Christie to demo advanced 3D laser projection


Christie announced demonstrations of what the company calls the world’s most advanced laser projection architecture, using Dolby 3D, at the Christie Innovation Theaters throughout CinemaCon 2014 (Caesars Palace, March 24-27) and the National Association of Broadcasters NABSHOW (Las Vegas Convention Center, April 5-10).

Christie DLP Cinema® laser projectors using 6-Primary (6P) color laser modules, earmarked for mass production in early 2015, will show how 3D light levels, image uniformity, viewing comfort and a sense of immersion can be vastly improved, especially when combined with advanced separation technology like Dolby 3D, versus conventional 3D systems found in cinemas around the world today.

“Recent declines in domestic 3D movie attendance are a sign that the novelty is wearing off, with audiences less willing to pay a premium for what is all too often a mediocre experience,” observes Don Shaw, senior director, product management, Christie Entertainment Solutions. “The lackluster quality of this experience results from a number of technical limitations with current 3D system architectures, the most serious one being restricted light levels that amount to only 10 to 30 percent of those levels achieved for 2D presentations. Simply put, the movies are too dark, leaving audiences struggling to discern critical details that make up the image in front of them.”

Shaw continues, “Christie’s latest laser projection technology, using six specific primary colors rather than filtered or polarized broad-spectrum white light, brings dramatically improved 3D efficiency to projection systems, regardless of the size of screen in premium movie theatres. We believe that this is the future of 3D cinema projection, that it is right around the corner, and that it will be a key element in boosting 3D box-office revenues around the world. Our CinemaCon and NABSHOW demonstrations will be the first 6P laser events available to the broad cinema community, from filmmakers to exhibitors, and reaffirm Christie’s 80-year commitment to cinema innovation, rather than ‘moving beyond digital cinema’ as some other industry players have promised.”

Christie’s 6P laser projectors generate a proprietary mix of photoptically optimized light wavelengths for each eye directly from the source, in effect eliminating the need for a highly inefficient stage of filtering or polarizing the light as it leaves the projector. The Christie demos will use Dolby 3D glasses specifically engineered to exactly match the six primary laser light wavelengths to yield nearly 90 percent light efficiency. “Their color separation-based technique for 3D is well-regarded as the gold standard among industry professionals, especially for its true color reproduction, compatibility with low-gain white screens, and superior crosstalk performance—only now it can be part of a system that is tremendously more light-efficient,” says Shaw.

“Dolby 3D’s advanced color separation technology is ideally suited for next-generation laser projectors,” says Doug Darrow, senior VP, cinema, at Dolby Laboratories. “With extremely high light efficiency, nearly no crosstalk and crisp images with vibrant colors, we believe Dolby 3D combined with laser projection produces the best possible 3D viewing experience for audiences.”

“Having had the opportunity to witness an early 6P laser demo at Christie’s worldwide center for engineering, research and development in Canada, I can confidently state that this is an exciting and important innovation in 3D cinema,“ declares Matt Cowan, co-founder and senior technical advisor at Entertainment Technology Consultants, “I look forward to further refinement of this technology and upcoming installation in premiere theatres around the world.”

Christie announced last year that it would supply and install the world’s first commercial laser projection solution for the Seattle Cinerama Theatre, and that it was the first to receive a U.S. FDA approval of variance allowing the sale and installation of laser projectors in movie theatres and other high-performance projection venues.