Silver screens for 3D home cinema: a flawed solution? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 42 Old 01-29-2010, 09:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Silver screens for 3D home cinema: a flawed solution?



The term Silver Screen' is closely associated with the movie industry. Early cinemas used screens coated in silver because of their reflective properties the projector lamps were weaker that those we use today, so the screen had to reflect as much of the light towards the audience as possible. The problem with silver screens, however, is that they produce pronounced hotspots the picture looks brighter at certain angles.

So why are silver screens still in use? One reason is that they're particularly well suited to 3D projections using differently polarised images. When polarised light bounces off a silver screen, it maintains its polarisation, which is of course crucial if the 3D glasses are to separate the images correctly. But video expert Joe Kane argues that the disadvantages of silver screens outweigh their advantages. He says there's only one practical 3D technology that doesn't involve compromising on picture quality: shutter glasses.

In the shutter-glasses method, the projector displays the images for the left and right eyes one after the other, at a high frame rate, and the viewers wear glasses that alternately block their lenses the left lens goes dark while the projector displays the image for the right eye, and vice versa.

Apart from causing a slight loss of brightness a brighter projector can easily balance this out shutter glasses are said to be the only method that gives you top picture quality and the 3D effect at the same time.

Televisions.com's Florian Friedrich attended a talk by Joe Kane on this subject. Check out our article Home Theater Cruise 2009: 3D in the home cinema to watch a video of the talk and read more background information.

We agree with Joe Kane, but how do you feel about the points he makes in the talk? Are you a devoted silver-screen user?

Florian Friedrich,
CEO of www.avtop.com, journalist and independent consultant from munich in germany.
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post #2 of 42 Old 01-29-2010, 12:42 PM
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Shutter glasses all the way for me. I refuse to replace my ST130 which I love just to get 3d.

JVC 3D: Been there, done that, bought a DLP
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post #3 of 42 Old 01-29-2010, 12:44 PM
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Joe Kane obviously does not have all the facts. Dolby Lab's Dolby3D maintains picture fidelity just fine on a white screen, and doesn't lose brightness. They use a colour frequency filter on the projector(s) that allows for cheap, replaceable passive glasses, and any white screen you feel comfortable with. Much better than headache inducing shutter glasses.

Also, until they come out with better display hardware, your shutter glasses will not be anything close to professional theatre shutter glasses, because they need 144Hz to meet the specification of 3Hz-per-frame-per-eye that is required. This limits current 120Hz technology to only 2Hz-per-frame-per-eye which causes a much larger reduction in brightness, and a much more noticeable flicker effect.

Personally, I will go with the two-projector Dolby3D solution if/when it comes out. If not, I will still prefer buying a silver screen to use passive circular polarization.
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post #4 of 42 Old 01-29-2010, 01:11 PM
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With the exclamations of how good Avatar is in pay theater with cheapo polarized glasses, I have to say there must be ways around the sivlerscreen issue(s) or potential issues.

Like the above poster, if I do it.. It will be a 2 projector solution. Passive Polarized glasses.

Some websites claim, white metalic based paint maintains polarization as well. Not sure who or what to listen to at this point with it all.
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post #5 of 42 Old 01-29-2010, 01:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3Z3VH View Post

Joe Kane obviously does not have all the facts. Dolby Lab's Dolby3D maintains picture fidelity just fine on a white screen, and doesn't lose brightness. They use a colour frequency filter on the projector(s) that allows for cheap, replaceable passive glasses, and any white screen you feel comfortable with. Much better than headache inducing shutter glasses.

Also, until they come out with better display hardware, your shutter glasses will not be anything close to professional theatre shutter glasses, because they need 144Hz to meet the specification of 3Hz-per-frame-per-eye that is required. This limits current 120Hz technology to only 2Hz-per-frame-per-eye which causes a much larger reduction in brightness, and a much more noticeable flicker effect.

Personally, I will go with the two-projector Dolby3D solution if/when it comes out. If not, I will still prefer buying a silver screen to use passive circular polarization.

