It’s IMAX vs Samsung now showing near you

Nandana James Mumbai | Updated on December 31, 2018 Published on December 31, 2018

With the launch of the world’s first LED cinema screen, Onyx, in India in August 2018, Samsung sauntered into the tech-enabled movie experience space previously dominated by IMAX, which has been around since 2001.

Both technology-enabled platforms are vying to offer unmatched movie experiences, in what can be described as a battle of screens.

“Onyx will change the way we watch movies at a cinema hall, and will mark a new chapter in the history of cinema viewing technology,” said Puneet Sethi, Vice-President, Consumer Electronics, Enterprise Business, Samsung India.

Since there is no projection, there is no loss of content quality in terms of contrast, brightness and colours, he said. David Hancock, who heads the global film and cinema department at IHS Markit, is quoted saying on Screen Daily that cross-technology comparisons are an issue that cinema owners will have to grapple with, as they weigh investment upgrades.

“Multiple choice of technology, rather than cost, could be the overriding factor for exhibitors… It’s likely you will find a mix of technology in the same multiplex,” said Hancock.

Engaging audiences

“Both screens, ONYX and IMAX, have their uniqueness which helps them stand out and thus they don’t contradict each other,” said Alok Tandon, CEO, INOX Leisure Limited.

He added that INOX’s focus will be on offering all kinds of latest technology and giving the audience a wider choice.

Meanwhile, IMAX is excited to play a key role in driving the country’s interest in cinema, said John Schreiner, IMAX’s Senior Vice-President, Theatre Development for India, Russia, CIS and Middle East. He said that some of the highest-grossing IMAX titles in India were released in 2018, such as Padmaavat, which grossed over $1 million, as well as Hollywood titles.

Schreiner said that IMAX’s continued focus will include collaboration with today’s biggest filmmakers to “bring their films to life in new ways.”

“In addition to the superior image quality, IMAX audiences were able to see 26 per cent more picture than audiences at standard cinemas,” said Schreiner. On whether the LED Onyx screen is perceived as competition, Schreiner said that IMAX is “always keeping a close watch on new technologies to explore whether we can incorporate them into our experience or even extend the IMAX brand into.”

“While we certainly think there are exciting aspects of LED screen technology and that the technology will continue to improve, we believe our groundbreaking laser projection technology and immersive 12-channel audio, that can power a screen over 100ft with the clearest pictures and powerful sound, is the most advanced cinema system on the market today,” he said.

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Published on December 31, 2018
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