Both 4DX and ScreenX have been developed by CJ 4DPLEX- a Korean theater company. 4DX is newer than ScreenX.
The basic difference between these two cinematic technologies is that one focuses on the display screen while the other relies on motion experience.
After watching movies in both theaters, I concluded that none is perfect or bad. Rather each one has its own pros and cons.
The cinema choice also depends on the type of movie as well as personal taste. So, you cannot decide in a minute which one should you go for.
Therefore, I am providing an in-depth review of both ScreenX and 4DX. In this guide, I will explain how these two technologies differ from each other.
I will also discuss their specification, features, and my personal movie experience. If you want to make a wise decision, follow this guide till the end.
4DX: A Hyper-Realistic Theater
As the name suggests, 4DX provides a 4-dimensional movie effect. It uses motion technology and multisensory signature effects.
The aim is to create a hyper-realistic environment by replicating the movie scenes in the cinema hall. 4DX creates weather effects and environmental conditions right in the cinema hall.
For example, you can feel the mist while it is raining on the screen, and smoke prevails in the hall in a bomb blast scene.
Moreover, your seats move along with the racing cars, flying jets, and fighting characters. So, the audience feels themselves a part of the movie.
ScreenX: An Immersive Technology
ScreenX focuses on the screen and displays quality. There are no moving seats or weather effects. But, a giant and unique screen.
The basic screen is in the center of the theater in front of the audience. However, the screen is further enlarged by projections onto the side walls.
So, the scene is played in front of you plus on your left and right sides. This creates an immersive view as the motion pictures envelop you from three sides.
4DX vs ScreenX: Comparison and Contrast
Explaining theater technology in a few lines is not enough. You have to know everything to get a clear-cut idea.
So, here I will compare and contrast both technologies side by side. Further, I will share my personal experience at these cinemas.
Special Effects and Technical Differences
4DX is popular due to its use of 21 signature effects. These are stimulating factors that synchronize the audience with the ongoing scenes.
For example, rain, water, scenes, lightning, thunder, smoke, fog, snow, wind, bubbles, etc. are created right in the cinema hall.
To make a bomb blast feel real, 4DX releases smoke around the viewers. Likewise, your seats tilt, shake, vibrate, run, and move along with the scene.
So, the audience can feel every scene in reality. On the other hand, ScreenX does not feature such movements.
Rather, it immerses you in the movie by playing the pictures within your entire visual field. It is the first theater to use multiple projections technology.
Five projectors are used to expand the images. ScreenX combines hardware tools with software programs. It offers a 270-degree viewing experience.
Movies are shot in ScreenX format and then improved further by adding more effects.
Screen and Display
4DX theaters do not have specialized screens. Rather they have a normal or standard screen. It is all about seats and motion effects.
But, 4DX seats are also available at some other theaters like IMAX, Cinemark, and ScreenX.
As you know, we can see movements sideways while looking at the front. ScreenX utilizes this ability and projects the images to the side walls.
ScreenX is inclined toward realism by expanding the field of vision. The center screen is expanded immensely by projections on the sidewalls of the auditorium.
For instance, if a car is running on the main screen, the side walls will show pavements, houses, and roads. The sidewalls are meant to show the extra footage.
You must know that both cinemas have different sound systems. Audio quality affects the movie experience to a great extent. 4DX cinema uses a 7.1 and 9.1 surround sound system.
This gives you an immersive listening effect and you feel the sound is coming from every direction of the theater. Audio synchronization is perfect.
On the other hand, the sound system in ScreenX may differ depending on the theater’s setup and configuration. It also uses a surround sound system.
However, the audio system is well-synchronized with the visuals. More or less both cinemas are equal in terms of sound quality.
Seats and Comfortability
There are usually two rows of 4DX seats. They are spacious, comfortable, and stylish seats. These seats are mobile, elevated, and integrated motion stimulators but are safe. A foot resting is installed at the bottom of the seats.
They are equipped with 3 types of movements including up/down, left/right, and backward/forward. While a car is being chased on the screen, your seat moves accordingly.
Hence, you feel a part of the scene and chase the car. Although seats are comfortable to sit in, continual movements can cause nausea and discomfort.
A ScreenX theater generally has 300 seats. They are arranged in three sections Executive, Premiere, and Silver. These seats are categorized based on the distance from the screen.
The silver section is farthest from the screen. The immersive effect varies a little with the seats. However, these seats do not move and you have no risk of nausea.
4DX and ScreenX both technologies come from the same theater company. 4DX was commercially introduced in 2009.
As of 2019, there are 678 4DX theaters in 65 countries across the world. Relatively, ScreenX is a newer technology introduced in 2012.
There are 316 ScreenX theaters in 34 countries as of 2020. Moreover, only the movies shot on ScreenX can be watched in these theaters instead of all types of movies.
ScreenX is 2-3 times costlier than the normal cinema. So is the 4DX. Almost both cost you around $30. There is not a significant cost difference between these two theaters.
However, the money proves worth it if you enjoy the movie. After all, both cinemas provide you with a unique watch experience as compared to the standard.
You may also like: Comparing D-Box and 4DX
Best Movies to Watch on ScreenX
ScreenX technology is based on two steps. In the first step, the film is captured with specialized ScreenX cameras.