It appears you don't have the full facts either.
The Infitec solution (Dolby 3d) causes plenty of light loss, i have seen this first hand in my personal setup, more than 50% easily.
Shutter glasses keep getting blamed for headaches, but the reality is that the eyestrain, or "headaches" are caused by poor 3d implementation most of the time, too much separation, or convergence for lots of "pop out" are often what causes strain, regardless of the 3d tech you use, so the key here is implementation.
240Hz shutter glasses should be fast enough so that most people are not bothered by the shutter itself. (i personally can't see any black frames with 120Hz)

That said, Dolby 3d should be cheaper for large audiences than shutter glasses, no batteries required and considerably cheaper than shutter glasses, not to mention very good build quality.

The way i see it, what a lot of manufacturers could do, is offer 3d via shutter glasses since it doesn't require any new parts for the projector. The consumer could then add either a real D polarizer or an Infitec wheel if they add the option.
This would help keep prices around the same as they are right now.
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post #6 of 42 Old 01-29-2010, 02:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kamus View Post

It appears you don't have the full facts either.
The Infitec solution (Dolby 3d) causes plenty of light loss, i have seen this first hand in my personal setup, more than 50% easily.
Shutter glasses keep getting blamed for headaches, but the reality is that the eyestrain, or "headaches" are caused by poor 3d implementation most of the time, too much separation, or convergence for lots of "pop out" are often what causes strain, regardless of the 3d tech you use, so the key here is implementation.
240Hz shutter glasses should be fast enough so that most people are not bothered by the shutter itself. (i personally can't see any black frames with 120Hz)

That said, Dolby 3d should be cheaper for large audiences than shutter glasses, no batteries required and considerably cheaper than shutter glasses, not to mention very good build quality.

The way i see it, what a lot of manufacturers could do, is offer 3d via shutter glasses since it doesn't require any new parts for the projector. The consumer could then add either a real D polarizer or an Infitec wheel if they add the option.
This would help keep prices around the same as they are right now.

I fully agree with Kamus! I really think Shutter Glasses is the superior solution, considering that 240hz glasses/projectors, and bigger lumens are provided on the upcoming 3D active projectors
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post #7 of 42 Old 01-29-2010, 02:31 PM
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Do you guys actually like 3d? Every time I get roped into watching a 3d movie I feel like I just wasted my money. If I wanted to watch a movie through cheep Chinese plastic glasses I'm sure I could set that up.

I have tried all of the 3d tech at one point or another. The best, to me, is powered shutter glasses. Not that I can stand that for more than five minutes either.
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post #8 of 42 Old 01-29-2010, 04:24 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3Z3VH View Post

Joe Kane obviously does not have all the facts. Dolby Lab's Dolby3D maintains picture fidelity just fine on a white screen, and doesn't lose brightness. They use a colour frequency filter on the projector(s) that allows for cheap, replaceable passive glasses, and any white screen you feel comfortable with. Much better than headache inducing shutter glasses.

Also, until they come out with better display hardware, your shutter glasses will not be anything close to professional theatre shutter glasses, because they need 144Hz to meet the specification of 3Hz-per-frame-per-eye that is required. This limits current 120Hz technology to only 2Hz-per-frame-per-eye which causes a much larger reduction in brightness, and a much more noticeable flicker effect.

Personally, I will go with the two-projector Dolby3D solution if/when it comes out. If not, I will still prefer buying a silver screen to use passive circular polarization.

Dolby 3D glasses are NOT cheap. Not like the RealD glasses that they literally give away to patrons. I believe (?) the Dolby 3D glasses cost the theaters $27 a pair.

The glasses are pricey: $27 apiece,

http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2009/12/3d-movies/
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post #9 of 42 Old 01-29-2010, 04:34 PM
 
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I used a silver screen for many years in my HT. It was a Stewart Fixed 144" 16x9 perforated Silver 400 = a gain of 4.0. My PJ was a Zenith Pro 900X.

When I ordered the screen, I also ordered a matching white 1.0 gain perforated screen/material.

