Improved Laser Projectors at a Theater Near You

Improved Laser Projectors at a Theater Near You
March 6, 2015 Kevin Karsch

There was a nice piece by Andrew Liszewski recently on Gizmodo about IMAX’s smart laser projectors and their impending release to theaters.

tl;dr: Laser projectors are coming to theaters, and the contrast and resolution are getting so close to that of physical film / film projectors that the differences might soon be hard to perceive. The use of lasers (instead of bulbs) also means less maintenance and calibration.

One of the most interesting aspects of these new projectors is that there are actually two projectors working in concert to effectively double the resolution and enhance contrast. From my understanding, the projectors are being used to create a kind of HDR image, although stacking projectors in general will only improve brightness (rather than contrast). According to the article, there is also a camera attached to the projectors in order to automatically ensure proper calibration and quality. Although the details seem to be proprietary, there are a lot of academic works in projector-camera systems that suggest methods for how IMAX might be doing these corrections automatically.

As projector hardware continues to improve, we’re excited to see what new applications (mapping or otherwise) come about!