Pacific Theatres Winnetka in Chatsworth will be the first theater in the United States to have the new cutting-edge Samsung LED video wall. The technology was talked about by Sony and Samsung at last year's CinemaCon and now it's ready to be unveiled. LED technology has been growing for years, outpacing LCD tech by leaps and bounds. The video wall technology can be seen every day on news broadcasts, displayed behind the anchors and tech companies are hoping that it will be the future of movie theater screens.
The new Samsung LED cinema screen at the Pacific Theaters Winnetka is 33.8 feet wide and 17.7 feet high and is comprised of over 8 million pixels. The cutting-edge screen supports 2K or 4K resolution, 3-D, high dynamic range imagery, and most importantly, it meets studio consortium Digital Cinema Initiatives' specifications for use within movie theaters. The new display features a single, seamless digital canvas that isn't restricted by frames or standard dimensions, allowing for a larger color palette as well.
The colors are reportedly more accurate in the new LED video wall at the Pacific Theaters. The black coloring is apparently darker, and the whites are lighter, giving off a more realistic picture that laser projectors cannot duplicate. Additionally, the new screen has better off-axis viewing, higher contrast, faster refresh rates, and higher brightness, making virtually any seat within the movie theater into a prime spot. Also, the Pacific Theatres Winnetka was upgraded with the new state-of-the-art JBL Professional cinema sound audio system to add to the new immersive experience. But will the LED video wall take over for the laser projectors across North America?
The new Samsung LED video walls may look really good and offer great viewing areas from anywhere in the movie theater, but the cost is astronomical when compared to the old laser projectors. The current projectors cost anywhere from $100,000 to around $150,000, while the LED video walls cost around 6 to 8 cents per pixel. This means that the new screen that will debut this weekend cost $500,000 to $700,000, which is quite the hefty sum. So, it doesn't seem like the LED video wall will be taking over the movie theaters in the near future until the cost comes down.
The Pacific Theatres Winnetka joins an elite group of international movie theaters that utilize the new LED video wall technology. There are now six in total with one in the United States, two in South Korea, and one each in Zurich, Bangkok, and Shanghai. The LED technology has been growing at a quick pace, so it could very well be the future of movie theaters when the cost comes down to a manageable rate. It will also be interesting to see some reviews of the new LED screen from the general public, which should be coming any day now. This report originated from The Hollywood Reporter.