Update on the Cinera Edge “Cinema” Headset

By Arthur Berman
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Cinera Inc. (Newark, NJ) is about to offer the Cinera Edge, described as “a unique headset designed to provide a 360 degree cinematic experience.” The unique claim is based on the principle features of the new headset: 5K imagery and Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound.

It can be noted that the Cinera Edge is the successor to an earlier generation of the product called the Cinera v1. Long time readers of Display Daily may recall that I wrote an article on the v1 about three years ago entitled The Cinera “Immersive Personal Theater” Headset. The Edge claims to improve upon the v1 in many ways including the integration of headphones, improved mobility and greater comfort during long viewing sessions.

Much of what makes the Cinera Edge imagery unique can be attributed to the dual 2.5K micro-OLEDs displays used in the headset. To put this into context, each display packs 2560 x 1440 or 3.6 million pixels into a 0.83″ diagonal resulting in an image that is seven times denser than that of the display in an iPhone 11 Pro.

These displays are capable of producing the 90% of the DCI-P3 color standard, the standard that is widely adopted by the type of projection systems used in movie theaters. Since the DCI-P3 color space also provides a wider color gamut than the conventional sRGB, the Cinera Edge can reproduce a wide range of colors with great accuracy.

Other characteristics of the image include:

  • Contrast ratio of 500,000:1.
  • Response time of 1 microsecond. The refresh rate is 60 Hz. As a result, motion blur is mostly eliminated when displaying fast moving objects. It also helps reduce motion sickness when watching VR content, the firm claims.
  • The screen produced by the Cinera Edge is equivalent to 1200 inches viewed from a distance of 20 meters. This corresponds to an image that is 66° wide from left to right. Such a screen is wider than the 54° screens common in cinemas and almost as big as an IMax 70° screen.?
  • Given the pixel density and the angular size of the screen, the Cinera Edge meets the 38 pixel per degree standard adopted in many movie theaters. At this pixel per degree density, the image does not have any visible screen door effect.
  • Since the optical system in the Cinera Edge includes two channels, it can provide separate left and right images to the user’s eyes. The result is 3D imagery without crosstalk or the need for glasses. A related feature is that the 3D image produced by the Cinera Edge is much brighter than typically found in 3D cinemas.

The company adds up all these image quality metrics by boasting that, with the Cinera Edge headset, users “do not have to compromise between image quality and image size. The image is both sharp and smooth.”

Also included in the Cinera Edge headset is a high quality integrated headphone with four drivers on each side. By this means, the Cinera Edge simulates cinematic 5.1 surround sound. Cinera Edge is Dolby Digital certified so it can “flawlessly” decode the high quality soundtracks from Blu-ray and video streaming platforms. It can be noted that the headphone cap will encapsulate the ears and block noise effectively but that there is no active noise cancellation.

The Cinera Edge is designed so that the weight has been shifted to the sides of the headset. Doing so serves to reduce pressure on the front of the user’s face. This, in turn, is claimed to make a long session of wearing the headset more comfortable for the user.

The headset is designed with a 10mm exit pupil but includes an inter pupillary distance adjustment of from 57 to 77 mm. Also included is a diopter adjustment from -8D to +3D. This last feature mean that the user should not have to wear glasses while using the headset.

Running a full Android OS, Cinera Edge supports a wide variety of apps. The user can stream content from services such as Netflix or HBO through Wi-Fi, or play local content using a USB drive or from an up to 512 GB micro SD card. Cinera Edge also has an HDCP-supported HDMI 2.0b port. This helps enables viewing content from Blu-ray, a gaming console or a drone.

The Cinera Edge has a touchpad on the right hand side of the headset that allows the user to quickly swipe through menus or adjust brightness or volume.

Additional specifications and features of the headset include:

  • Dual microphone with noise cancelation.
  • A 6000 mAH polymer Li-ion battery that can power the headset for about 3 hours.
  • Sensors: proximity, gyroscope, magnetic and accelerometer. These sensors enable VR applications.
  • Bluetooth 5.0.
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, 2.4 gHz / 5 gHz.
  • CPU Hexa core Cortex processor.
  • GPU Mali T-864.
  • Memory 2 GB / 4 GB.
  • Storage 16 GB / 32 GB.

The Cinera Edge headset is illustrated in the figure below. A video appended to the end of this article was prepared to somewhat whimsically demonstrate the experience of watching cinema on the headset. The last bit of the video is more informative and illustrative of the headset’s capabilities.

Cinera EdgeThe Cinera Edge headset.

Initial funding for the headset was achieved last year via a Kickstarter campaign. The campaign raised $1,390,783 from 2,364 backers. At this time, the company is raising further funds via an Indiegogo InDemand campaign. (Note: “InDemand is the bridge between crowdfunding and commerce. InDemand is available to all campaigners after they meet their original campaign goal. It is a post-campaign solution that allows you to continue raising funds as you develop your product.”) As of this date, the InDemand campaign has raised $1,597,842 from 2,655 backers. Backers of the campaign can purchase the Cinera Edge Pro for $599. This Early Bird Special price represents 40% off the MSRP of $999.

Cinera reports that the company has finished R&D and engineering prototyping of the headset. If the Indiegogo crowdfunding goal is reached, the company plans to move to mass production immediately. If this happens, the revised shipping date is July 2021. – Arthur Berman