LG Starts Touting Direct View LED As Cinema Screens

June 16, 2020 by Dave Haynes

LG has joined Korean rival Samsung in actively marketing a direct view LED solution for cinema operators, as an alternative to projection systems.

The big pitch behind the new 3.3mm pitch LED product is image quality – like deep blacks and color uniformity – and the ability for cinema operators to win back space and add new rows of seating because the projection room is eliminated.

The first installed theater is in Taiwan. Details here …

Samsung has had its Onyx product out for, I’m thinking, about three years, and seen installations on several continents. LG was slower to the LED dance, but has started very actively marketing its indoor product.

You could argue that the timing is not great, given cinemas are shuttered in many countries because of COVID-19, and operators are running on fumes with no box office or concession sales. Some very larger operators are warning they’re at risk of going out of business, and a big cinema merger deal collapsed.

The counter-argument might be that it is early enough in the adoption curve for LED in cinema that these are special-case, flagship theatre decisions that have long lead times on decisions, and are maybe funded from different budgets than regular multiplexes out in the ‘burbs.

I saw an early version of Onyx at ISE in a preview room. I’m no cinema nerd, but I thought it looked great.

I like this LG gif that visually explains the space recovery.

  1. Tani Klein says:

    Nice article, thank Dave. One note: Visual Acuity (as measured by Apple’s coined “Retina Distance”) for a 3.3mm pitch LED would be over 35′ away. I like how their info-graphic shows you the seats they added in the back of the theater while neglecting to point out the rows they’d lose in the front of the theater.

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