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CE Pro Q&A with Mike Levi, President of Digital Projection Inc. and Robert Archer, senior editor at CE Pro magazine
CE Pro Q&A with Mike Levi, President of Digital Projection Inc. and Robert Archer, senior editor at CE Pro magazine

Can you briefly explain what 3D video is and how it differs from the traditional video that we're use to seeing in our homes?
3D Video provides an immersive viewing experience, whereby the image content is actually perceived by the viewer as a true 3 dimensional image. 3D video systems can be designed using a variety of technological approaches, but in all cases, the actual content to be displayed is captured (or rendered) and subsequently displayed in two synchronous perspectives – one replicating what our left eyes would see, and the other replicating what our right eyes would see, if the subject material was actually being viewed in the real world. Just as when viewing the real world, the two slightly different left eye and right eye perspectives, are integrated by our brains to create depth perception.

By comparison, traditional video is captured or rendered from a single perspective. A single perspective can only capture a 2 dimensional image. Likewise, the display of a single perspective of video content can only be perceived as a 2 dimensional image

How can dealers effectively demonstrate 3D video in their showrooms to show clients the difference between 2D and 3D video?
An effective 3D demonstration requires 4 vital ingredients:

• A precise 3D display, paired with active or Active/Passive 3D switching and viewing technology, suited to the scale of the venue and the number of viewers.

• A 3D source that serves compelling content that was either natively captured or rendered in 3D. 3D animation and 3D gaming are examples of rendered 3D content.

• A suitable venue with correct viewing geometry. The most powerful 3D venues literally immerse the viewers in the 3D image. Thus, the venue should be theatrically dark, in order to eliminate any real-world distractions. In addition, theater geometry should assure the majority of each viewer’s field of vision is encompassed by the 3D imagery being presented. Immersion is the key word, and if the theater immerses the viewers in the imagery, the imagery will then immerse the viewers in the 3D effect.

• Great audio - as the fidelity of the audio is always vital to the total entertainment experience.

How difficult is it to set up and install compared to traditional video systems?
That depends on the 3D technology being employed. If the right technology is selected, it can be very straightforward.

For 3D venues, such as Home Cinemas and scientific / design applications, we recommend Active 3D. Active 3D systems utilize a single high bandwidth 3D projector, such as any of DP’s TITAN 3D projection systems. These displays accept 2D sources, as well as 3D sources running at frame rates up to 120 Hz, or even 144 Hz. Half of those frames – say the odd frames, are intended for the left eye, and the other half – say the even frames, are intended to be viewed by the right eye. The viewers wear active 3D glasses, which feature electronic shutter lenses that switch in sync with the frames being displayed. The result is a very powerful 3D experience. Given the Active 3D system utilizes a single projector, it is as straightforward to install and maintain as any 2D projection system. Another benefit - Active 3D systems are designed to work best on standard projection surfaces.

Of course, the 3D projector will need a 3D source and content. Based on the press releases, we expect Hollywood produced 3D content will become available for home viewing via 3D Blu-Ray during 2010. We also expect “On-Demand” type streaming providers will be enabling their systems to deliver the depth of 3D content that the studios are producing. Gaming can also provide a compelling 3D experience, and a number of very entertaining 3D gaming titles are already on the market today.

Digital Projection also offers the Dimension Server - a multi-media 3D content delivery platform that simplifies the task of delivering various types of 3D media to a 3D display. The Dimension Server provides dealers and end-users with a fully integrated, easy to use, highest quality 3D source, pre-loaded with content that they can start enjoying today.

Are there any movies or video clips that dealers can readily access to use as demo scenes during their 3D sales presentations that you can recommend? Why is this content good for demonstrations?
As mentioned above, in addition to our many 3D projection systems, Digital Projection also offers a product we call the Dimension Server. We created the Dimension server in partnership with Mechdyne Corporation, one of the world’s leading integrators of immersive 3D systems for commercial, scientific and military applications. When the Dimension server is paired with any of DP’s 3D projection systems, the result is what we call “The Total 3D Experience System”. In short, the Total 3D Experience System is a highly integrated, turnkey 3D hardware and software package that includes everything necessary to deliver a 3D entertainment system capable of immersing from 1 – 100 viewers. It even includes content, active 3D glasses and a straightforward touch-screen user interface.

The Dimension server provides a simple pathway to a diversity of both 2D and 3D content. It comes pre-loaded with a variety of powerful 3D demonstration clips, is equipped with a Blu-ray player that will be fully compatible with coming 3D Blu-ray titles, and includes links to a number of websites where additional 3D content is available for download. The Dimension server even incorporates the highest performance NVidia graphics card and full 3D gaming capability.

How quickly do you see 3D technology coming into the consumer market and how close to reality is the technology in terms of how it delivers on the promise of 3D? When will we see quality 3D systems in the home and how costly do you expect it to be?
In the projection world, 3D technology is already available to the consumer market via Digital Projection’s TITAN and LIGHTNING 3D product lineup. The products are fully proven, as commercial versions of these displays have been shipping for nearly a year. We began delivering our 3D products to our home cinema customers in June 2009.

The TITAN and LIGHTNING 3D displays represent the absolute state of the art in both 2D and 3D projection. In fact, given they are full Active 3D capable, DP’s 3D displays provide a 3D experience that is on par with, if not better than, the 3D entertainment consumers will enjoy in commercial cinemas. As testimony to that fact, TITAN 1080p 3D projectors are already in use within the Hollywood community, serving as the reference displays for 3D movies that are currently in production. Whether being utilized for 2D or 3D, our TITAN projectors really are extraordinary video displays.

In the mid-term, we expect there will be a number of large consumer electronics companies bringing 3D capable flat panel displays to the market. While I would not venture to guess price points, given their smaller size and lower price (compared to projectors), 3D capable flat screens will provide a path to 3D entertainment that many consumers will be able to afford. No doubt, the companies who have committed to producing all the new 3D content, and the major electronics firms behind 3D Blu-ray and 3D flat panel displays, are all counting on some reasonable volume. That volume is only achievable when the cost of entry is low enough to engage more than just the early adopters. Thus, I think the price will likely be positioned to embrace as many potential 3D consumers as possible.

Of course, by definition, 3D is intended to be an immersive experience, and while we recognize flat panel 3D systems priced for broader adoption are vital to the growth of the 3D industry and markets, larger screens undoubtedly produce more powerful 3D experiences. The more enveloping the 3D imagery, and the less room interference the viewer has to contend with, the more believable the experience. Digital Projection is pleased to be the provider of the highest performance 3D projection systems, specifically designed to reveal 3D content in the largest scale, for extraordinary entertainment venues.

Posted on Monday, February 01, 2010 (Archive on Monday, January 01, 0001)
Posted by cberens  Contributed by cberens

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