Kodak One Step Closer to Bringing Laser Cinema Projection Technology to Theaters

The question becomes whether the technology significantly impacts the digital cinema rollout, which is already under way.

Kodak has received FDA approval on a variance that it believes is an important step in bringing to theaters its developing laser cinema projection technology.

A question is what potential impact this technology might have on the digital cinema rollout, which is already well under way with more than 22,000 digital projectors now installed worldwide. In related news, Barco on Thursday began shipping its new DLP Cinema 4K digital cinema projectors to Cinemark's theaters.

Kodak believes that its technology could have an impact on 3D while reducing projector ownership costs.

“We expect that the projectors based on our technology will be very cost effective compared to today’s digital cinema projectors,” said Les Moore, Kodak’s chief operating officer for digital cinema, who claimed that “exhibitors can expect to replace a Xenon bulb every 500-1,000 hours, whereas we expect these laser sources to last over 30,000 hours before they need to be replaced.”

Screen brightness is common concern in 3D, and Moore also contends that laser projection offers more brightness than projection technologies commonly used today.

The FDA variance allows for the sale of the laser projection technology to cinema exhibitors without the need for individual site or show operator variances. Additionally, Moore noted: “The FDA variance serves as a template to be followed by manufacturers that we license to incorporate this new laser technology.”

Kodak has an eye toward market implementation within the next two years.