Projector vs LED panels for >150 inch 4K - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 35 Old 11-11-2015, 10:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Question Projector vs LED panels for >150 inch 4K

Hi all -

I have a friend who is wanting to install a home cinema with a very large screen (probably in the 150-200 inch ballpark).

Does anyone have any experience of using LED panels (example - by Unilumin) for home cinema use? These are available in a number of pitch sizes from 0.8mm and up. 0.8mm pitch would be 140 inch diagonal, 1mm pitch would be 173 inch.

Seen plenty of these at tech trade shows, and they look impressive in that environment, but no idea how suitable they would be for home cinema use.

Cost/complexity to install is not an issue in this instance - just after the best money-no-object large screen 4K viewing experience available.

Thanks in advance for any insights.

Kind regards,


Gerald.
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post #2 of 35 Old 11-11-2015, 11:10 PM
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I got confirmation that 0.75mm pitch is actually available. Of course as one moves from the most popular fine pitch 1.6 mm the number of leds quadruples, so does cost.

They are nice, colorful, and bright, but more expensive than DCi 4K projectors, even than commercial DCi LASER projectors.

Really cost no object? You realize we are talking about 0.5-2 million depending on specs and brand.
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post #3 of 35 Old 11-11-2015, 11:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donaldk View Post
I got confirmation that 0.75mm pitch is actually available. Of course as one moves from the most popular fine pitch 1.6 mm the number of leds quadruples, so does cost.

They are nice, colorful, and bright, but more expensive than DCi 4K projectors, even than commercial DCi LASER projectors.

Really cost no object? You realize we are talking about 0.5-2 million depending on specs and brand.
Thanks for your reply Donald.

Yup. Really.

So ignoring cost, they are the ultimate option right now? No other downsides (reliability, dynamic range, colour reproduction, etc etc) to be wary of?

Kind regards,

Gerald.
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post #4 of 35 Old 11-12-2015, 03:27 AM
 
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Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by gerald.d View Post
Hi all -

I have a friend who is wanting to install a home cinema with a very large screen (probably in the 150-200 inch ballpark).

Does anyone have any experience of using LED panels (example - by Unilumin) for home cinema use? These are available in a number of pitch sizes from 0.8mm and up. 0.8mm pitch would be 140 inch diagonal, 1mm pitch would be 173 inch.

Seen plenty of these at tech trade shows, and they look impressive in that environment, but no idea how suitable they would be for home cinema use.

Cost/complexity to install is not an issue in this instance - just after the best money-no-object large screen 4K viewing experience available.

Thanks in advance for any insights.

Kind regards,


Gerald.
We are definetely in the paradigm shift point where this, given a .5 million dollar budget is possble. Many challenges exist like the obligatory 3d sound that this level of system demands, but there are workable solutions.

That been the case 6p laser projection needs to be part of the comparative analysis as well as rearprojection options if feasible.

Here is a compact 180" rearprojection rig that with 6P laser would be the ultimate 4k display.200" is no problem either.





I will be happy to guide you through the selection process if you email me the room details.
peter at cineramax com
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post #5 of 35 Old 11-12-2015, 04:13 AM
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post #6 of 35 Old 11-12-2015, 05:55 AM
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There are many good things that LED can do right now but for ultimate image quality that is not the right choice. Projection is still the only technology that can achieve near perfect convergence on the display surface and this has a big implication for sharpness.

Further to that you are faced with huge ergonomic challenges with delivering an LED solution since it is definitely not acoustically transparent!!! Heat etc are other big considerations.

With LED you are also dealing with individual panels in the range of 40x40cm. Each of these panels has to be carefully colour matched, physically aligned and then monitored for accuracy in the long term if any sort of uniformity is to be achieved. 6P laser projection can deliver 95-100% uniformity across the screen long term.

The final nail in the coffin must be that the only way to access DCI content is to use a DCI compliant projector. Despite demand for interface solutions for LED walls and even flatpanels there seems to be little chance of that changing anytime soon.

