Samsung Onyx Officially Available in MBO Atria – Worth a Try?
July 3, 2019 • Andrew Cheng

Even though it’s been operational for quite some time now, MBO Cinemas officially launched its new outlet in Atria recently. One of the biggest attractions in this cinema is Samsung “Cinema LED Technology” dubbed Samsung Onyx. Compared to your conventional cinema screen that uses projection, the Samsung Onyx hall uses…well, a big LED display.

Of course, since it’s an actual display, Onyx has a number of distinct advantages over projected screens. On top of that, the hall itself is quite different too. Nextrift was invited to catch a screening of Spider-Man: Far From Home on Onyx, and here’s my impression of it.

When I first walked into the hall, what immediately caught my attention was the size of the Onyx screen. In comparison to a typical cinema screen, it appears to be…smaller. This is especially true if you’re used to IMAX halls, but that’s an entirely different category.

Looking beyond its size, the Onyx screen looks fantastic. After all, it’s a proper LED display instead of a projected one. And because this is an LED screen, you get very, very deep blacks. In fact, Samsung calls this technology “Onyx” for this very reason – it’s a nod to the black gemstone itself.

Colours also look great on the Onyx, thanks to the HDR-capable screen. Basically, projected screens pale in comparison to Onyx, especially when it comes to colour reproduction and black level.

Another advantage of Onyx is its 4096 x 2160 4K resolution. Everything looks sharp, crisp, and it’s very easy to read the movie’s subtitles. Again, this is one area projected screens cannot compete with Onyx. It’s almost like watching movies on a really big 4K TV.

Audio is also another strong suit of Onyx. Equipped with Harman Professional’s JBL Sculpted Surround technology, the aptly named Onyx Sound supposedly expand upon the “audio sweet spot.” With a bigger optimum listening area, more movie-goers will get to enjoy the best audio experience.

Personally, I can’t say with full confidence the Onyx hall provides superior audio quality, but it does sound slightly better to my ears.

As for the Onyx hall itself, I quite like the seats. It reclines slightly when you rest your back on it, and there is ample amount of legroom. The extra legroom is especially important when you have other viewers trying to get in and out of their seats.

Oh, another thing to note is the distance of the seats to the Onyx screen. Unlike a conventional hall layout, the front-row seats are placed further away from the screen. In fact, I would personally get those seats if I’m going for an Onyx hall just to get closer to the screen.

And to me, that really is the Onyx’s biggest shortcoming. The screen doesn’t feel big enough for a cinema hall, though I do appreciate the seating arrangement and superior visual fidelity of the LED screen.

The Samsung Onyx hall is now available for screening at MBO Atria. If you want to experience a different movie viewing experience, Onyx is definitely worth a try. Plus, it’s not all that expensive either, costing only RM3 more than a standard hall.