For several years, eCinema has been working to produce high-end LCD displays capable of replacing CRTs in high-end, reference grade environments like film studios, production houses, and the demanding setups of serious home and professional theater buffs. (And, in their ardor, they’ve neglected their Web site. Pfft.) Beginning at NAB in April 2006, eCinema began privately demonstrating its DCM40HDR 40-inch display, and the reports coming back from people who have seen it have been almost universally awe-struck: eCinema’s LCD technology seems to be able to deliver even better contrast and color accuracy than reference CRT systems.
The DCM40HDR is a 40-inch LCD panel with a 1920 by 1080 resolution sporting an astonishing contrast ratio in the neighborhood of 30,000:1, putting its blacks beyond the reach of even the highest-quality CRT displays. In addition, the monitor uses 10 to 12 bits per color channel (in 30- to 26-bi displays) and can product from 1,000 to 4,000 increments of grey, compared to the mere 200 or so produced by most current LCD monitors in the real world. It also offers full 4:4:4 capabilities for displaying 10-bit linear and 10-bit log digital output from high-end cameras and digital production systems.
eCinema’s founder/CEO Martin Euredjian has said the DCM40HDR should be available by the end of 2006, and that the company is also investigating 57-inch and 82-inch formats, as well as digital projectors. Price? We suspect it’ll be in the “if you have to ask, you can’t afford it” category. But trickle-down theories, technology licensing, and economies of scale might put the technology in consumer’s hands in a few years.