Neil Davidson - DT Screens
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post #7 of 35 Old 11-12-2015, 06:09 AM
 
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DCI content. I have been hearing this much ballyhhoed feature, what a pain in the a$$ it is to secure handle and load, IMO it is about to be totally obsoleted PQ wise by UHD BD. The real benefit of DCI is 6p laser or if you have the infrastructure necessary we can get you a Dolby Cinema Extreme HDR rig for $1.5 Million+.

Do know that I pioneered using DCI projectors at Home in 2006 and now will not do projectors in immersive cinemas if they cannot play some form of UHD BD in HDr. and that means a custom modded 6p like the Barco Thor class at mimimum but that only buys you 6-8 sf-stop hdr,. The DOLBY CINEMA projector (17-22 f-stop hdr and available to play UHD BD HDR) is available for those that want it bad enough and are prepared to pay the above price for the pair.

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post #8 of 35 Old 11-12-2015, 10:33 AM
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LEDs perform best with intense colour and bright content. They really pop there. Contrast and vibrancy is also the best. As one would expect with 24bits as seen below. I am starting to prefer them over projection if we are disregarding price. As I like bright enough for ambient light displays.

Peter will like the ability of some to do passive 3D.

Half a million budget will not get you the finest pitch available, but a good 1.6 pitch screen will work for video, so the major Chinese Brands will work on that budget (Leyard bought Planar including Runco for instance, so not talking second or third tier vendors, AOTO is also at the forefront of LED display development). 2.5mm like Christies first entry to this category this year is insufficient for video, in my opinion. Great for architectural displays but not for video/HT.

Of course an immersive audio system is not included in that budget, just the display. Like I said you can go upwards to 2 million (we are only allowed to talk list at AVS;-)) for finest pitch 8K best modules/displays. But I was really pleased with the image of a half a million display two months ago.



0.75mm pitch equals 1080P at 65" diagonal. At 1.6mm you are looking at around 200" for 4K.

40x40 centimeter modules used to be large, but Leyard was showing an 1.1 mm all-in one panel at IBC around 1 meter, if i remember correctly. The 0.75mm pitch 65" single panel was shown by Aoto as a prototype at ISE in February. The large screens are still build using the smaller modules, but smaller displays for retail applications are moving towards all-in-one panels. Panasonic and Samsung started to move into this market at the start of this year to gain new margin opportunities, in favour of commodity LCD displays.

The high-end displays will have colormatching and output matching systems, to allow for set-up of modular displays, and to track aging of modules. The big names are showing up with matched modules to tradeshows, a few years ago I could still discern individual modules, 'yeah we didn't have time to match the modules' and 'maodules need to be matched at the factory, and we will match them for your', but whay spend all this money to come to Europe with a product that does not deliver wanting us to take your word for it, but these days they look good. Of course HT viewers often demand more in this respect than commercial users that have an accounting department to answer to, not an esthetics commitee.

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post #9 of 35 Old 11-12-2015, 10:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi Donald -

Regarding price, I've been quoted (a smidge) under $500k for a 165 inch 4K screen based on 0.9mm pitch.

Possibly this is an area where things are moving very quickly?

Kind regards,

Gerald.
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post #10 of 35 Old 11-12-2015, 11:03 AM
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I was provided with a listprice indication for the above 4K 1.6mm Aoto of around 500K USD. This was two months ago. Of course we did not discuss the discounts/margin, just confirmed they were there, I didn't have time for an after show meeting with the salesmanager. Of course AOTO is a top tier vendor. SiliconCore being an US brand is listing higher than the Taiwanese.

Unilumen (to me) does have the advantage of having its European service center only twenty kilometers from here.

I did notice there is a preceived difference in pitch between some 1.2 and 1.25/1.29 between brands. As they may use COB or not, single cathode or not.

Is this the one?
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post #11 of 35 Old 11-12-2015, 11:12 AM
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Of course cost is in the number of transistors/LEDs, not the surface area. So both displays are 4K, the Aoto is considerably larger being 1.6mm.
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post #12 of 35 Old 11-12-2015, 01:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donaldk View Post
LEDs perform best with intense colour and bright content. They really pop there. Contrast and vibrancy is also the best. As one would expect with 24bits as seen below. I am starting to prefer them over projection if we are disregarding price. As I like bright enough for ambient light displays.
Seems like these could probably do a great job with HDR content.

