If we are allowed to be hyperbolic, we can say your local movie theater is obsolete. Or more specifically, the large screen displays inside your local theater are outdated. Sure, there might be exceptions in various spots around the country, but next to Samsung's new Cinema LED Screen, a massive 33.8-foot (10.3 meters) wide display with a 4K resolution (4096x2160) and high dynamic range (HDR) support, most theaters are left found wanting.
Samsung has found its first customer for this display in Korea, where it recently installed the Cinema LED Screen at the Lotte Cinema World Tower. In addition to delivering 4K visuals and HDR support, the screen boasts a peak brightness level of 146fL, nearly 10 times greater than what today's standard projector technologies are capable of. It also leverages ultra-contrast and low-tone grayscale settings to make colors pop while delivering deep black levels and pristine whites. There is event distortion-free technologies at play.
"Through sharper and more realistic colors, complementary audio and an elevated presentation, our Cinema LED Screen makes viewers feel as if they are part of the picture," said HS Kim, President of Visual Display Business at Samsung Electronics. "We are excited to partner with Lotte Cinema to bring this technology to theater-goers, and look forward to continuing to shape the cinema of the future."
While a lot of effort has been put into delivering top notch visuals, the movie theater experience is also about pinging the sense of audio. Samsung took that into consideration when installing the first commercial Cinema LED Screen at the Lotte Cinema World Tower by pairing it with audio technologies from JBL from Harman, which it acquired last year for $8 billion. Powerful speakers border the 33.8-foot display, which are powered by a proprietary audio processing technology and JBL's Sculpted Surround system. The idea is to deliver a next-generation movie theater experience to patrons.
It is an interesting space for Samsung to jump into at this point. Ticket sales have been declining in recent years as customers cut the cord at home and have access to an increasing number of streaming options. And on top of that, television makers have been aggressively pushing bigger TVs and 4K resolution screens to homes. The flip side to all that is actual box office revenue—annual North American box office revenue has stayed above $4 billion for the past decade, hitting a high of $4.75 billion in 2013. Last year revenue from ticket sales reached $4.45 billion. So even though less people are heading to the movies these days, there is still billions of dollars in revenue to be made.
Looking beyond movie theaters, Samsung sees its Cinema LED Screen being used in venues for corporate events, concerts, sports event viewing, and gaming competitions, the latter of which could be a big category as esports continues to grow.