New laser technology affords the ability to reproduce a brighter picture than commonly used Xenon-based digital cinema projectors.
While Barco and Christie have already released laser-illuminated projectors, Sony has insisted it would not introduce such technology until it felt it was the right time. Apparently, that time is now.
Sony on Monday announced that it would unveil a prototype 4K laser projector next week at CinemaCon, the theater owners confab. It ticks the boxes with support for high dynamic range (HDR) imagery and a wider color gamut, while enabling 3D on existing silver screens (RealD).
According to Sony, the RGB projector has an optical system that simultaneously displays two 4K resolution images through a single lens. Pricing and availability weren't revealed.
While there has been interest in laser technology for its bright projection capabilities, the key business issue is that it's more expensive that Xenon-based systems. And unlike during the transition from film to digital projection, Virtual Print Fee deals are not available to offset the theater's investment. That has given many theater owners reason to pause when considering the cost.
On a related note, Sony unveiled another prototype 4K laser projection model in December at CineAsia.