Why Hollywood Should Worry About Samsung’s 110-Inch TV

Samsung Ultra HD TV

Electronics manufacturers are sure to set off a new tech trend of mega-TVs that will encourage more consumers to stay at home

Just days before the Consumer Electronics Show kicks off in Las Vegas next week, Samsung unveiled a massive 110-inch Ultra HD TV that comes with an equally hefty pricetag of $150,000 in South Korea.

While the new TV is out of the reach of most consumers, Samsung has created a ripple that will surely turn into a wave of new mega-TVs the electronics industry will soon unleash from a variety of hardware makers looking to lure buyers with the next big thing. Although 3D TVs — also heavily promoted at CES in the past — have turned out to be a fad, 4K doesn’t look to go down that same route.

And that should have Hollywood worried.

If studios and their exhibition partners were concerned about an increasing number of moviegoers staying at home, the newest 4K TV sets hitting the market over the next year should amp up the anxiety.

Ultra HD provides four times the resolution of a standard high-definition TV currently found in most homes, displaying 8 million pixels rather than 2 million.

While movie theaters show images in 4096 x 2160 resolution, the newest Ultra HD TVs show them in 3840 X 2160, too close for comfort for theater operators. Because of that, expect exhibitors to demand a tighter hold on current release windows in order to protect ticket and concession sales.

Ticket sales this year were stable with 2012, if not slightly higher, according to the National Assn. of Theater Owners, at 1.36 billion sold.

But admissions could start to decline as prices of Ultra HD TVs decrease and consumers opt for more impressive home theaters.

Price points on the newest TV sets have already dropped fairly quickly, with Sears selling a 65-inch 4K TV from Seiki Digital for $2,999 during this holiday season.

The new 4K TVs are also smart TVs, providing access to streaming video apps like Neftlix, YouTube, Amazon and Hulu Plus. Some of those players already are experimenting with 4K streaming in order to be ready for the demand for more programming from buyers of Ultra HD screens.

Sony stepped up this summer to provide buyers of its own 4K TVs movies and TV shows through a new media streamer. And other studios already are filming their movies in 4K — Universal’s “Oblivion” was shot in the format — making the transition to homevideo easier.

The push to promote Digital HD, an earlier window than homevideo disc releases, could also bode well for studios as they look to sell more films through digital platforms and steer consumers away from rentals.

While most analysts believe consumers will likely purchase a 55-inch unit, Samsung’s 110-inch 4K TV provides a glimpse into what’s to come. Earlier this year, Samsung wowed CES-goers with an 85-inch unit providing crystal clear visuals on its massive screen. That unit cost around $40,000.

Samsung says it expects to sell most of its 110-inch TVs in China. But it already has 10 orders for the sets from buyers in the Middle East. The unit is also available in Europe but not yet in North America.

Global sales of Ultra HD TV sets are expected to grow from 1.3 million in 2013 to 23 million in 2017, according to NPD DisplaySearch.

As sales increase, Hollywood’s studio executives will likely be forced to take a closer look at the kinds of movies they greenlight, and the likely result will be slates filled with films that have a wide appeal and developed to be seen on the kind of big screens only multiplexes can provide. As a result, expect less risk taking and more sequels for years to come.

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  1. Burt says:

    Also .. you’re less likely to get massacred in your own living room.

  2. Theaters are dead. No thugs, no loud talking when you’re actually trying to pay attention to the movie, no expensive popcorn & candy, and no bad seats. They’ll be gone sooner or later. Movie moguls don’t need theaters to make money; they still control the rights and the releases and the pricing. Now, the best thing they can do is create better movies. Most movies are (bleep).

  3. Dalton says:

    It may just be the age factor (I’m 51 and I realize that Hollywood isn’t making their movies for me), but for the first time since I was 6 I’ve gone the entire year without going to a movie theater. Not interested in Hobbits, the 3rd sequel to the 2rd reboot of a fourth-rate comic book hero story, or the latest gross-out comedy featuring some fat ugly and stupid unemployed alcoholic loser who gets the beautiful, rich and successful girl. I don’t want to see any more cartoons with talking animals. if I see another helicopter explode, another car sommersault 100 feet into the air when someone shoots the gas tank with a pistol, or another 90-lb supermodel dressed in black leather kickboxing a 240lb man across a room into a plate glass window, I think I’ll scream. I don’t want to see historical dramas with rap “music” soundtracks. I’m tired of seeing people with bright orange faces against blue/grey cgi “sets”. I can’t tolerate “shaky cam” cinematography and won’t fall again for the hype that the latest 3D film finally gets it right and that the 3D effects are “really integral to the story”. And that’s just my problem with what’s on the screen. Don’t get me started on the ambience of the typical suburban multiplex these days…

