New Chinese Cinema LED Gets DCI Certification

By Patrick von Sychowski | January 20, 2022 7:25 am PST
AET Cinema LED Display - Certification

Chinese company AET Altai has become the latest manufacturer to get DCI certification for its Cinema LED screen technology. AET Altai thus joins the likes of Samsung, Sony and LG Electronics in having a non-projector cinema display solution that is certified to show first-run Hollywood films. The certification is important as China has a goal to become less reliant on foreign films and technology for its cinema sector, which is now the world’s largest, both in terms of number of screens and box office.

Dongguan Altai Display Technology Co. claims to be the first Chinese manufacturer to get DCI certification for its Cinema LED screen though on the DCI compliancy home page, the company registered as having received certification on 21 December is Shanghai Muge Technology Co., Ltd for the model GS01 with media block GM01. Previously Shenzhen Timewaying Technology Co. Ltd. got DCI certification for its LA2K-10 model direct view display (the technical term for Cinema LED) on 18 June 2021. So there appears to be two Chinese Cinema LED companies with DCI approval, in addition to the two South Korea (Samsung and LG) and one Japanese (Sony).

For technical specifications AET Altai claims to achieve 48 nits ultra-low brightness, AET Altai BOB patented display panel packaging process (“the display effect is more uniform and soft, and the color of the picture is true and full”), 1,000,000:1 ultra-high contrast rendering, 16+bit high grayscale, 3840Hz high refresh rate, 120fps high frame rate, a viewing angle expansion that can exceed 170°, 4K+ resolution with 8M, 10M, 14M, 20M standardized size options, for a variety of picture aspect ratio formats, boasting that “Compared with the current IMAX (1.78:1), the LED cinema screen will bring a clearer and more grand viewing effect.” With a “minimum power consumption of 1000W,” it claims to offer just one-fifth of the power consumption of traditional digital cinema projectors.

AET Altai test image, most likely from Sony Picture Entertainment’s “Peter Rabbit”

China currently has 80,000 cinema screens and plans to grow by more than 10% each year, with more than 100,000 cinema screens expected by 2025. Much is made of the need for less reliance on foreign film and technology:

In the “14th Five-Year Plan” China Film Development Plan issued by the State Film Administration of China, it is mentioned that it is necessary to focus on researching technologies and equipment such as cinema LED screens with independent intellectual property rights, seize the commanding heights of technology, and break the monopoly of foreign technology

There has previously been mentions of at least 2% of all new cinema screens being Cinema LED systems, with one percent of previous screens converted to the new technology by 2025. This will make China the global leader by far in direct view displays for cinemas, with its domestic manufacturers stealing a march on the likes of Samsung, LG and Sony. While the Covid-related crisis has dampened the interest of cinemas in Europe and North America to install expensive Cinema LED systems, the entry of more Chinese manufacturers is likely to push down the price over time.

Patrick von Sychowski
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