THE major competitor for movie exhibitors is the 'living room'. Without doubt home entertainment, and its relentless technological development, is the number one threat to cinema owners/operators. Therefore, CMG closely follows the trends and developments taking place in the home entertainment arena. For 2013 there are a number of trends that you should be aware of.
#1 While their introduction has been delayed several times, OLED TVs (organic light emitting diode) will began shipping in 2013. LG and Samsung will start shipping large screen OLEDs in the first quarter and other manufacturers will follow. So, what's the big deal with OLED you ask. Well, OLEDs use a layer of electroluminescent film which is made up of an organic compound. Because the display works without a backlight, as the typical LCD display, OLEDs are thinner and lighter, and provide a higher contrast ratio with deeper blacks. In other words, an improved image.
#2 LCDs will continue to grow in size. Forget the 84 and 90 inch models look for most manufacturers to offer models well over 100 inches. Panasonic intro'd a 12 foot model last year (that's a 144 inch screen). These models won't come cheap but the average TV sold in 2013 will be at least 65 inches or above. Besides getting larger these TVs will put the nail in the coffin of digital front projectors.
#3 Remote controls get SMART for 2013. New remotes aren't just for changing channels or adjusting volume. They will do lots more: like voice and gesture control along with face recognition. Voice remote will become the standard as 2013 will mark the year the Remote came of age.
#4 2013 will see the mass introduction of the Ultra High Def (UHD) TV with its 3840x2160 resolution. Presently only available in large format 84 inch models by LG and Sony (and priced in the $17,000 range) this year we'll see UHD models in the 55 inch size for $4,000 - not cheap but readily affordable to the 'high end' consumer.
Note: one of the problems plaguing UHD is available content. CMG doesn't expect the studios to start distributing Ultra High Def Blu-rays discs, for example, until sales of UHD-TVs reach the million unit mark.
#5 TVs with Built-in Cameras. CMG predicts more and more TVs will incorporate HD cameras and microphones along with Internet connectivity for Skype and other facial recognition/communication services. Cameras will become the norm on all sized models of TVs.
#6 A new HDMI Standard is looming for 2013, so just when you thought HDMI 1.4a was the way to go for video and sound hookup - Presto HDMI 2.0 appears. Why a new standard, well for one thing, the new HDMI can handle far higher bandwidth and thus higher frame rates, and Ultra High Def TV and its demands.
#7 Apple iTV will be intro'd along with Intel's TV network. The heart of these systems is that they will have their own networks, allowing the average family to 'cut the cord' and bypass cable or satellite providers. The Apple iTVs will feature a thinner, border-less screen with wider viewing angles, new multi-function remote, and very sophisticated user interface.
These are the Trends CMG sees for 2013. Cinema exhibitors take note, and when you think of D-Cinema conversion think of this competition and how your theatre needs to have a WOW factor to get consumers out of their living rooms and into your theatre.
Best and Happy Movie Going!