    So yes I’m sitting at home most nights, watching DVDs and blu-rays of classic films from the golden age of Hollywood on my 106″ screen with my 1080p projector, which cost me FAR less than $150k. I’m not going to upgrade to 4K; what I’ve got is good enough. And I am someone who DOES appreciate the extra resolution of SACD (which Sony introduced in 1999, not in “the late 80s”) over CD.

  4. Doug Stringham says:

    I work in the film/television business. As an owner of a effects/motion graphics studio I can say that Hollywood has nothing to fear. 4K television is nothing short of ridiculous. Cramming a 4K signal into an already overloaded 1080p stream is going to look awful. People don’t realize the sheer amount of compression required to pack a 1080 HD stream into a cable channel. Loss of color, introduction of artifacts, and diminished detail occurs with all HD feeds in order to meet bandwidth requirements. All of which get much worse in high action scenes. The only thing that might possibly look good is 4K Blu-ray.

    We already capture in 4K and 5K resolution for 1080p deliverables. Going to 4K broadcast, which will have very little effect on the quality of streamed video, will require us to capture at 4K+ resolution and significantly increase the cost of production and post. Expect these costs to be passed on to the consumer.

  5. acephali says:

    Whoever is chairman of the secret hollywood cabal needs an intervention.

    Movies suck. Please – consider the latest bit of drek, ‘Brands’ and compare it to the similar paranoia fest ‘They live’. In ‘Brands’ they gave us an anorexic vegetarian battling some kind of inflated hand puppets. In ‘They live’ we got Roddy Piper. We got Meg Foster as the hot alien sympathizer.

    In the end Roddy lost and we STILL felt less depressed than we did at the end of stupid ‘BRANDS’ after the virtuous vegetarian defeats capitalism by inventing competition or some such rubbish.

  6. Chase says:

    Brick and mortar theaters should worry but Hollywood should still be in a good position to produce content. They just need to rethink the delivery system and get ahead of it unlike the music industry.

  7. Steve says:

    It reminds me of Sony’s Super Audio Compact Disc (SACD) in the late 80’s. CD’s were good enough.

    HD is good enough. Few are going to spend thousands on UHD.

  8. matt says:

    not gonna happen. technology moving faster than people wanna upgrade

  9. Shaniqua Braxton says:

    We just be stealin ours gots to get me some dat 4k shit.

  10. BillC says:

    I’ve still got my Pioneer 52 inch 1280×1024 rear screen projection monitor and 100w X 5 amp with VHS/DVD/Blueray/LD and it works just fine. Sure its almost 20 years old but nobody complains about the quality.

  11. carlb says:

    are you kidding! these super hd’s are so far out of most peoples price range to be impossible to buy. at most a 60 inch for $3,000 would be the limit. even at that price with financing would be impossible especially in this obama economy the only way people would get one is if we had riots and everyone started looting like la in the 90’s, or obamas kids flash mobs shoplifting!

  12. 42 samsung tv lasted all of two years… money out the window never again.

    • Mike says:

      Just hit 10 years on my NEC 50 inch plasma. No repairs, no problems even with daily use.

    • J Waggoner says:

      Should have bought a warranty… that’s what they are for. LEDs will last 5 years if you turn down the contrast and brightness and adjust for the room lighting. Many people just leave them on default settings right out of the box and boom tv goes out in a couple years.

      • Jeff beal says:

        No need for a warranty. Those 42 inch samsungs are known to blow their caps frequently. All you have to do is contact samsung directly and they will fix it for you. Of course they don’t advertise this.

    • carlb says:

      that’s intersesting i have had my 48″ sony vios for over 3 years with zero problems and that’s with football parties and throwing things at it. lol

  13. R Sweeney says:

    It’s not the screen.
    It’s what’s on the screen (or not on for modern Hollywood) that counts.

