XPAND 3D just announced that it will be the 3D partner for the upcoming 70th Venice Film festival taking place from August 28 til September 7th by providing its active 3D cinema technology for the world premiere of the much-anticipated film Gravity, directed by Alfonso Cuarón. The 3D film will be screening on August 28th in the Sala Grande of the Palazzo del Cinema at the Lido, following the opening ceremony of the film festival. During the film festival 13 screenings will be in 3D, including the opening and closing films, and will be taking place in the historic Palazzo del Cinema on the Lungomare Marconi among other venues.
Venice Film Festival is one of the most prestigious as well as the oldest international film festivals in the world. It is part of the Venice Biennale, founded in 1895, well-known for the International Film Festival, the International Architecture Exhibition and the International Art Exhibition. Also continuing the great tradition of the Festival of Contemporary Music, the Theatre Festival and the Festival of Contemporary Dance. Prior to the Venice Film festival the company was also the official technical partner and supplier for all 3D screenings at the Cannes Film Festival. XPAND 3D will be providing 5000 new active shutter glasses as well as equipping over 4000 seats in four of the largest theaters: Sala Grande, Sala Perla, Sala Darsena, Sala Biennale, with 3 XPAND Four Kits and 1 XPAND Super Power Kit for special venues that will include 7 emitters.
While passive 3D technology is apparently the preferred solution with the likes of RealD 3D, Dolby 3D and IMAX 3D movie theaters all using different passive 3D solutions, it seems that there is room for active 3D technology in movie theaters as well. XPAND 3D is probably the only solution provider for active 3D technology in movie theaters competing with the passive 3D solutions mentioned above, and the company also makes active 3D solutions that are compatible with consumer 3D projectors and 3D HDTVs among others and they even make passive 3D cinema solutions, though they are not their main focus.
One of the best advantages that active 3D technology has over passive 3D oe is that it does not require the movie theater to use a silver screen, something that can be a problem if you are projecting 2D movies in the same place and not only 3D ones. Being able to project in stereo 3D on a standard white matte screen as well as the modular design of the system allows for quick and easy setup of a standard 2D movie theater to a 3D capable one, especially useful for temporary use like for events for example. The fact that you need to use active 3D glasses however moves the higher expenses towards the glasses and thus making these active 3D solutions more attractive choice for smaller venues. The active 3D glasses themselves can provide up to 200 to 300 hours of use with the standard battery and after that the battery will need to be replaced as the active XPAND Cinema 3D Glasses do not come with rechargeable, but with a single use replaceable battery.
I personally still haven’t been to a move theater that uses XPAND 3D active technology in order to be able to compare it to other passive 3D solutions such as RealD 3D, Dolby 3D and IMAX 3D. I have however used various of the company’s active 3D products for consumer 3D-capable devices such as 3D projectors, 3D laptops and 3D HDTVs and there the XPAND 3D glasses do work quite well.