Just one year after offering CinemaCon attendees a first look at its initial Cinema LED screen, Samsung Electronics has officially launched its new Onyx brand at this year’s event. All venues featuring Samsung’s enhanced screen will operate under the “Samsung Onyx Theatre” name moving forward.
Justin Hume, Chief Marketing Officer for Samsung South Africa, says, “Samsung is consistently innovating, especially when it comes to enhancing visual and communication experiences for our customers. The future is more immersive, more engaging and Samsung is at the forefront of those experiences.”
Inspired by the gemstone of the same name, the Samsung Onyx brand alludes to the display’s ability to showcase cinema content with true, deep and realistic black colours. Combining an infinite contrast ratio and specialised low-tone grayscale settings, this pinpoint representation produces brighter and more detail-rich content.
“By aligning brilliant, uniform colour presentation with LED picture quality and crystal-clear audio, the Samsung Onyx screen invites movie enthusiasts into the most immersive and memorable viewing arena available and repositions the theatre as an entertainment haven,” said Seog-gi Kim, Executive Vice President of Visual Display Business at Samsung Electronics. “We are thrilled to deliver a new and exciting theatre experience to operators, managers and consumers around the world and we look forward to working further with leading decision-makers in the movie industry to usher in the next generation of cinema.”
The Next Generation of Cinema
Available in variations extending between 5 and 10.3 meters (16.4-33.8 ft.) in width, the Samsung Onyx display accommodates any venue configuration while delivering visual quality, technical performance and reliability beyond that of traditional projector-based operations. With the 4K model earning validation as the world’s first Digital Cinema Initiatives (DCI)-certified theatre display, the Samsung Onyx translates the combination of advanced LED and High Dynamic Range (HDR) picture quality to lifelike big screen content.
CinemaCon 2018 attendees were also among the first to experience the Samsung Onyx’s powerful multi-sensory viewing environment. Each Samsung Onyx screen features state-of-the-art surround sound from HARMAN International, bringing scenes to life through clear and consistent audio. This integration eliminates rearward bias by expanding the audio “sweet spot” within Onyx theatres and ensures that all attendees can enjoy the same presentation regardless of seat location.
Samsung also previewed the Onyx’s ready-made sequel at CinemaCon 2018. The 3D Onyx Cinema LED screen makes 3D movie content more realistic through enhanced brightness and consistent colour amplification. Glass-wearing viewers can now enjoy subtitle text, images and even minor visual details with unprecedented clarity and without the dark, blurry shadowing and potential dizziness that can occur in traditional 3D movie theatres.
Expanding Presence through Worldwide Partnerships
The Onyx’s debut at CinemaCon 2018 comes as Samsung continues to expand its presence among global cinema operators and audiences. In April 2018, Samsung and partner Moving Image Tech (MIT) opened the first U.S. Onyx theatre at Hollywood’s Pacific Theatres Winnetka w/XD. Samsung also recently announced partnerships with Golden Screen Cinemas – the largest cinema company in Malaysia, with 35 venues and 328 screens throughout the nation – and Cineplexx Cinemas – the largest cinema company in Austria, with 171 screens nationwide – to bring the Onyx screen to movie-goers in each country. The first locally revamped Samsung Onyx theatres are expected to open in Kuala Lumpur and Vienna, respectively, later this year.
“As the heart of the American film industry, Hollywood is an appropriate and symbolic location to introduce a game-changing technology in the Samsung Onyx for movie producers and consumers,” said Ron Gazzola, SVP, Sales and Marketing, IT B2B Division at Samsung Electronics America. “We are excited to revolutionize the cinema experience and look forward to sharing the Samsung Onyx with even wider audiences both in the U.S. and throughout the world.”
As more theatres upgrade to the Onyx screen, Samsung is working with cinema content developers to ensure that the display can optimize upcoming films. Samsung will collaborate with leading cinema technology services provider Ymagis Group and its Eclair content development business unit to deliver EclairColor HDR-compliant pictures that shine on the Onyx screen. CinemaCon 2018 attendees were treated to a sneak peek at the benefits of this alliance, as Samsung unveiled EclairColor-enhanced visuals on its next-generation display. Samsung additionally has forged a partnership with Hollywood-based post-production company Roundabout to develop specialized Onyx-ready HDR content.
“Today’s movies feature the most sophisticated production and advanced graphics ever and producers and directors need powerful theatre technology to showcase their works as intended and at optimal quality,” said Jean Mizrahi, president and co-founder of Ymagis Group. “We anticipate dynamic and powerful cinema displays like the Onyx becoming the accepted industry standard in the coming years and we are honoured to partner with Samsung to drive change throughout the industry and ultimately improve the content experience for cinema-goers everywhere.”
At CinemaCon, Samsung additionally highlighted its partnerships with production equipment businesses, such as the new research and development initiative performed in conjunction with Arnold & Richter Cine Technik (ARRI), a Munich-based designer and manufacturer of specialized motion picture camera and lighting systems, to create Onyx-optimized content. Samsung is also collaborating with GDC Technology, a leading global provider of end-to-end digital cinema solutions, to develop Onyx-compatible cinema servers.
CinemaCon took place on 23-26 April 2018 at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. It is the official convention of the National Association of Theatre Owners with participants from more than 80 countries in attendance.