The next step is conversion in which the shot movie is converted to play on the screen. Five projectors work to expand the scenes.
The image played on the main screen is not widened to the sidewalls. Instead, its further details and peripheral objects are displayed on the right and left walls.
So, ScreenX movies are exclusive. You cannot watch every movie at a ScreenX theater. Some blockbuster movies to watch are Ant-Man and the Wasp, The Meg, Morbius, Fantastic Beasts, Maverick, and The Nun.
Most horror films are made in ScreenX format. Some scenes are played in ScreenX format while some are normal. It can be annoying and shatters your immersive world.
Best Movies to Watch in 4DX
Action, science fiction, and nature are great to watch in 4DX. Because such movies will give you a chance to experience maximum environmental effects and motions.
Peaceful movies like “Quiet Place” or horror are not worth watching in 4DX. Because there are no actions or weather effects.
Likewise, Captain Marvel, Doctor Strange, Mission Impossible, Iron Man, Spider-Man 3, Jurassic World, Avengers, and similar movies are fun to watch in 4DX.
Also read: A Detailed Comparison of D-Box and IMAX
ScreenX vs 4DX: A Quick Comparison Table
|Parameters of Comparison
|Unique display technology involving 5 projectors
|Motion and weather effects are replicated in reality
|Comfortable and static seats divided into three section based on distance from the screen
|Comfortable seats but installed with motion effects, tilt, vibrate, and move
|A normal center screen with projecting images on the sidewalls
|Standard screen, no special features except 3D display at some theaters
|Costs 2-3% extra than Standard movie cinemas
|Costs 2-3% extra than Standard movie cinemas
|Comfortable and peaceful environment with static seats
|Motion seats and weather effects can make the audience uncomfortable
|More than 300 theatres at 34 countries
|4DX can be found at almost 700 theatres in 65 countries.
My Movie Experience at 4DX
I have watched a decent number of movies in 4DX. It feels like a roller coaster ride. Every minute you feel thrilled and excited. “Fast & Furious” was the first movie I watched in 4DX.
It was really an amazing experience as I felt running in the car. Later on, I watched Spider-Man, Mission Impossible, and Star Wars.
Honestly speaking, I did not like some effects. A shooting scene created a sharp gust of air near my ear. Further, fighting scenes thumped my chair from the back.
When multiple signature and motion effects combine together, it becomes annoying and distracting. However, I still observed some viewers were really enjoying themselves.
My Movie Experience at ScreenX
When I first entered the ScreenX cinema, I felt disappointed. Because a tiny screen was hanging right in the middle of the hall. It did not seem bigger than standard screens.
But, later on, I did know the trick. The movie was being played on the center screen. However, the picture was immensely enlarged on the right and left walls.
It seemed to engulf me and I could see everything very clearly. The flying boulders looked like they were coming to me. For a few moments, I forgot that I was sitting in a cinema hall.
The scenes were so lively that I could not resist my fear. Recently, I watched my first movie on ScreenX. It was the Korean horror “Guimoon- The Lightless Door”.
This movie has been filmed in multiple formats. Telling you honestly, I felt myself present in the haunted house and got scared at multiple points.
However, one drawback is that you can differentiate between the main screen and sidewalls. So, sometimes, the watch experience is not that entertaining.
Moreover, the image quality is compromised at some theaters. Because the main screen displays a very crystal clear image while the projected images on the walls are a little compressed.
Also read: ScreenX or IMAX, Which One is Better
Frequently Asked Questions
Read the following frequently asked questions to get more information about the two types of theaters.
What type of display does ScreenX theater have?
A ScreenX theater has a center screen that resembles the standard cinema screens. However, the side walls of the theater are lined with a fabric that matches the screen texture. So, the image is projected to the left and right walls and seamlessly synchronizes with the main screen.
Is IMAX better than ScreenX?
IMAX and ScreenX are different from each other. IMAX features a giant screen that stretches from wall to wall.
It gives an immersive view with out-of-screen popping images and high-quality 12-channel audio systems.
While ScreenX plays the main image on a central screen and projects it on sidewalls for an immersive effect.
It uses five projectors to shoot and display movies. While IMAX uses horizontal and vertical integrated motion pictures.
Is 4DX distracting or annoying?
However, 4DX is not suitable for people who suffer from motion sickness, high blood pressure, headaches, body pains, or other physical ailments. Because continuous movements and sudden jerks can annoy you. Moreover, you may feel dizziness and nausea even after several hours of coming back home. Due to sudden and intense movements, it becomes difficult to concentrate on scenes.
You may also like: A Comparison of IMAX and 4DX
4DX or ScreenX? Let’s End the Debate
The answer to this question is not straightforward. It depends on multiple factors which I have explained above. First of all, it depends on personal taste.
Some people like thrill and excitement. So, 4DX will be a love for them as it vibrates, moves, and stimulates you during a movie.
It is recommended for action and nature movies. 4DX is a little distracting, you cannot fully concentrate on scenes and dialogues.
ScreenX is suggested for people who love bigger screens and excellent displays. If you are inclined toward an immersive watch experience and dialogues, you should opt for ScreenX.
You can watch a movie calmly while eating and drinking. While it is not possible in 4DX due to moving seats.
I hope this comprehensive debate, now you can easily decide between 4DX and ScreenX. You can ask if you have further queries.