

 

P

 

I'm not sure if you can say better performance. It depends on how you judge the performance. I suspect it will be a different experience to seeing a film projected but I don't know I've not seen it.

 

I'm also not sure it will become the norm. I think it could become a common thing in some contexts but the screens are still small by cinema standards and I think it is mostly practical for smaller cinema screens. However in a future where there are multi screen complexes with smaller screens giving more choices for the customers then I can see this working well. However I'm not sure that is going to be the future of cinemas or if that is more like the recent past. I'm not sure that cinemas even have that much of a future in the sense that we think of them now but we will see.

 

Freya

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I think the biggest issue here is the lack of up-grade-ability. In a typical theater, you have your screen and you can swap out projectors for, I would assume, far less cost than ripping out what is essentially a wall as technology changes. WIth this, you're stuck at 4K, it is what it is. Further, I wonder what kind of power consumption and heat this thing will generate.

 

I kind of assume it will just be attached to the wall somehow but I think you make a fantastically good point about power consumption and especially heat. If it puts out a lot of heat it's going to be yet another reason for people to not go to the cinema when there is a heatwave.

 

I also wonder about dead pixels?

 

I'm not sure how upgradable the current digital cinemas are though. I mean I think it would have been more sensible if they designed the DCP servers so they could be upgraded easily without having to replace the whole server. I mean they are basically computers. They could be given new software... or even new cards or motherboards etc inside the casing. However I suspect it will require a new DCP server to upgrade to high bitrate 4K or whatever.

 

Projectors could be upgraded to 4K but it would be better to upgrade the DCP server too because when the DCP's are played out at 4K they only have the same maximum bitrate as for 2K projection which means they end up being effectively more compressed which probably compromises the advantage of having 4K in the first place.

 

Even worse some cinemas have been installing special sub 2K projectors for smaller screens anyway as one of the major cinema projection companies was marketing this as a cost saving option, so I'm not sure how much of a desire there will be to upgrade anything that much anyway unless there are cost savings to be made.

 

Freya

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What happens if someone throws something at the screen? Presumably this happens on rare occasions. Easier to repair a blank white piece of material than something with pixels. Also, society has been riding a relentless wave of technological progress since at least around 1890's, a long time (you could start counting long before this, too). I think we sometimes just assume that things always keep 'getting better.' But do they? I suspect we might be reaching a point soon of technological slow-down, or at least getting tired of ever new gadgets in the area of digital entertainment. This is a very unpopular view though. A lot of people's self-belief and identity seems linked to the idea of ever-increasing digital advancement as it is a sort of allegory of evolution. No one wants to be left behind. Anyway, I'm getting philosophical.

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