A lot of people dream about large OLED TVs that can be rolled up, but maybe these are really the answer that will get us to a 12' wide display at any reasonable consumer type price that has the characteristics people really want a large OLED for, before OLED gets there.

Once a decision is made to use small panels I'm not sure if making those out of OLED has any real advantages. OLED can do huge CR between one pixel and the one next to it, but once something can do high enough CR for that to be indistinguishable from perfect from any normal viewing position that advantage is negated.

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post #13 of 35 Old 11-12-2015, 03:35 PM
 
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What does the surface look like? Is it smooth and covered with glass or another material? Or are the LEDs exposed?
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post #14 of 35 Old 11-12-2015, 07:06 PM
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Traditionally these were not smooth, the outdoor displays looked like little lightbulbs, but indoor units with their fine pitch are looking rather smooth i never gave thought to touching them, didn't dare to, but from what i see most are smoothed now.

Specified contrast is often limited Darin, that uni-lumin OP refered to has only 3000:1 contrast. But intense colour, black backing and so on make it look like a lot more. But if intra image contrast is similar to on-off that would explain the perceived contrast. OLEDs well they can be produced with cheaper depositing technologies.

What Bob noted earlier still holds true:

Quote:
Price, Price, Price

Now, back at CES in 2012, Sony showed a "CrystalLED" 55" FullHD TV that was said to be made from inorganic LEDs. At the time, I did a quick calculation that Sony would have to be able to buy .01 cents each - that is 10,000 LEDs for a dollar - to stand any chance of competing with LCD TVs. Since then, TV has gone to UltraHD, so prices would have to be a quarter of that (and LCDs have got cheaper!) so they would probably have to buy 50,000 for a dollar.
Now, I'm no expert on LED manufacturing costs, but at the time, another company was telling us that it could make "low cost" LEDs on silicon wafers. The firm boasted that it could make 17,000 LEDs on a single wafer. At the time, a wafer cost $500, so you can see the gap in cost performance can be measured in orders of magnitude.
So, while LED displays are now really attractive, bright and durable, it will be some time, if ever, before they are cheap enough to enter the mainstream of the TV world.
http://www.meko.co.uk/display-daily/...ar-can-they-go
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post #15 of 35 Old 11-12-2015, 09:46 PM
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Specified contrast is often limited Darin, that uni-lumin OP refered to has only 3000:1 contrast.
Interesting. I was thinking these could be used like a zone system with a full array backlighting for LED/LCD TVs, where one little panel could basically be turned off while a different panel was on. One advantage to Dolby's old system at least was that it had overlapping zones, so there wasn't a sharp cutoff. It required a lot of processing, but I believe the overlap helped keep the visibility of blooming down. I'm guessing their newer stuff is the same way.

It seems like it depends on what that 3000:1 means. If that were ANSI CR within a panel, but the individual panels could do much more sequential CR than that then they might be able to provide an OLED type look for blacks if there were enough panels, although the sharp edges between panels might be a real problem unless there were a lot of them. Besides the cost that might be the Achilles's Heal to matching OLED even in a room with no other lighting.

Thanks,
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post #16 of 35 Old 11-13-2015, 12:28 AM
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I have seen this kind of panel. Nice from a safe distance and with bright material. Not nice with dark material and closer up (poor black level, seams, separate rgb pixels visible...).
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post #17 of 35 Old 11-13-2015, 09:21 AM
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Micahel, the seams used to be horrible, but better brands, now have better matched modules that have acceptable module seams. Christie was showing its 2.5mm display at ISE with dark content. Well i have said above it did not look good for video. Of course we all have different criteria. Darrin's is absolute black and near black, I like contrast within the image (I always quote the NHK 8K river pan with indistinguishable foliage on the bank), so MTF and colorcontrast.

The SiliconCore Million Dollar TV of almost two years ago, 1.5mm pitch. The first time I saw directview LED as suitable for indoor = closer viewing video use.