  14. psadie says:

    People have been staying home more for the last 10 years because it is so expensive to go to the movies, to go out period and safety issues. Thus the boom in home theatres and improved kitchens. It’s called cocooning.

  15. Trust me, 4k is not going to go over, at least, not for a long, long time. Most people have just gotten a high definition set, and of those, a majority don’t even have it hooked to a high definitiin source and can’t tell the difference anyway.

  16. JT Bohannon says:

    Hollywood’s not in trouble, the theater owners are. No matter how big the TVs get, they’ll still need content to be watched on them, and I’m sure Hollywood will be more than happy to cut out the middle man and provide it directly to homes.

  17. casper says:

    I find the cause and effect a bit questionable. Hollywood will keep making dumb movies because they think most people are idiots not because of the size of screens. Global population keeps rising and the international market for formulaic lame movies seems to be doing just fine.

  18. dertay ernesto says:

    My wife and I are retired, go to movies during the day when kids are in school, often have the entire movie to ourselves and still the problem is, the movies coming out suck. They have so many sequels and prequils because of lack of brain power in hollywood.

  19. dertay ernesto says:

    Wrong wrong wrong. We stay home because most of the movies suck.

  20. Jim Krisvoy says:

    Most 4K TV’s have 3D capability, and any assessment of failure of 3D is exaggerated at this stage of the game, although many want see 3D w/o glasses (those sets are coming up but will not really meet a good enough standard for viewing and may not for many years).

    If a company like RED finally releases its’ laser projector, then the same end result that both Samsung and LG offers could be had for considerably less money.

    As far as 3D TV’s per se, most salesmen at the big box stores have almost no idea of how to sell or even explain how they work and feel less confident in even demo’ing 3D. Not long ago, I went to a couple of high end big box stores and had to almost fight to get a 3D demo,….and that is part of the problem, not to mention less than great content (although that is also a 2D problem as well).

  21. michael says:

    I agree with Delmar – what’s keeping people home is the animal house environment in the theater. Theaters are smelly, uncomfortable, and filled with rude, loud and obnoxious people. One has to listen to people talking the entire time, lights flashing around from texting, and worst of all – the kicking and shaking of the seats from people’s feet. This week I walked out of two movies that I wanted to see because the theater was filled with rowdy, rude people. What’s the point of going to a theater if one cannot even enjoy the film? I’d wait a year or more for the movie to be available on iTunes.

    • michael says:

      I would pay double the price – up to probably $15. for a ticket to sit in a luxury theater that was properly managed, with seats spaced far apart and bouncers stationed around the room to remove anyone who acts up.

  22. Me says:

    If Hollywood made movies worth seeing, instead of remakes of old stories, this wouldn’t be a problem. As it is, I see no reason to pay for tickets to see a movie when it’s first released, then spend an equal amount for a small snack so I can sit next to strangers who may or may not be quiet during the movie. For the price of tickets OR food, I can buy the DVD. Yet so few recent movies have been worth even that….

  23. Sean O says:

    I haven’t been to the theatre in 10 years. Most hollywood films are awful.

  24. gerry says:

    Hollywood should do the opposite. Fewer sequels, comic book movies, and “massive” movies, and more independent movies with something different.

    I haven’t seen a movie I seriously enjoyed in over 3 years.

  25. Why why why does Hollywood always see game changing technology that proves to beneficial to it as a threat? So what if people choose to stay home if they also purchase/rent movies or TV shows to watch? You could also see the side of people investing in building out their TV/Movie collection to watch whenever they choose to.

    No wonder the conflicts with Silicon Valley and consumers. This is great news. Learn to see the benefits.

  26. kenmandu says:

    A 65″ inch TV for under a $1000 is already available widely, and looks great. People will still want to go to the movies to see how a big movie really looks on a big screen but these screens will encourage multiple viewings in Home Video, Downloads, Streaming; etc, energizing that sector

