The debut of the Samsung Cinema Screen (see separate article) caught Sony and many others by surprise. Sony actually brought its 4K LED-based Cledis display debuted at InfoComm 2016 and reported on many times already. This is perhaps the finest looking LED video wall display commercially available. It features a super small emitting area of 1% surround by black for ultra high contrast (1 million to one) with peak luminance of 300 FL (~1000 cd/m²) with a 1.2mm pixel pitch.
Sony said that they have been asked many times about adapting the technology for the cinema market, so they decided to bring it to gather feedback. Internally, they thought the market was still 5 to 10 years out – mainly because their solution is so expensive.
Samsung has changed everything in their opinion based upon the performance they heard about and the price point for their 34’ wide screen (similar to a high-end RGB laser solution – which could be $200K to $500K). Sony now needs to go back to the drawing board to see how they can adapt the technology for the cinema market in the short term. A 3D solution needs to be developed as well as some sort of protective coating.
For example, the pixel pitch can likely be relaxed from 1.2 to the 2.5mm that Samsung uses. Peak luminance can come down to 300 to 500 cd/m² as well, but Sony will have to figure out an audio solution plus a way to ensure DCI security and encryption compliance – in addition to developing an SDR and HDR solution that meets the demanding needs of cinema exhibitors and studios.
One good thing the display can do is high frame rate as it was showing the Billy Lynn movie in 2D, 4K and 120 fps.
Given all the developments in high contrast projectors, the HDR initiative by Ymagis/Éclair and the HDR capability of the Samsung and Sony video wall solutions, it would seem likely that industry participants will be stepping up their activities to develop standards around HDR in cinema. We will be watching. – CC