3D Vision Blog

A normal user's look into the world of 3D Stereo Technologies

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Active 3D Technology Has Its Place in Movie Theaters

August 24th, 2013 · 3 Comments · 3D Movies & Videos


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.

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Buying Extra 3D Glasses for HP Envy 17 3D and Sony Vaio F Series

September 9th, 2011 · 3 Comments · Other S3D Tech

From time to time I’m getting questions about the glasses bundles with the HP Envy 17 3D and Sony Vaio F Series 3D laptops and what extra pairs of active shutter glasses should owners of these get in order to have a more flexible solution that won’t work only with the laptop, but other 3D-capable hardware as well. That is why I’ve decided to post some advice about that, but before that let me point to you the reviews of these two 3D-capable laptops that I’ve done here, so that you may learn a bit more about them if you haven’t been interested in them so far:

Review of the HP Envy 17 3D Laptop for Stereoscopic 3D Use
Sony VAIO F Series 3D-capable Multimedia Laptop Review

I’m starting with the HP Envy 17 3D laptop that uses a pair of glasses based on the Xpand X103 universal 3D glasses. You should have in mind however that the pair that you get with the HP laptop and extra pairs specially designed for it are only compatible with the laptop as you don’t have an option to switch the glasses to another mode so that they may work with other 3D-capable devices such as 3D HDTV. So if you plan to buy extra pair of active shutter glasses besides the one you get bundled with the laptop, you better go directly for a pair of Xpand X103 universal 3D glasses as they are perfectly compatible with the HP Envy 17 3D laptop, but will also work with pretty much any other major brand making 3D HDTVs that use infrared communication with their glasses.

If you happen to own a Sony Vaio F Series 3D laptop, then you’ve got the device with a pair of Sony’s active shutter glasses that is essentially the same as what the company uses with their range of 3D HDTVs. That simply means you can use the 3D glasses you got with the laptop with a Sony 3D HDTV without anything special required and also if you happen to own a Sony 3D HDTV you can use the glasses from the TV with the laptop. This is a good solution if you happen to own different 3D-capable Sony products or plan to have such, but what if you have another brand of 3D TV and you are considering to buy an extra pair of shutter glasses? Here you have the option again to go for the Xpand X103 universal 3D glasses that will support the Sony Vaio F Series 3D laptop as well as any 3D HDTV, Sony included of course, but you are not limited only to them. You can pretty much get any universal pair of active shutter glasses that works with Sony 3D HDTVs and it should be able to work pretty much the same way with the 3D laptop.

You can get the Xpand X103 universal shutter glasses for less than $80…

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XPAND 3D Plugin for 3D Presentations in Microsoft PowerPoint 2010

March 29th, 2011 · 3 Comments · General 3D News

Today XPAND has released a 3D Plugin for making 3D Presentations in Microsoft PowerPoint 2010, that is supposed to help you easily make more attractive presentations in stereoscopic 3D format. But apparently the plugin only works if you embed 3D objects in your presentations as normal 2D objects such as text or photos still remain in 2D. So no 2D to 3D conversion, meaning that you would need to work with 3D objects if you want to get the presentation to look 3D, otherwise every non-3D object will be positioned at screen depth. The plugin allows you to export the presentation in 3D format (.pp3d) that can be viewed in stereo 3D mode as well as the normal powerpoint 2D format. To view the 3D presentation you need to use the viewer that comes with the plugin, you cannot open it normally.

Here is the 3D output with the test slide that I’ve made with the severely limited trial version of the 3D plugin, the only supported 3D output format is Over/Under and on top of that half vertical resolution (squashed). If you open the test photo of the output you will notice that all the elements of the presentation are in 2D mode and only the overlayed watermark logo is in 3D format (with a bit too high separation). If you are interested you can download and test the trial version of the plugin that besides the watermark logo is also limited to 3 slides and the viewer to 3 minutes of slideshow of the presentation. For viewing a 3D presentation in steeo 3D mode you would need a 3D HDTV or a 3D Projector supporting stereoscopic 3D in Over/Under mode (option to manually switch in that mode for 3D input), but you can capture a screenshot and then preview it in a 3D photo viewer to see the effect. The plugin requires you to have Microsoft PowerPoint 2010, it will not work with older versions.

For more information about the XPAND 3D Plugin for PowerPoint 2010…

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