The Sky Is Falling

Chicken Little release heralds the end of movies on film

3 min read

The decision by Walt Disney Co. and Dolby Laboratories Inc. to equip 100 U.S. movie theaters with digital projection systems for the 4 November premier of the three-dimensional film Chicken Little marks a turning point for digital cinema, a technology poised to completely change the way theaters show movies [see picture, " Digital Conquest"]. It may also turn 3-D movie projection from a seldom-used gimmick into the commonplace.

The technology for digital cinema--encoding and decoding software, file servers, and special projectors--has been available for years. But until now, only some 250 screens worldwide have used it. Two big hurdles have prevented widespread adoption. First was the lack of a standard--theater owners making the investment in a digital cinema system, at a cost of about US $100 000 per screen, had no guarantee that the product they purchased would be compatible with the next theatrical release.

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Digging Into the New QD-OLED TVs

Formerly rival technologies have come together in Samsung displays

5 min read
Television screen displaying closeup of crystals

Sony's A95K televisions incorporate Samsung's new QD-OLED display technology.

Televisions and computer monitors with QD-OLED displays are now on store shelves. The image quality is—as expected—impressive, with amazing black levels, wide viewing angles, a broad color gamut, and high brightness. The products include:

All these products use display panels manufactured by Samsung but have their own unique display assembly, operating system, and electronics.

I took apart a 55-inch Samsung S95B to learn just how these new displays are put together (destroying it in the process). I found an extremely thin OLED backplane that generates blue light with an equally thin QD color-converting structure that completes the optical stack. I used a UV light source, a microscope, and a spectrometer to learn a lot about how these displays work.

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