More key 4K projection customers, new dual projection solution for large screens, latest news on new solutions - and a unique Event Cinema initiative with the National Theatre and Vue Entertainment International
Culver City, California, April 20th 2015 - Sony comes to CinemaCon with news of exciting customer wins, a new 4K solution for large screens, more information on its vision for the future of the cinema industry - and a ground-breaking partnership to screen world-class drama from the National Theatre in Sony 4K to Vue cinema audiences.
"It's been an exciting twelve months since our last visit to Las Vegas for CinemaCon", says David McIntosh, Vice President, Sony Digital Cinema 4K Solutions for Europe and the Americas.
"We're seeing concrete sales momentum, with ‘early adopters' looking to replace their first-generation 2K projectors, alongside equipping brand new screens.
"What's clear in all our conversations with customers is the priority they continue to place on all facets of Sony 4K image quality" notes McIntosh. "This isn't purely about brightness: operators also value the industry-leading contrast ratio and colour that our R500 projector family delivers. It's an endorsement of our continuing strategy to deliver the highest-quality projection solutions on the market - today and tomorrow."
Sony 4K projection now gives audiences the best possible picture experience, from mid-sized theatres and boutique screens to major chains and large multiplexes. Introduced officially at CinemaCon, Sony's easy to use SRX-R515DS dual projection solution brings true 4K picture quality to larger screens.
The SRX-R515DS combines two Sony SRX-R515 projectors to deliver a 30,000 lumen total output. This dual configuration delivers reference light levels for 2D presentation on screens up to 19.5m/64 feet for 14ft-L on white screen with 1.8 gain, or 3D on screens as large as 23m/75 feet for 4.5ft-L on silver screen with 2.4 gain (installation conditions dependent). Boasting on average an 8000:1 contrast ratio, the SRX-R515DS assures fabulous images with rich, deep blacks and sparkling highlights.
Vue standardises on Sony 3D
Leading cinema operator Vue Entertainment International is converting almost 400 of its Sony 4K projection systems in the UK, Ireland, Germany and Denmark to Sony Digital Cinema 3D. Upgrading its fleet to Sony 3D further enhances Vue's customer offering - giving audiences' supreme picture quality at every performance, whether they're watching in 3D or 2D and provides the operational attractions of standardising on an all-Sony 3D presentation solution. The operator has already standardised on Sony 4K projection across the group's Vue and CinemaxX branded European estate. Unlike ‘triple-flash' systems that rapidly present different images to each eye in turn, Sony Digital Cinema 3D dual lens solution provides smooth, immersive flicker-free 3D images without distracting flashing effects.
Independent art-house and boutique cinema operators
Sony's flexible, cost-effective R515P and R510P projectors are increasingly the preferred choice with independent exhibitors and boutique cinema chains. Recent UK independent customers include Curzon that is equipping seven sites across its network with Sony 4K technology.
In recent months, Sony Digital Cinema Solutions Specialist dcinex (Ymagis Group) has won significant contracts in Greece with customers Ster Cinemas and Odeon Cinemas, representing over 60 systems in total.
Following on from its large-scale adoption in many countries, Sony 4K is fast becoming a must-have choice in other markets that are currently transitioning to digital. Leading Turkish boutique chain CINEMApink has completed a 110-screen all-Sony conversion that includes 25 3D systems. Appointed late last year as an official dealer for Sony Digital Cinema 4K projection systems, Omega Cinema Systems has enjoyed considerable sales success in the region, supplying 4K projection systems to local customers including two brand-new sites in Ankara with cinema operator CineVision.
Event Cinema landmark: partnership with National Theatre and Vue Entertainment International
Sony continues to lead the way in helping operators and content owners capitalise on the fast-growing Event Cinema market, spanning live and recorded presentation of cultural, sports and other events. In 2014, Sony helped bring The National Theatre's acclaimed stage production of ‘War Horse' live in 4K to movie-goers in London's West End. The same year, Sony and Vue Entertainment teamed up to screen two matches of the summer's 2014 FIFA World CupTM in 4K at Vue's prestigious Westfield multiplex.
Building on this impressive track record, Sony Digital Cinema has recently announced a ground-breaking initiative in the UK with the National Theatre (NT) and leading exhibitor Vue Entertainment International to screen four NT Live stage productions for Vue audiences in 4K. A milestone in Event Cinema, this unique three-way partnership represents the first agreement of its kind between a leading cultural brand, a cinema chain and an electronics manufacturer. Over the next year, audiences at Vue cinemas across the UK will be able to enjoy a world-class cultural experience without travelling far from home. The four shows will be captured with Sony industry leading 4K cameras PMW-F55s, for screening as a 4K DCP across Vue's UK estate that is equipped exclusively with Sony 4K projection systems.
Looking ahead to the future
Sony confirms that it is continuing its development of new-generation digital cinema solutions including an alternative light source. Promising significant benefits to theatre owners in terms of picture quality, brightness and colour gamut, operational flexibility, reduced maintenance and lower ownership costs, alternative light source will complement and strengthen Sony's existing portfolio of conventional cinema projection solutions.
"We've always been committed to give exhibitors and their patrons the absolute best possible picture quality" confirms David McIntosh.
"Laser light source will be one of the game-changers in the industry in the near future. But it's got to significantly outperform other solutions that are already well proven, and it's got to be at a price that make commercial sense to exhibitors. When Sony does bring laser to market - at the right time, and the right price - we certainly won't disappoint our customers", says McIntosh. "In the meantime, we continue to support and evolve our best-selling family of industry-leading projectors that will keep on giving audiences an amazing 4K experience for years to come."
About Sony 4K Digital Cinema
Sony Digital Cinema 4K technology lets moviegoers experience exceptional picture quality from every seat in the cinema - with spectacular detail, contrast and colour on any size of screen. Sony Digital Cinema 4K projection systems give audiences a more immersive, emotionally engaging visual experience you simply can't get at home - in 2D or with a choice of smooth, easy on the eye 3D solutions. Sony 4K offers four times the resolution of an HD TV or previous-generation 2K digital cinema projectors.
4K is the choice of audiences and industry alike, winning Hollywood's commitment with releases from Paramount, Warner Brothers, 20th Century Fox and Sony Pictures. It's won the support of Hollywood heavyweights like Martin Scorsese ("The Wolf of Wall Street"), Christopher Nolan ("Dark Knight Rises", "Interstellar"), M. Night Shyamalan ("After Earth"), David Fincher ("The Girl with a Dragon Tattoo", "Gone Girl"), Paul Greengrass ("Captain Phillips") and Harald Zwart ("Karate Kid"), who have all released blockbusters in 4K. It's also the choice of award-winning director Nuri Bilge Ceylan who won the coveted Palme d'Or at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival for "Winter Sleep" that was shot in 4K using Sony's F65 CineAlta camera for cinematic release.
The only manufacturer currently deploying 4K projection systems in volume, Sony serves many of the world's biggest and most prestigious cinema chains, as well as small independent screens and art house cinemas.