October 7, 2010
By Jennifer Davis
Q. Runco talks about linear polarization, but some say that circular is better. Why did Runco choose linear polarization for their PreciseLight™ filters and glasses?
A. Thanks for asking this important question. There are a variety of polarizer technologies out there and circular has gained wide acceptance, at least in the States, in commercial theaters. It is the only technology that works with some 3D approaches. However, our architecture didn’t require it, so we had the luxury of evaluating it and all other commercially-available filters (and some that weren’t commercially available) and decided on linear. Why?
In short, our formulation of linear provides better stereo separation than the alternatives (including other linear approaches). This results in less ghosting or cross-talk and better overall 3D performance. Our design is proprietary and features a different polarizer orientation, unique coatings and differentiated lens materials that combine into the proprietary PreciseLight system we sell.
The main "selling point" for circular is it is more forgiving when you turn your head, because the light is not polarized in one direction but twists the light instead. However, in my experience, If you want to get really sick when watching (even good 3D) then turn your head to the side! That is because the camera angles for the left and right eye content don't turn when you turn your head. The 3D effect should break down when you tilt your head because it is an optical illusion. We have found that our glasses allow for approximately 10% of a head tilt without losing the 3D effect, so you can easily settle into your favorite chair and comfortably watch compelling 3D!
Most theaters can’t use linear polarization very effectively, because they do not use dual-imaging projection systems. In Europe and Asia, Active 3D (like the technology used in our Active 3D upgrade kit) is used commonly in commercial theaters. In the US, a circular polarization and the use of a Zscreen active filter is more common in the cinema. The exception to this, of course, is IMAX 3D which utilizes two projectors to create their truly immersive 3D experiences, reinforcing the principles behind Constant Stereoscopic Video™ (CSV).
We will not stop innovating, evaluating, and inventing new technologies in the 3D arena, building on the early success of the D-73d, our 3Dimension Series, and the PreciseLight offering. We’ll continue to write more on this blog about 3D trends and technologies and will provide ongoing updates.
And while I am on the topic of 3D innovations, I have had the pleasure of working with the leading screen manufacturers as they work on their polarization preservation technology for 2D and 3D presentations. Without speaking out of turn and making announcements for them, let me just say that there are exciting developments in the works, and by the time our new 3D projector ships out to dealer showrooms and client homes there will be lots of solutions that meet our PISCES standards, while offering features like acoustic-transparency, masking systems, and curved installations. I agree wholeheartedly with the market analyst Chris Chinook who commented recently that, “the 3D market continues its torrid pace of advancement.”
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