I am sure Runco will be selling them now it has been acquired by Leyard, being part of the Chinese's acquisition of Planar.

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post #18 of 35 Old 11-20-2015, 02:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donaldk View Post
I got confirmation that 0.75mm pitch is actually available. Of course as one moves from the most popular fine pitch 1.6 mm the number of leds quadruples, so does cost.

They are nice, colorful, and bright, but more expensive than DCi 4K projectors, even than commercial DCi LASER projectors.

Really cost no object? You realize we are talking about 0.5-2 million depending on specs and brand.


$2 million projector? :O
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post #19 of 35 Old 11-20-2015, 02:39 PM
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Those exist aswell, but this topic is about small pitch format direct view modular LED displays. 4K LED displays seem to be around $500K. Display size will vary with pixel pitch. But once you move to smallest pitch and still 200" diagonal, we move to 8K and beyond, so cost will also double or quadruple. As shown in above pictures these work best in bright content. As pointed out by DarrinP movie content is generally very dark. TV and especially sports is generally fairly bright, so suitability depends on the chosen application. A 200-500K (DCI) LASER projector may therefore be a more suitable alternative.

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post #20 of 35 Old 11-21-2015, 11:48 AM
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That looks sick.
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post #21 of 35 Old 11-21-2015, 01:43 PM
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It should for that kind of money. Camera clamped down though the hall wasn't that dark. These things can get bright.
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post #22 of 35 Old 11-24-2015, 07:28 AM
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I will say this about LED direct view solutions, the color space is much greater than any regular projection or direct view units (6P laser not sure). The key factors to take into consideration were mentioned before: Physical alignment of panels is CRITICAL! And not just in the X and Y orientation but Z as well. Get a panel 0.5mm too deep or sticking out and you just purchased yourself a nice black line. So for maintenance purposes, you can go back access or front. Back requires lots of space, you have to fit behind the wall to access electronic and mechanic. Front access is the hardest thing to do. Positioning perfectly the tile after service is really difficult.

Also, choosing the right LED controller is critical. Processing is typically shared between color management and brightness level. So when dimming the wall, you loose resolution in color depth and grey scale. Not all controllers are created equal. Then you have LEDs burning over time and not all at the same pace, R or G or B may dim sooner. So, again, you need a controller capable of managing this so you wall doesn't turn fuchsia of greenish. And LED walls are great dust collectors so cleaning will be essential.

But they sure look awesome!

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post #23 of 35 Old 11-24-2015, 11:47 AM
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Yup, and NEC now has something new in front access mangement, universal backplanes with replacable LED surfaces with a range of pitches, that can be interchanged and multiple pitched units being able to be used in a single display.

As to physical alignment, I have so often complained about that in any video wall, Plasma, LCD, RP Cube, LASER cubes (I noticed on linkedin that the former Barco HT manager now works for Prysm in Belgium), and Directview LED. Also module matching (management so often done poorly in the past at tradeshows, with the promise that actual delivered units would be correct, but what i have seen the past few years shows people taking care in their demo's, and we can see them upclose.

Many years ago when Mitsubishi led the indoor pitch and with black background the contrast at 4mm, they looked good but from afar, above an IBC booth or later a huge one above a trailer stage with live band by LANG AG at one ISE. Now you can do actual pixel peeping.

Nits are going up aswell, those Mitsubishi's were the brightest indoor displays at 1500 nits,at the time these days you can easily do 3000 or more. Of course they last much longer at lower outputs.

And for studio applications there are coatings. AOTO told me at IBC last September they think that with these fine pitches like 1.6mm and lower they are not required, but I noticed a benefit at ISE last Februari at the SiliconCore, when I made a 30 second testvideo.

@mark what is Barco's current smallest pitch? Barco tends to be able to beat its spec. sheets/catalogs. For instance best used to be 4mm, but later you hear; no we had 3.5 and 3mm aswell.

