You’ve always found excuses to stay clear of the cinemas. Aside from standard cribs, the average millennial who occasionally binge watches Netflix prefers the blacks and the vibrant colours of his or her massive flat screen LED TV. It’s why Samsung’s new breakthrough screen technology is one of the most significant developments for the movies as we used to know it. PVR Icon at Vasant Kunj became the first cinema in India to showcase Samsung’s all-new Onyx LED display and comes hot on the heels of the global launch.
Our first visual experience was the trailer of the upcoming Bollywood film – Stree, along with Shraddha Kapoor and Rajkummar Rao, the protagonists of this film. Stree that releases on August 31 will become the first film to debut on this new display at the PVR Icon. While the visual experience was remarkably vibrant, we also noticed a marked difference in the acoustics.
Samsung Onyx brings the HDR (High Dynamic Range) advantage to the movie screen with an infinite contrast ratio, that makes watching 3D movies more realistic. Onyx VIEW, combined with an infinite contrast ratio and specialised low-tone greyscale settings delivers brighter and more detail-rich content. The screen adds High Dynamic Range (HDR) to the cinema, showcasing on-screen content at peak brightness level. This is nearly 10 times greater than that offered by standard cinema projectors.
That’s not all; the lights didn’t go out during the entire presentation. This could well be a pathbreaking opportunity for theatres who could make movies more kid-friendly or even serve gourmet meals in theatres allowing patrons to enjoy two experiences simultaneously. The DCI-certified 4K display is free of optical distortion and comes in three sizes. There’s a 5-metre variant and a 10-metre (width) variant that we experienced at PVR Icon.
A larger 14- metre display will debut towards the end of the year. Conventional theatres that feature ‘Surround Sound’ usually have a sweet spot that is in the centre of the theatre where viewers are exposed to the best sound quality. Samsung’s Audio Lab partnership along with JBL by Harman International does away with the sweet spot – all viewers at a cinema can enjoy the same audio experience irrespective of whichever corner
they’re seated at.
One of the big hurdles for 3D movies has been the blurry shadowing that typically accompanies subtitles or minor details in visuals. That’s one of the big pluses of Samsung Onyx, the 3D experience is likely to change drastically thanks to enhanced brightness and consistent colour amplification.
PVR became the first to embrace this new technology and we’re likely to see more multiplexes in India’s big cities replacing their traditional screen with a Samsung Onyx LED over the next twelve months. This enhanced visual experience will come at a cost though. Tickets at the Samsung Onyx LED screen at PVR will cost Rs 100 more than standard movie rates.
Samsung’s Onyx LED arrives at a time when the entertainment industry is seeing a massive churn. In April, reports surfaced that Netflix was considering buying movie theatres in the US to enable some of its original series and features to qualify for prestigious Industry awards like the Oscars. In India, casting services like Netflix and Amazon’s Prime Video are taking audiences away from theatres. That could change if these same people enjoy the same HD quality content on a larger screen with the promise of crunchy popcorn delivered to their plush seat.