  27. RobD says:

    If what you say is true, Hollywood should demand better theatre screens and rigid requirements like Lucas did for his THX many years ago. We have a “digital” fourplex in our town in middle America that has postage stamp screens, hardbacked seats, at least 20 (no joke) commercials before a movie and only 2 previews and costs a mint to go to. Even on ‘bargain’ matinees I have to spend at least $25 for a movie, a stale popcorn and a watered drink. That may not be much on the ‘coasts’ but it is murder here.
    There is an alternative 100 miles away that offers floor to ceiling screens, curtains, THX and digital and seats that recline, along with beautiful designed theatres and wall to wall carpet (and don’t forget the options of auditorium or stadium seating), no commercials and tons of previews for the same $25.
    Guess which one I attend unless weather forbids travel? Which would you choose?
    The point, then, is not what Hollywood puts out (at least for this discussion, or this would be two pages long) – it’s how their product is received. If drive-ins weren’t gone, it would be easier to take. But why won’t the distribution companies demand the cramped crap theatres across the country offer more?
    I worked at and ran movie theatres for 25 years and I’m telling you comfort is the third ingredient these theatres are missing. After a large crisp digital image you want great surround sound, then you want to be comfortable.
    THAT’s what is wrong – until it is fixed I will stay home most of the year and rent or buy what I want to see. I don’t think that is as good as going to the theatre, but when it’s always an uncomfortable, tv-like presentation, I don’t think I need that hassle.
    By the way, anyone over 21 knows they are spelled theatres, not theaters. Theaters are live performance venues like Broadway shows.

    • johntshea says:

      They’re all ‘theatres’ in Britain and Ireland etc. but usually ‘theaters’ in the USA, though N. A. T. O. uses the British spelling. And I am over 21.

    • MLara says:

      Right On, RobD!!! I live on the west coast, North Bay and would be happy to pay a little extra to go to the movies, except for the horrible seating, rude obnoxious teenage idiots who talk on their cell phones, kick my seats, etc etc. So I stay home and will wait for the dvd and enjoy my surroundings with a nice glass of wine, rather than the old stale environment of the theatres! Thank you for your correct posting!

  28. lamplightpro says:

    If it was date night and my wife wanted to see it, of course. And if she loved it I would get it for her on Blu-ray to watch at home later.

  29. iambicpentamaster says:

    Just think how cheap this model will be six months after they introduce the 112″ model.

    I’ll wait.

  30. Curt J says:

    You can be sure that this will be yet another excuse for the studios to jack up movie ticket prices again or else blame piracy for diminishing box office returns rather than own up to the fact they keep putting out sub-par entertainment.

    This sounds like the cyclical worrying that started decades ago when tv first became available to the public. The studios should take this more as a great challenge to provide great product that we’d be willing to shell out money at the theater even if we do have a 4K tv at home. If a movie’s great, many of us want to see it again at home.

  31. I don’t think the studios have anything to worry about. My guess would be that 90% of films are or could be shot in 4k tomorrow with the flip of a switch. Look at the RED and Arri Alexia cameras that shoot 4k now. A lot of corporate videos and broadcast commercials are already shot in 4k and down converted to HD. Second, delivery is a problem. I believe that the prediction is if we stick to the internet or “pipe” for delivery, current total bandwidth tops out in 2016 with existing growth without 4k factored in. Lastly on the pipe as demand increase for bandwidth then telecom’s are going to start charging a premium for all that extra content going through their servers. And speaking of delivery options while Blu-ray and HDMI can handle UHD to some degree most existing players will need an upgrade of some kind. Finally there is live broadcast which makes up 30% of television today. All broadcasters would have to upgrade systems to support the increase bandwidth and image quality from the stadium to the viewer. Not a small cost.
    As a movie goer I like the 900 inch screen the theater offers plus the amazing sound system. I will continue to buy new release and watch them over and over again in the privacy of my own home.
    If the studio’s are really concerned that quality of image is going to keep the crowds coming in they can always start shooting in 8k.

  32. Will Price says:

    The words “consumer” and “$150,000 TV” don’t go together very well it turns out.

  33. For years the combination of ever increasing prices, horrendous costs for the concession stand, and failure to release reasonably intelligent and entertaining movies year round has driven more and more families to stay home. When you add in release schedules that back load on the year with Oscar bait with movies most people won’t have seen until after the awards are over, it makes movie going very frustrating. Now with competition from cable and Netflix original programming, why bother shelling out $100 or more just to go out. They slaughtered the golden goose and now wonder what they are going to do with the carcass.

    • Its a point well made. With great content on rental and on television the movies offer a very optional offer. Also with new media now on the mobile devices through apps like Tvonthego.com it makes the movies a fans choice. Only the real fans will go to the movies.

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