Three years ago, the Chinese had backed away from 2.5 and smaller, basically below 3mm, as to expensive, too unreliable, heat and lifetime issues, so too much trouble, leaving this to SiliconCore, that had the high-end market to support such product, like TV studio applications, the less known mainland suppliers told me, but a year later they were back, and the Leading big ones from (white) China Leyard and Aoto, and now UniLumen are pushing the pitch towards 1080P equivalent. Monolithic displays are the new frontier. Panasonic and Samsung moving in looking to replace commodicty LCD in retail and so on with margin LED.

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post #24 of 35 Old 11-25-2015, 05:34 AM
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Quote:
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It should for that kind of money. Camera clamped down though the hall wasn't that dark. These things can get bright.

I suppose it would have to be for over a million. Christ, I didn't even realize displays could get that expensive. I thought $250,000++ Sony 4K projectors were the cream of the crop in the ultra high end display world.
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post #25 of 35 Old 11-25-2015, 09:25 AM
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THX, this AOTO is $500K I was told when I asked. This 1.6mm seems to be most wanted/offered. Smaller pitches will make for smaller displays, as the amount of LEDs/pixels will remain around 4K resolution. Smaller pitches will be more expensive eventhough the number of LEDs is the primary cost factor. Of course you can go to smaller pitch 8K and end up with a similar sized display, and pay considerably more.
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post #26 of 35 Old 11-26-2015, 01:47 PM
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Quote:
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THX, this AOTO is $500K I was told when I asked. This 1.6mm seems to be most wanted/offered. Smaller pitches will make for smaller displays, as the amount of LEDs/pixels will remain around 4K resolution. Smaller pitches will be more expensive eventhough the number of LEDs is the primary cost factor. Of course you can go to smaller pitch 8K and end up with a similar sized display, and pay considerably more.
Interesting... I had never even heard of pitch in displays. Just PPI and pixel resolution.
So if money was absolutely no object, say a billionaire wanted the very best picture money could buy and the display size had to be 150"+ (but then again no bigger than say 250-300") and the room was treated 100% with image quality in mind (non-reflective matte black paint for example, 100% light control, etc, etc) what display would you advise?

And say this display was for viewing sports, regular TV, 4K streams, UHD/4K Blu-Ray movies, playing video games on high end PCs and so on...
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post #27 of 35 Old 11-26-2015, 02:18 PM
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They are modular so they could go bigger, if the control circuitry is not limiting here. They have pluspoints in color, brightness, uniformity can be controlled with camerasystems. Blacks are deep, but I have never seen a demo of low average picture level, greyish, blackish content, this may be telling of near black performance(?), for sports great, movies are primarily dark, Darrin posted measurement in one of his contrast threads (3K+ section?).
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post #28 of 35 Old 11-26-2015, 03:22 PM
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interesting thread!


not read all but I also think that 4k projection will be the maximum possible with projectors.

8K pr. not make sense at all to me as there are too much limitations with a true 8k pr.

I know some cinema guys that are working since longtime there.

One say we will see this kind of Cinema Screens the next 10 years the other say more than 10 years.


I say we will see first Cinema Screens using stackable modules instead of a Pr. and a Screen in less than 6 years from now.

lets see ......but I hope i was right as this have a big potential not only for large cinemas also at home it can some day replace big screens.
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post #29 of 35 Old 11-26-2015, 04:34 PM
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JVC gave up on 8K D-ILA years ago, due to size and cost consideration for its 'compact cinema projector', this year it has been showing (not always in operation), its SHV RGB LASER projector, i.e. 8K e-shift. Sony had an 8K SXRD chip in its labs, many years ago, again not pursued, so I see no jump to 8K or beyond in cinema, soon, premium broadcasting before cinema. Higher Def Production is converging, Alexa 65 is used for both, for instance.
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post #30 of 35 Old 11-27-2015, 01:12 PM
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The OP said his friend wanted a Home Cinema. In my universe, a super jumbo LED TV would not constitute a "cinema" nor would it be capable of rendering a true cinematic experience...if by that one means an experience similar to what one can enjoy at a superior commercial movie venue with say a big Christie or Barco 4K projector housed in a projection room with a chimney. The issue for me would be the extent to which the medium distracts from or supports suspension of disbelief.
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