First I assembled the screen using the white material. The image was a bit dim because I was at the limit of the brightness of the 7" CRT's and the light loss from the perforations which disappeared at 14 feet back. . Then I changed it over to the Silver 400.

The images were very bright with deep blacks and super bright whites. The images had more "pop" - more of a 3d effect because the silver screen enchanced the contrast ratio. The only issue I had which I was warned about by Stewart and was forced to sign a hold harmless agreement before they would process my order was a single hot spot that was thankfully in the lower right corner of the screen. It could have been anywhere on the screen and there could have been more than one of them. They couldn't guarantee a hot spot free Silver 400 screen.

That slight imperfection was well worth all the benefits I reaped using a silver screen.
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post #10 of 42 Old 01-29-2010, 06:21 PM
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I have yet to see or hear this anwsered.
I wear glasses for about anything half an arms length away.

What 3-d opitions are aviavle for people with visions problems?
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post #11 of 42 Old 01-29-2010, 07:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee Stewart View Post

Dolby 3D glasses are NOT cheap. Not like the RealD glasses that they literally give away to patrons. I believe (?) the Dolby 3D glasses cost the theaters $50 a pair.

50
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post #12 of 42 Old 01-29-2010, 07:31 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ripeer View Post

I have yet to see or hear this anwsered.
I wear glasses for about anything half an arms length away.

What 3-d opitions are aviavle for people with visions problems?

There is talk of prescription 3D glasses to be used with RealD Digital Cinema presentations

The active shutter glasses are big enough to fit over normal sized glasses. They could probably offer precription active shutter glasses also in the future..
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post #13 of 42 Old 01-29-2010, 08:43 PM
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The ability for the human brain to see in 3D is much more complex and individual process than most realize.

For true 3D television or film experiences to achieve a reasonable success rate for mass market any "glasses" or other devices used will have to take into account the fact that humans have a variety small difference in there ocular alignment (fixation disparity). These glasses will likely either need to be custom made or easily adjustable for individual differences with small amounts of prism in them.

Those with large prescription differences between the two eyes (causing the retinal image size to be larger in one eye compared to the other) or those with amblyopia (brains inability to achieve 20/20 acuity in one or both eyes) with not ever be able to achieve/experience the 3D experience.

FYI on brightness.... Be sure you aren't suffering from cataracts (early nuclear sclerosis) before any of us start to judge brightness from a simply perception standpoint.
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post #14 of 42 Old 01-29-2010, 11:11 PM
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Saw AVATAR at the Arclight Dome in Hollywood where they recently outfitted the theatre with the XpanD 3D system. Had to wear the active shutter glasses, which were bulky and dark and didn't fit on my gf's face very well. Not sure if that particular model could be utilized in a home theatre environment or not... at any rate, can't see folks rushing out to upgrade their displays while this tech is still a bit dodgy.

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post #15 of 42 Old 01-29-2010, 11:29 PM
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God make this thread stop. Prescription 3D glasses. 3D is going to fail.
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post #16 of 42 Old 01-30-2010, 12:56 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by osofast240sx View Post

50

Please see corrected post - $27 a pair
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post #17 of 42 Old 01-30-2010, 01:29 AM
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God make this thread stop. Prescription 3D glasses. 3D is going to fail.

I never had any problems wearing 3D glasses on top of my regular ones.
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post #18 of 42 Old 01-30-2010, 07:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by etherlore View Post

I never had any problems wearing 3D glasses on top of my regular ones.

I have always had problems fitting them over my glasses.

We saw Bolt 3d, I took the 3D glasses off most of the movie because they were so uncomfortable. They were cheap black frames with polarized lenses.

Last year when NBC had one of the episodes of Chuck in 3D and gave out those glasses, I had problems with it. (card board with red and blue lenses)

There was another movie years ago with 3d, they gave us purple plastic with polarized lenses, that I had the same problem.

When my GF asked to see Avatar in 3D, I said no way I'm not going to deal with those glasses! Regular 2D please.
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post #19 of 42 Old 01-30-2010, 08:08 AM
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I'll pass on fake 3D, no matter what tech is used. It gives me headaches and those frickin' glasses don't fit over mine.

