One year after revealing new theater display technology at CinemaCon, Samsung has officially launched its new movie theater experience. They are calling it, “Onyx”. Up to this point, theaters have been known for using projectors to display their films, but Samsung hopes to change that with the release of Onyx.
Samsung has spent many years investing in display technology. Over time, they have become very well-respected in the industry. From TVs to smartphones, products built using displays developed by Samsung are commonly praised for their stunning level of quality.
With the experience they have garnered developing displays over the years, Samsung believes that they are now ready to produce extremely large 4K displays. The Onyx lineup starts at 16-feet wide and goes all the way up to 32-feet. While that may sound enormous, many existing movie theater projectors can already produce screens in that range and sometimes larger. The real standout will be when Samsung officially launches a 46-foot version later this year.
“By aligning brilliant, uniform color presentation with LED picture quality and crystal-clear audio, the Samsung Onyx screen invites movie enthusiasts into the most immersive and memorable viewing arena available and repositions the theater as an entertainment haven,” said Seog-gi Kim, Executive Vice President of Visual Display Business at Samsung Electronics. “We are thrilled to deliver a new and exciting theater experience to operators, managers and consumers around the world, and we look forward to working further with leading decision-makers in the movie industry to usher in the next generation of cinema.”
Along with an enormous screen size also comes an enormous price tag. Samsung estimates final pricing to range somewhere between $500,000 and $800,000. To put that into perspective, traditional projectors cost just a fraction of that amount, but lack the state-of-the-art surround sound from HARMAN International. Samsung claims that the integrated audio creates an audio “sweet spot” for all viewers, no matter where they are seated.
So the question lingers, what is the benefit of using a display instead of a projector? One major benefit could be the ability to change the typical environment where movies are screened. A projector requires a dark environment, while a backlit display does not. In the long-run, this product line could shake up what movie theaters look like.
Samsung will revamp two theaters in its home country of South Korea later this year. Samsung has also partnered with Moving Image Tech (MIT), Golden Screen Cinemas, and Cineplexx Cinemas to bring Onyx to additional locations.
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