About Active 3D .. How the system works

Active 3d is quite different in both operation and performance to either the polarised or colour based systems.  Any stereoscopic 3D requires  a different set of images to be sent to each of the viewer’s eyes, and each of the three technologies used in cinemas does this differently. 

Polarised systems, such as Technicolor, RealD and Master image, apply a polarising filter to the alternating Left and Right eye images – the viewer wears glasses with passive filters working along the same lines and these filter out the opposing eye’s information.  A standard cinema screen, white or low gain, scatters the light it reflects and so a high gain Perlux or silver screen needs to be installed, which may degrade the 2d viewing experience.  Some versions of polarising systems also require extra light and ghosting can be an issue.  Ongoing licence fees are often payable.

Anaglyph systems, such as the primitive Red / Green black and white systems and the higher tech Dolby system, work by filtering out entire colour bands.  These work on a white screen however again need a lot of light.  They also require a permanent internal modification to the projector, as well as proprietary hardware to be installed.

Active glasses don’t require a silver screen and are the most light efficient of any system.  The system works like this …

  1. A 3D DCP is shipped to the theatre. 
  2. The theatres’ projector needs to be configured for our system – this is a simple matter, taking less than an hour for your or our technicians – in some cases this can be done remotely
  3. Active glasses work by receiving a signal from the projector via an infra red emitter, not dissimilar to existing hearing impaired emitters already installed.  Typically a theatre would need one emitter for every 150 to 200 seats.  These emitters need to be installed at high level in the theatre , either near the screen or in smaller venues they can point out of the projection windows, reflecting off the screen.  These emitters are supplied as pert of our rental kit
  4. Emitters are connected to the projector via a small processor which plugs directly into the standardised 37p d connector interface of any DLP cinema projector.  This is powered by a single 13A power pack
  5. Glasses are handed to each customer when entering the theatre
  6. When screening the film, the server and projector recognise the 3d and start sending out a signal to the glasses via the emitters and processors.  This is a secured signal – home glasses cannot (at this stage anyway) be used, nor can our active glasses be used for 3DTV or home use.
  7. The glasses recognise these signals and alternately apply an active, black LDC filter to the left and then the right eye.  To extend battery life, if the glasses don’t receive such a single within a specified time, they turn off automatically.
  8. After the film the glasses are collected by the theatre staff, cleaned and used again.


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