Sony today announced it had shipped 8,800 Sony Digital Cinema 4K projection systems globally by May 2011. With soaring technological and market growth, Sony is seeing even more audiences around the world experience Sony’s remarkable 4K technology in a wide range of content.
Future Technological Innovations
One development which will continue to see Sony Digital Cinema 4K reach further success points and growth, will be Sony Digital Cinema 4K’s support to High Frame Rates in 3D. All Sony Digital Cinema 4K projectors already support 48p and 60p 3D by DVI input since its initial shipment in April 2007 for SRX-R220 and October 2009 for SRX-R320. With an upgrade expected to be available next year, which will come at a potential upgrade cost, all Sony Digital Cinema 4K projectors with their integrated media blocks will be able to support 48P and 60P 3D screening, offering the ultimate 3D experience to its exhibitors and their customers.
Elsewhere, at CineEurope, Sony is showcasing its Closed Caption Glasses prototype. This is a technology concept Sony has developed, which aims to support the hearing impaired community. This prototype see-through eyewear displays a virtual closed caption to the hearing impaired wearer, enabling users to join friends and families to experience the same movie going experience.
Sony continues to develop innovations for the smaller cinema chain market by announcing that it will be rolling out a downsized 4K technology projector tailored for small and medium screens. This development in projectors is expected to be launched in the autumn of 2012.
Broadening offering through key industry partners
Sony Digital Cinema will also be celebrating its partnership with RealD, a leading global licensor of stereoscopic 3D technologies, which over the past three years has accounted for the delivery of more than 5,000 RealD 3D systems with Sony Digital Cinema 4K projectors globally. By creating its bright and ‘easy on the eyes’ 3D experience, it remains the leading choice for many exhibitors.
Sony and DPVO Theatrical, LLC – which is a joint venture of Panavision and Omega Optical – announce they are working on a solution that will enable Panavision 3D Systems to be compatible with Sony Digital Cinema 4K projectors. This willallow exhibitors to keep their white screens and still have a 3D system which delivers Sony’s ‘easy on the eyes’ experience,with superior 4K picture quality in 3D. The launch of the Panavision 3D system for Sony Digital Cinema 4K projector is expected towards the end of 2011 in Europe.
Another key development to the ease with which Sony Digital Cinema’s 4K technology is projected in cinemas is the partnership with SmartJog, a global leader in managed digital delivery services and subsidiary of TDF Group. The SmartJog delivery system will be showcased at Sony's European headquarters as part of their collaboration effort. The companies will extend their relationship by implementing close communication between the Sony Theatre Management System (TMS) and the SmartJog gateway and library server.
One of the key successes to Sony Digital Cinema’s developments in alternative content is its close partnership with the communications infrastructure and media services company, Arqiva. It is thanks to this partnership that the upcoming Wimbledon 3D live transmission will be distributed globally to worldwide cinemas. It will be the first time this famous tournament has been transmitted live to cinemas or seen in stunning high definition 3D, and so represents an innovative and unique viewing opportunity for tennis enthusiasts all around the world.
To further support the growing need to screen alternative content, Sony will launch a new HDMI 1.4a input option board later this year, that will support 3D input formats such as 1080-24p and 720-50p /60p frame packing, 1080 & 720-50p/60p side-by-side.
Reflecting upon Sony Digital Cinema’s successes and recent developments, David McIntosh, Director, Sony Professional Solutions, Europe, said: “We are delighted to develop and expand the world of Sony Digital Cinema 4K in Europe, supported by key technical partners in the cinema industry. Signing key Virtual Print Fee (VPF) business in the UK has certainly enforced our position as a key player in this industry, not only as a projector manufacturer, but clearly as a total solution provider.
To be certified as the industry first DCI compliant projection system supplier clearly shows how committed we are to bring the highest standard of quality to cinemas, and to consumers. We are also delighted that not only our future, but also all our existing customers, will be able to upgrade their Sony Digital Cinema 4K projector system to support 48p and 60p 3D screening next year, fully preparing them for the next innovation in 3D screening experience. Supplying premium content globally, such as Wimbledon, demonstrates our commitment to deliver the Sony 4K digital entertainment experience to cinemas and their customers. We know that Sony Digital Cinema 4K has already set the quality standard in cinema exhibition, and I believe in the coming years, 4K will also become the consumer experience standard.”