Having seen a few 3D movies I can't imagine what the fuss is about anyway. Give me a well made 2D movie anytime. Note I said _well made_. Hollywood's problem won't go away by diverting attention from the real problem: a lack of excellent story writers and directors who know how to tell them in a compelling way. Most of what's in the movies these days is kept afloat by the next gen special effects to draw curious crowds. 3D will add a few years to this, but in the end, the public will turn away.

As for in the home theatre: that is a still niche in itself. Not of any consequence in the bigger picture. So let's talk about the general TV watching people now drooling at all the 3D talk. Tell them they have to wear the darn glasses all the time and let them wear them for the entire TV night. After a few days they run out of painkillers for their splitting headaches and are tired of not being able to talk to other family members because the glasses isolate you from your suroundings.

3D is another bubble, a hype. Lots of money behind it, but in a few years it will run out of steam anyway and people will be glad their TV sets can play 2D. Maybe it will remain, but as a small, very small, niche. Just like before.

Call me again when they sell holodecks. Real 3D, no headaches.

Neko
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post #20 of 42 Old 01-30-2010, 08:23 AM
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true sterescopic photography is astonishing. Victorians enjoyed it with stereoscope viewers. We can now finally enjoy it with full color 1080p moving images.

The fact that so many seem so blind to the beauty of stereoscopic images is baffling. I can understand someone not liking having to wear glasses, or not liking bad 3D like they wouldn't like anything poorly done. No problem. But to those who really think that 3D is a bunch of bunk, have you ever seen good 3D photography? It's stunning, and like looking through a window. It can be breathtaking, and for the artist who uses the tool properly, can truly add to the art of film.

If you haven't enjoyed good 3D... whether still or moving photography, take the chance and see what the enthusiasts are really talking about before deciding that 3D isn't a tool worth adding to our HD palette.

1080p and lossless audio. EVERY BD should have them both.
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post #21 of 42 Old 01-30-2010, 10:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3Z3VH View Post

Joe Kane obviously does not have all the facts. Dolby Lab's Dolby3D maintains picture fidelity just fine on a white screen, and doesn't lose brightness. They use a colour frequency filter on the projector(s) that allows for cheap, replaceable passive glasses, and any white screen you feel comfortable with. Much better than headache inducing shutter glasses.

Also, until they come out with better display hardware, your shutter glasses will not be anything close to professional theatre shutter glasses, because they need 144Hz to meet the specification of 3Hz-per-frame-per-eye that is required. This limits current 120Hz technology to only 2Hz-per-frame-per-eye which causes a much larger reduction in brightness, and a much more noticeable flicker effect.

Personally, I will go with the two-projector Dolby3D solution if/when it comes out. If not, I will still prefer buying a silver screen to use passive circular polarization.

So far out of all the ways I've seen Avatar in 3D, the Dolby showing had the worst quality in a number of respects and it was by far the dimmest projection (despite being on the smallest screen of the bunch).
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post #22 of 42 Old 01-30-2010, 10:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skibum5000 View Post

So far out of all the ways I've seen Avatar in 3D, the Dolby showing had the worst quality in a number of respects and it was by far the dimmest projection (despite being on the smallest screen of the bunch).

All 3 of my screening of AVATAR in 3D, other than being a touch dim, were spectacular. Absolutely spectacular. The sharptest, clearest, most immersive image I've ever seen projected. I've seen several 70mm projections that had better color saturation because of the brighter image (Hello Dolly in 70mm was mind blowing).

In any case, other that slight dimming, the Real3D projections of Avatar that I've seen (at 2 different locations) were astonishing. And no hotspotting in 3D. Supposedly Real3D uses a screen in theaters that's a hybrid type that also works for 2D, though I haven't seen it in 2D to really know how well it would perform.

