Mobile vs. cinema

By Park Hyung-ki

New mobile age calls for innovation in entertainment technology and content

  • Published : Apr 23, 2014 - 19:55
  • Updated : Apr 23, 2014 - 19:55
LG Electronics introduces the 77-inch ultra HD curved OLED TV with high resolution and cinematic quality at a digital TV show on Jejudo Island. ( Yonhap)
The movie industry is facing an uphill battle against new emerging technology that makes home entertainment more attractive for consumers.

Smart devices such as smartphones and tablet PCs, as well as smart televisions with quality sound and high resolution, offer the same kind of experience as one could get at movie theaters.

Viewers use handsets to download and watch music videos and movies, and a new breed of TVs, including curved ultrahigh-definition sets that can connect with mobile handsets, lets consumers comfortably enjoy shows at home.

This may pose a threat to conventional theater operators and movie producers. At the same time, it has offered new opportunities to change, innovate and provide more quality content, as seen from companies such as Netflix, DTS and CJ CGV’s 4DPlex.
Audience members wear 3-D glasses to watch a movie using 4DX motion picture technology at a theater in Moscow. ( Bloomberg)

Netflix, the U.S.-based video streaming tech firm, has thrived amid an increase in connectivity and online viewing, while challenging home movie channels such as HBO.

DTS, known for the theater surround sound technology introduced in Steven Spielberg’s “Jurassic Park,” has been realigning its business to focus on providing premium sound systems for smart devices and TVs as it divested its cinema sound unit.

The Korean unit of DTS said it was in talks with Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics, its key partners for TV surround sound, to give the same movie sound experience to their smartphone users.

“DTS has long been focused on developing a high-priced sound system, and we are planning to provide our premium sound to users of smartphones and other devices,” DTS Korea CEO Yoo Jea-yong told The Korea Herald.

“We are in talks with handset makers such as Samsung and LG as well as local telecom operators to provide our new technology Headphone:X.”

Headphone:X is designed to make smartphone users feel like they are in a movie theater with surround sound while watching content. It was introduced in Asia with China-based Vivo’s Xplay 3S smartphone.

DTS is hoping to deploy its technology on Samsung and LG’s smart devices this year, while seeking to work with telecom operators to allow users of different phones to enjoy premium sound through apps.

CJ 4DPlex, a subsidiary of CJ CGV, Korea’s biggest theater chain, has integrated the concept of theme park rides and movie theaters to come up with its proprietary 4-D motion picture technology, as it faces competition from the growing home entertainment market.

“Our motion and environmental effects let consumers not only enjoy but also immerse themselves in movies at theaters with a totally new experience than the one offered at home,” CJ 4DPlex CEO Choi Byung-hwan said.

CJ CGV spun off the 4-D unit to develop innovative ways to attract consumers to theaters. The multiplex theater operator has also invented ScreenX, a multi-projection and screen technology that lets those in the audience feel like they are in the movie itself.

By Park Hyong-ki and Shin Ji-hye
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