• IBC Big Screen session looks at potential of direct view screen
  • Aim is to “make the theater-going experience incredibly immersive”
  • Speakers from Pixar, Samsung and TheaterEars in SMPTE-backed session

Toy Story Lighter D5 (1) SR

IBC2019: Toy Story 4 in the Big Screen

How is the audience experience evolving? The IBC Big Screen programme asked this question on Monday, focused on the potential of direct view screens.

In particular the session, which took place at IBC2019Onyx, Samsung’s LED cinema screen; and assistive devices, notably, Theater Ears, a mobile app that launched with English-Spanish translation services.

“There are about 25 million Latinos in the U.S. that don’t speak English,” said TheaterEars CEO Dan Mangru, of how the app could bring cinema to a wider audience.

Pixar senior scientist Dominic Glynn said the animation studio is already offering assistive device support, showing the first few minutes of Coco with a descriptive narrated audio track for blind or visually impaired consumers. “There’s a lot of artistry in the narrative,” he said of this work.

Des Carey, head of cinematic innovation for Samsung North America, provided an overview of the Onyx system, pointing to features such as increased brightness and saying he’s been exposing filmmakers to its potential. “Our idea is to make the theater-going experience incredibly immersive and bring a younger audience back,” he said, reporting that there are roughly 60 installed Onyx screens worldwide, with an additional 40 committed.

Pixar released Toy Story 4 on one Onyx, though it wasn’t specially mastered for the system. Glynn noted that the studio is still exploring the potential of such screens. “We’re trying to better understand what’s important to the audience,” he said of all new technology, adding that this includes hosting test audiences at Pixar.

Mark Arana, distribution technology at The Walt Disney Studios, chaired the session.