1080p and lossless audio. EVERY BD should have them both.
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post #23 of 42 Old 01-30-2010, 10:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KuroNeko View Post

As for in the home theatre: that is a still niche in itself. Not of any consequence in the bigger picture. So let's talk about the general TV watching people now drooling at all the 3D talk. Tell them they have to wear the darn glasses all the time and let them wear them for the entire TV night. After a few days they run out of painkillers for their splitting headaches and are tired of not being able to talk to other family members because the glasses isolate you from your suroundings.

Neko

I'm more than a general user, and I don't mind wearing shutter glasses. I watch/play in 3D about 2 hours a day, and never get a head ache. My eyes feel a little weird for the first 2 minutes, and for about 2 minutes after I take them off, but it isn't an ache. Kind of hard to explain the feeling.

My sister and parents are general viewers, and they don't mind wearing shutters either. They think it's a cool technology, with my father stating that it's a lot better than the 3D they had when he was growing up (which is stating the obvious).

I don't see the shutters flicker, and mine are only 120Hz shutters. (Though, I can when I look at a LED light).

And finally, you're not supposed to talk during a movie or show, it takes away from the experience.

Currently testing 3D with Sammy DLP, shutter glasses, and HTPC
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post #24 of 42 Old 01-30-2010, 10:51 AM
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I like how video games have to have all of the warnings of dizziness, nausea, seizures, etc. I would think that this 3D campaign would require more and affect an even broader audience. I have heard a lot of people complaining of headaches and screwy feelings with their eyes.
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post #25 of 42 Old 01-30-2010, 11:27 AM
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I get nasea from 2D FPS games when they are on really big screens. Just way too much motion and very disorienting.

I was able to play around with my 3D gaming rig for a long time and found that the eye fatigue certainly does not come from time wearing the glasses as much as from depth of the 3D effect. With the gaming systems by nVidia, you can set the depth and increased depth strains the eyes more and caused eye fatigue faster the more I increased the depth.

I agree about the feeling you wasted your money on 3D films because such a large percentage of them were total crap. Not a big fan of Avatar the film, but the 3D was very well done and not full of jarring effects that call attention to the 3D.

I do notice that 3D photography came out almost 20 years ago, maybe more and it never took off. I had a friend who took some photos and they were printed on lenticular film. Pretty cool stuff, but it didn't take off. I don't think that 3D for home use is guaranteed to make mainstream either and lots of films will not work with 3D. I just cannot imagine a western in 3D, especially when they shoot it in sepia. Those two styles are just not going to mesh, I think. At best, it would be like D-BOX, where it can excel for some types of films, but will never be in other types of films.

I do think that 3D sports will be pretty cool when that comes around. The NBA game I saw was still the most impressive 3D I have ever seen.
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post #26 of 42 Old 01-30-2010, 12:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ngarn View Post

The ability for the human brain to see in 3D is much more complex and individual process than most realize.

For true 3D television or film experiences to achieve a reasonable success rate for mass market any "glasses" or other devices used will have to take into account the fact that humans have a variety small difference in there ocular alignment (fixation disparity). These glasses will likely either need to be custom made or easily adjustable for individual differences with small amounts of prism in them.

Those with large prescription differences between the two eyes (causing the retinal image size to be larger in one eye compared to the other) or those with amblyopia (brains inability to achieve 20/20 acuity in one or both eyes) with not ever be able to achieve/experience the 3D experience.

FYI on brightness.... Be sure you aren't suffering from cataracts (early nuclear sclerosis) before any of us start to judge brightness from a simply perception standpoint.

I fall into this camp. I lack stereoscopic vision.... so the decision is simple for me. Never had it, never will. I remember when I was a kid seeing a movie (I think Jaws??) in 3d and could not understand what all the fuss was about0. 3D seems just to sureal for me - a bit silly? It is just another excuse to make one feel that they don't have the best in their homes. How good do things need to get.

Reminds of a line in Apocolyto, where the old man telling a story where animal states "...the man has a hole in him that can never be filled".

PF
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post #27 of 42 Old 01-30-2010, 12:32 PM
 
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Soooooooo . . .

