When you imagine sitting in a movie theater, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Chances are, you probably picture a dark theater, with the bright light of a projector behind you, illuminating a large screen with the latest summer blockbuster. Well, if Samsung has it’s way, the traditional projector and screen may become a thing of the past.
Samsung has unveiled its first-ever cinema-sized LED screen at Lotte Cinema World Tower theater in Seoul, South Korea The massive 34-foot screen has a true 4K resolution of 4,096 x 2,160 pixels. This is different than the “Ultra HD” resolution of 38040 x 2160 pixels you find on 4K UHD TVs and projectors. The giant display boasts high dynamic range (HDR) and a “near infinite contrast ratio” according to Samsung, with a brightness level that is “nearly 10 times greater” than what you can get from most cinema projectors, culminating in a massive display capable of the darkest black and brightest whites possible. It’s also fully DCI (Digital Cinema Initiative) compliant, which includes full coverage of the DCI color spectrum — the first of its kind.
Basically, movies are going to look really nice on this.
Not only will films look great, but the system is built to ensure they’ll sound good, too. The screen shown off in South Korea was created in cooperation with JBL and Harman, who has outfitted the theater for “state of the art audio.” Giant, high-powered speakers border the screen, and are bolstered by JBL’s Sculpted Surround system and proprietary audio technology.
While a 34-foot wide LED screen is impressive, not every theater will accommodate a display of that size. To help theater owners work around this, the display is made up of separate cabinets, so the screen can be scaled to the size needed.
Samsung envisions the screen as not just great for dark theaters, but as a solution for displays in locations with ambient lighting as well, believing it to be ideal for “corporate events, concerts, sports event viewing and gaming competitions.” IMAX theaters might have some strong competition coming their way. However, Samsung isn’t the only company pushing innovation in cinema experiences, such as El Ray “Dolby Cinema” in Hollywood, which folds both Dolby Atmos surround sound and Dolby Vision into a theater experience that left us quite impressed when we got to check it out last year. We’re curious to see how Samsung’s Cinema LED, which is essentially an over-sized LED TV, will stack up to the Dolby Theater experience.
It’s an impressive looking screen, however, unless you live in Seoul or have plans for a trip there soon, you might have to wait a while before you can check it out for yourself. More theaters across South Korea are said to be adopting Samsung’s new display throughout the year, and the company then plans to bring it international, with China, Japan, the US up next. In the meantime, if you’re craving some giant displays that are a bit more accessible, why not check out our picks for the best 4K TVs and the best projectors you can buy right now.