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Leica’s Cine 1 sees Hisense collaborate for high-end laser TV

Leica’s collaboration with Hisense looks set to show sharp visuals for those who want a Leica-branded big screen experience, and can afford it, too.

You might not normally associate the brand Leica with TVs, but you might start to think to, at least based on something launching at IFA this week.

One of the many screen-related announcements we’ve seen this week, Leica is joining in, announcing what we’ve been expecting since the company noted earlier this year that it would be collaborating with Hisense, maker of TVs and laser projectors, among other things.

It’s the last of these two categories that Leica sees itself in, and one that makes sense. While a laser TV combines laser projection and a TV tuner to make a “laser TV”, the lens is an incredibly important part of what makers any projector deliver visuals the way it does, and lenses are something Leica knows a few things about.

With that in mind, Leica is launching its first laser TV, the Cine 1. It’ll rely on triple laser technology, separating lasers into red, green, and blue, before joining the colour spectrum and focusing the light using a Leica Summicron lens, projecting either an 80 or 100 inch picture in 4K for rooms where the Cine 1 will sit.

That may not be dramatically different from the short-throw laser projectors with seen from Hisense and other brands in the past, though that shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, given Leica collaborated with Hisense for this release.

Interestingly, Leica says its short-range laser TV uses less energy than an OLED TV when showing a similar size, making one more case for why some might consider a laser option over another larger TV style announced this week.

Beyond the laser technology, the company has said Hisense’s VIDAA smart TV operating system is a part of the package, as are Dolby Atmos speakers built into the design. It’s not yet known if the typically required screen will be provided as part of the package as it is for most other laser TV purchases, but given this is a luxury item, it may end up being an optional purchase if it arrives locally.

And we say “if” because IFA being the European mid-year tech show that it is, there’s no Australian price or availability information for the Leica Cine 1. As it is, Leica has noted that “the Leica Cine 1 will be available in Europe from Q2 2023”, but no other places just yet.

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