Any chance we can get back to the original topic - that being the use of a silver screen?

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post #28 of 42 Old 01-30-2010, 12:54 PM
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Just gotta weigh in on this one.

3D is just a marketing tool to get people out of their HT's and back down to the Cinema. Nothing more.

Step back in time a few decades and look at the Rise and Fall of Cinerama.

widescreenmuseum.com/Widescreen/foyer.htm

Long-story-short, after Television's almost overnight takeover of the Entertainment field, Hollywood was desperate for something special to bring bodies back to the Theatre. For most of the 50's and 60's, it was the elaborate, 3-filmstrip Cinerama process, that yielded super-widescreen movies that blew the doors off your little TV at home.

But the economics of production (shooting with 3 cameras that magically sync'ed together, projecting likewise, to a special wide, deeply curved screen made of 7/8" strips of screen, carefully angled, etc.) forced more and more compromises, and finally, films came back to a simple widescreen format and flat screens.

There were only a handful of movie-houses designed for full-on Cinerama (here in L.A., the CineramaDome was one - but the technology dried up before it was even completed) and even the flat-screen versions (such as ToddAO films like Patton, with it's stunning scenes using a 150 Degree lens) died out in the 70's.

Avatar succeeded because it was a landmark advance in Virtual Filmmaking, as well a a fundamentally good movie (script, concept, direction, etc.). It would have succeeded - to a lesser degree - even as a "merely" 2D project.

3D in the cinema is in one of those stages of competition with the HT that's becoming as ubiquitous as the RCA color set of the 60's. I agree with KuroNeko - only when full-blown holographic projections come to the theatre, will 3D have really arrived.

No glasses, no hotspots, no color compromises and you can see the person next to you!

Of course - with the whimsical winds of Technology, HT Holodecks will probably be close behind...
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post #29 of 42 Old 01-30-2010, 01:49 PM
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Personally, I don't care if this guy is right about silver screens. Sometimes you have to compromise. Especially if you're on a budget.

I plan on polarized projection w/ silver screen as soon as a system comes out for less than $3000. I already have a new Plasma so I can wait (I knew 3d was coming, but it was time to upgrade the living room tv, so I had to go with the best image I could for the living room. I'm not done with the theater room yet, so the new living room plasma will do until then and I am patient enough to wait for the polarized projector system to come into my budget range.)

And I just plain don't like shutter glasses. I want the simplest system possible with the least headache/eystrain, and until glasses-free tech becomes viable (I don't expect this for ten years) then polarized projection with passive glasses is the best system for me in the meantime. For those who don't mind all that shutter entails, more power to them. But honestly... if shutter was my only option... I might just skip 3d at home. I just don't want it either way. (not to mention I wear prescription glasses because my astigmatism won't allow for laser surgery or contacts anymore, and I'm not going to wear shutter glasses over prescriptions. Prescription polarized glasses please.)
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post #30 of 42 Old 01-30-2010, 02:27 PM
 
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I attended a 3D presentation in one of the most unique IMAX theaters ever built (now gone) - the IMAX theater at the Luxor Hotel in Vegas. If anyone has ever attended this theater, you know what I am talking about.

I was there for a CES show years ago. Decided to take a break from the show and go see some IMAX movies.

The first movie (2D) I saw was called Special Effects where under the consent of George Lucas, they refilmed the opening sequence of Star Wars in IMAX. And they also refilmed the White House explosion from ID4 also in IMAX. needless to say it was unbelievable - how good they both looked compared to the normal movies.

Then the next day, I attended a 3D IMAX movie (can't remember the name of it) and when the picture started, I immediately noticed that the image was very dim. Much dimmer than the previous days IMAX movie. To the point that I was getting eye strain which I never get at IMAX 3D presentations.

I realized what was causing it - they were using a white screen and not a silver screen.

I just wanted to point this out so people know that if you are considering a 3D FPTV system and you currently have a screen, there is an excellent chance you are going to have to replace the material. Only the Dolby 3D method works with a white screen and I strongly doubt it will be offerred to consumers.
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