Red Teases with 4K Laser Powered Projector

Red Digital Cinema has trialled the launch of a laser illuminated passive 3D projection system capable of 4K resolution for home and cinema use. The announcement has been mischievously timed to disrupt the launch of Sony’s new 4K home theatre projector, which is claimed to be a world’s first.

Red founder Jim Jannard posted comments to a Red user forum from industry pundits to whom he had demonstrated the Red Ray projector. These pundits included 3Ality Technica senior vice president Stephen Pizzo, who said its image quality was “so clean and so vibrant", comparing it only to Cibachrome (otherwise known as the Ilfochrome print film once made by Ilford).

Details are sketchy and speculation is filling in the gaps. Among these are suggesting that Red is working on a range of 4K capable displays and projection systems with the projector believed to cost anywhere from $30,000-$50,000. No release date is given except that product will be available in the next 12 months.

That it features laser illumination is interesting. One of the main criticisms of 3D projected features is that they are so dark. Lasers rather than LEDs could provide a more powerful light source.

Red and Sony have 4K acquisition sewn up so it makes sense that if content is to be shot in the format, there is a means of displaying it. Over 14,000 of Sony’s SXRD 4K theatre projection systems have been sold to date, mostly in the US.

Its VPL-VW1000ES 4K home theatre projector, due later this winter, features a ‘Super Resolution 4K’ upscaler that is claimed to ‘dramatically enhance 1080P content, allowing viewers to get the most from their existing Blu-ray Disc libraries. For greater versatility, the release continues, it can also display Full HD 3D and 4K upscaling 3D movies, as well as 2D and 3D anamorphic film.

Interestingly, the Blu-ray specification can only handle 1920 x 1080, not 4K resolution, nor 48 fps content either, making a Blu-ray package of The Hobbit as director Peter Jackson intended the feature to be seen, somewhat problematic.

Source: TVB Europe