Movie theater projectors might soon have some competition from a big name in the display business. Samsung unveiled its new Cinema Screen today, which is an LED, 4096 x 2160 (4K) resolution screen designed specifically for theaters. The 34-foot screen delivers High Dynamic Range content and can reportedly display movies at a brightness level 10 times greater than standard cinema projectors. Samsung says its display fits the changing demands for theater spaces in that it could be used for viewing not only movies but also sporting events, concerts, gaming competitions, or corporate events.
Really, this display is making me question everything I know about movie theaters. I’ve never thought about why we have projectors over LED screens; it’s just a fact I accepted as truth.
Here’s what I know now: Samsung’s display is much smaller than most movie theater projections. A typical screen is between 45 and 65 feet wide, whereas IMAX theaters typically have a 72-feet-wide screen. I have no idea how they compare price wise, because Samsung hasn’t yet released pricing details.
The thing to note is also that we haven’t had incredibly thin or high resolution displays available to us until recently. I’d imagine installing them is more difficult, too, and perhaps getting a repair is harder. Still, is there going to be a day when screens replace our projectors? It was only four years ago that the great digital projectors switch happened, and now we also have 4K projectors. Who knows what's going to happen with movie theater tech, maybe we'll all just end up wearing VR headsets anyway.