12:02pm PT by Carolyn Giardina
Samsung Installs First LED Wall in Cinema Auditorium, Aimed at Replacing Traditional Projection
Last spring, Samsung and Sony both introduced a bold vision for the next stage of cinema, replacing cinema projectors — staples of the movie business — with large LED video walls.
As a next step, Samsung has installed its first commercial Cinema LED Screen at Lotte Cinema World Tower in Seoul, South Korea. For sound, it paired the screen with surround audio technologies from JBL by Harman.
The Cinema LED Screen is made up 4K and HDR-capable modular panels that are much brighter than today's commonly used projectors. (Samsung claims peak brightness levels of 146 foot-lamberts.)
As such, they are already generating a lot of talk in Hollywood’s digital cinema community. Reactions to the images shown with these systems at CinemaCon and since then were generally positive. But there remain many issues that will need to be addressed before this could be a reality. Not the least of which is the return on investment. Insiders say they will be more expensive than similarly sized cinema screens using top-of-the-line laser projection systems, which can exceed $1 million for a large theater.
In May, the Cinema LED Screen received compliance certification from studio consortium Digital Cinema Initiatives, which sets digital cinema technology guidelines.
"We look forward to working with Samsung to introduce a new, high-quality technology to the movie industry," Lotte Cinema CEO Wonchun Cha said in a statement. The business arrangement between Samsung and Lotte Cinema was not clear at press time.
In addition to theatrical features, Samsung is suggesting its Cinema LED Screen technology for corporate events, concerts, sports event viewing and gaming competitions.