Projections Look Good
When Dolby Laboratories showed off its much-anticipated concept High Dynamic Range (HDR) LCD in New York City in late March, nearly as striking as the 46-inch display itself (more on that in a bit) was the fact that Dolby chose SIM2 as the hardware manufacturer to bring what was once a pie-in-the-sky dream into reality.
SIM2, which doesn’t even currently produce an LCD—it’s Grand Cinema HTL line is being retired—is known globally for its sleek front projectors, especially its flagship C3X 1080, a 3-chip DLP unit.
However, Sim2 has a reputation for pushing the envelope, so Dolby saw a natural partner in the Italian company.
The HDR-enabled LCD utilizes the capabilities of LED-based backlight units to provide clear contrast combined with crisp brightness to deliver picture quality that even more closely matches real-world visual perception of depth, detail and color. Behind the 1080p LCD display is an LED array (made up of 1,838 LEDs) that can provide brightness levels from absolute black to 4,000 nits (today’s displays max out at 500 nits). While 4,000 nits would most likely blind you if you tried to watch it indoors, the range of brightness is unprecedented. “It’s still a very delicate concept,” says Alberto Fabiano, Western region marketing and sales manager for Sim2. “This is a proof of concept…Dolby developing on the concept of the HDR, which is Dolby’s technology. SIM2 is the manufacturer that they chose to demonstrate this.”
This wasn’t the first time that SIM2 was way ahead of the curve on innovative technology. Its now-retired line of LCDs was the first to feature fiber optics in 2004. This allowed installers to connect up to 12 home theater components to a box in an A/V closet and then run a single fiber optic cable to the display over 1,000 feet away with no signal transmission loss whatsoever. While the LCDs have been retired, SIM2 eventually migrated the technology to its front-projection units.