January 11, 2021
Sony plans to sell modular “virtual set” displays similar to those used by Industrial Light & Magic and Epic Games to create the sets for “The Mandalorian.” The C-Series displays, which rely on MicroLEDs, will be part of its Crystal LED line aimed at the digital signage market. The modular panels can be connected to a controller. The B-Series displays will be marketed for use in movie production. According to Sony, they can operate at 1,800 nits. In comparison, Apple Pro Display XDR peaks at 1,600 nits.
The Verge reports that backgrounds created out of MiniLEDs are much more realistic and help “convince the audience that your actors are actually there.” Previous green-screen technology required actors to be lit as if the background existed but, with the modular displays, it is “easier to get a realistic-looking shot,” including reflections.
According to Sony, “these displays are capable of high frame rates and 3D, so the there’s a lot of flexibility in what kind of signal you can feed them.” Sony plans to release the product in the summer; no price has been revealed.
Engadget reports that Sony’s professional display division “unveiled two versions of the screens, a C- and B- series, that are turned for either 1,000,000:1 high contrast or high brightness, respectively.” The B-series “was developed with Sony Pictures specifically for use as a studio backdrop without showing reflections, while the C-Series is more for installation in lobbies or showrooms.” Both displays “use the same processing as Sony’s TVs, with the ability to handle HDR, 120 fps and 3D video sources.”
In its press release, Sony reports the release of its “modular Crystal LED C-series (ZRD-C12A/C15A) with high contrast and B-series (ZRD-B12A/B15A) with high brightness.” Both displays, it adds, “are available in two pixel pitch sizes (P1.26mm and P1.58mm) to suit different installation needs and expand the line-up of Sony’s Crystal LED for various applications including corporate showrooms, lobbies and productions.”
Both come with the X1 for Crystal LED image processor, which “fully incorporates the LED control technology … and the signal processing technology … in Sony’s Bravia TV series … [which provides] highly realistic large-scale imagery that maintains image integrity close-up and at a distance.” Other features include Reality Creation (maintaining high resolution with upscaling); Motionflow (artifact-free pictures without motion blur) and “showcase impressive gradation expression (22bit Super Bit Mapping).”
The displays operate with lower power consumption and offer front accessibility, equaling a “reduced total cost of ownership including maintenance, after purchase.” They are also both “fanless, ensuring quiet operation and feature a 100-240V AC power supply.”