Dr. Tongue’s Monster Chiller Horror Theatre

The program, 3D House of Cats, that was schedule for this time slot has been preempted to make room for this blog…Hello, happy reader. Today I’m discussing 3D, a technology whose time has come, and gone…countless times. Wave theory says that, when the crests or troughs of two superimposed waves happen to occur at the same instant, they reinforced, with a resulting increase in amplitude. If you apply that to “3D” visuals, there are several factors which have recently combined to improve the chance that, this time around, there will be more than sporadic success. :: What engendered this installment of the Bitstream was a local SMPTE chapter meeting at Dolby Labs, in conjunction with a January installment of The Schubin Report, along with repeated contusions as I banged into mentions in the trades of how 3D WILL RISE AGAIN! Sufficient impetus, methinks, to blog. :: OK, to start…at CES this year, there were over a dozen vendors touting their 3D display products, a bit of a head scratcher when there is little or no content available for playback on these systems. I’m not bullish on stereoscopic applications for CE just yet though gaming vendors have gotten 3D fevor and there may be some traction there so stay tuned. :: One industry that has suffered a gradual decline over the past five decades is traditional theatrical motion picture presentation. Many factors have conspired to shrink movie attendance, the latest being high res movie downloads. Why leave the house? Well, 3D, of course! As theater owners grasp for ever smaller slices of their pie, they have been forced to upgrade the experience to provide something worth shelling out the stupid amount of money for which they are asking. Hence, pure digital delivery, then HD digital delivery and now 3D visuals to go along with the already decent quality sound. :: There are several theatrical 3D formats out there vying for exhibitor’s and your entertainment dollars. Of the choices, INFITEC’s has been the winner, so far, for me as well as Schubin. Their system, licensed to Dolby as part of the Dolby 3D Digital Cinema brand, is a optical interference system. As part of their round trip Dolby Cinema Mastering, Show Store and Player, the projector is fitting with a rotating, synchronized filter wheel, shades of the first mechanical television systems. Viewers wear glasses with complex laminated (as in expensive) lenses. Each lens has what appears to be high Q, dichroic filters. Each eye looks through a slightly different filter set. This would make it a frequency multiplexed system, an über version of the red/green anaglyph 3D systems of yesteryear. I noticed no discernible inter-ocular crosstalk or left eye info leaking into the right eye, and visa-versa. Unlike modern polarizer-based systems, the glasses are passive, not powered, and there’s no need to hold your head upright to maintain the illusion. The one drawback that I would guess the Dolby 3D system exhibits is a reduced color gamut but, I was unable to tell given the demo material provided. :: All this talk about 3D reminds me of my first high quality 3D show experience, which was Paul Morrissey’s 1973 Flesh for Frankenstein, starring the ever popular Udo Kier and shown with the original passive cross-polarizer process. Gotta love bad taste combined with 3D…always a hit in my book! All for now but, next time, I think I’ll talk a bit about HD AAC…l8r.

One Response to “Dr. Tongue’s Monster Chiller Horror Theatre”

  1. […] late, sorry for the slacking post–wise…First off, a bit more on 3D video tech. Back in March, I blogged about Dolby 3D Digital Cinema. Last month, I was lucky enough to get down to San Jose for a SMPTE […]