Last month Cinionic announced the debut of its new cinema screen designed for laser-powered auditoriums. The company said the Cinionic Laser Screen 2.4 amplifies the power of laser projection through optimized efficiency and enhanced onscreen movie presentation. AMC Theatres is set to be the first exhibitor to receive the new screens, with nearly two dozen installs planned this year. Cinionic Laser Screen 2.4 is now available in the U.S. and Mexico, with a global rollout planned over the next few months. I recently spoke via email Carl Rijsbrack, Cinionic’s chief marketing officer and head of innovation, to learn about the development of the screen and what plans the company has for future products.
Digital Cinema Report: What was missing that led Cinionic to enter the cinema screen market?
Carl Rijsbrack: At Cinionic, we are constantly looking at how we can drive quality and efficiency through innovation in the delivery of the cinema experience. The introduction of a screen specifically designed for our laser projection portfolio is about creating a precision match that maximizes efficiency and brilliance through every step of the presentation process to deliver movies in crisp picture quality with bright, vivid color. As a companion to cinema globally, we believe in offering exhibitors comprehensive solutions that offer on-screen excellence and operational confidence. Through the introduction of the Cinionic Laser Screen 2.4, we extend the trusted Cinionic cinema ecosystem and support even more of the presentation journey that a film goes on to reach moviegoers, from ingest to laser projection and now the screen itself.
DCR: Your first entry into that market is the Cinionic Laser Screen 2.4. That suggests there were earlier versions before you had what you felt was ready to take to market. Was that the case?
CR: Great question. The 2.4 doesn’t refer to a version number. Instead, it refers to the gain of the screen. All cinema screens have a measurement called a gain, which indicates the amount of light reflected to the audience. A screen with a gain of over 1.0 amplifies the amount of light being projected onto it. When designing a screen specifically suited to meet the needs of exhibition today, and to bring out even more of the potential of Laser Projection by Cinionic, we narrowed in on a 2.4 gain, white-silver screen. That’s why you see it in the name – it’s a Cinionic-designed screen, made with laser projection in mind, and a 2.4 gain. The result is a screen that enhances the brilliant images of laser, can reduce the power output needed through efficient screen and projector pairing, and supports operational flexibility with the ability to present 2D and 3D movies.
DCR: Where and for how long was the screen beta tested?
CR: At Cinionic and Barco, we leverage a robust and rigorous testing program on everything we bring to the market. Our approach to testing and in-market laser-to-screen pairing experience in thousands of auditoriums allowed us to learn, identify, and hone in on the right combination of parameters to deliver a screen ideally suited for cinema’s laser era. As a result, the Cinionic Laser Screen 2.4 brings together years of real-world testing, data collection, and customer insights.
Together with our development partner, Strong MDI, we approached the Cinionic Laser Screen 2.4 with the same diligent process with which we use to develop and test all of our solutions. The prototypes for our screen went through multiple stages of testing and development, first internally, then with external stakeholders. From there, we moved to full-size screen tests and a trial install in a live cinema setting before finally introducing it to the market. We are not only dedicated to cinema and bringing value-added solutions that address the needs of exhibition today. We are steadfast in our commitment to innovation and R&D to ensure that all of our solutions meet the same high-quality standards that have made us the leader in laser cinema.
DCR: How does your laser screen differ from the competition?
CR: This proprietary screen model was designed specifically as a companion to Laser Projection by Cinionic – it’s in a category of its own, supporting the success of Barco Series 4 projectors. It incorporates a combination of technology and design elements for a solution that is better matched with Barco Series 4 laser projectors than other standard cinema screens with similar gain specifications on the market today. Together with Laser Projection by Cinionic, the Laser Screen 2.4 is the perfect mix of visual parameters onscreen, screen gain, and viewing angles to deliver the most optimal performance for presentation.
DCR: What, if any, size limitations are there?
CR: The maximum size for production is 64-feet high by 100-feet wide (19.5-meters wide by 30.5-meters wide).
DCR: How does it compare in price?
CR: As a premier solution for best-in-class laser auditoriums powered by Cinionic, the price is only one part of the equation. One of the many benefits of pairing this screen with laser projection is the effect on the total cost of ownership. Beyond the initial installation, the pairing of Cinionic Laser Screen 2.4 with Laser Projection by Cinionic is a comprehensive laser presentation solution that optimizes efficiency thanks to lower energy consumption required to achieve the same, or better, image quality of a larger projector. For theaters, this offers the potential to deploy a lower-cost projector without sacrificing quality, while benefiting from greater efficiency with reduced energy costs and lifetime extension of the paired solution.
At Cinionic, we always seek to balance the total cost of ownership alongside the leading solutions needed to deliver a wow factor for our customers’ audiences. Working as a companion to our customers as they develop their ambitions for each cinema enables a more holistic view that takes into consideration pricing as well as many other parameters to deliver a cost-effective, efficient, and leading Cinionic solution.
DCR: AMC Theatres is your first customer. How have other exhibitors reacted to the screen?
CR: We are very proud that we were able to announce AMC’s adoption in almost two dozen of their locations before the end of 2023 alongside the debut of our first screen solution. Through our constant co-creation of solutions with leading exhibitors, we can develop solutions that address current needs time and time again. The reception to our new screen confirmed what we had learned and seen during our co-creation of this solution with the market. We are looking forward to amplifying the potential of laser cinema as we continue the rollout with customers worldwide.
DCR: Does Cinionic intend to develop a complete line of screens, and if so, what can you tell us about that?
CR: We developed the Cinionic Laser Screen 2.4 because we saw a need and opportunity to further enhance the benefits of laser for our customers. The screen we are introducing now caters to a wide range of use cases and theatrical needs when considering how to maximize the power of Laser Projection by Cinionic. We continue to work closely with the entire industry, from screen manufacturers to exhibition, to ensure that our all-laser solution portfolio meets the needs of cinema. Our team is always looking for new ways to deliver exceptional cinema experiences for theaters and their audiences and is constantly looking at the right solutions for the market where Cinionic can add value.