The DCI specification was issued in 2005 by the DCI or Digital Cinema Initiatives. This is an organization owned by the six major motion picture studios, which also comprise the MPAA. The specification they released, including selection guidelines for digital cinema projection glass, is comparable to the consumer specification of the Blu-Ray format.
The well-known term, ‘DCI compliant’ refers to products that conform to standards mentioned in the DCI specification. DCI compliance does not require meeting all component standards of Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) DCP. To determine if a setup adheres to the latter, ISDCF conducts tests at ‘plugfests’.
What Is Digital 3-D?
Digital 3-D is a complex phrase. 3-D comprises the use of stereoscopic images that create the illusion of depth when displayed on a 2-D screen. This method also ensures that each eye only sees those images it is intended to. When the left eye sees a decidedly different image from the right, a stereoscopic effect is produced, and the images seem more ‘real’ to the viewer.
Digital 3-D content distribution is intended to be single inventory, meaning that a single distribution should work for all display methods. This, however, is not the case these days. Most Real D installation setups come with the need for a ‘ghost-busted’ version of the original distribution to make the viewing experience seem more authentic.
There are many ways to create 3-D images; however, no more than three complementary technologies can be used when these are projected by a single digital projector. These technologies comprise the use of polarized glasses, active shutter glasses, and spectral division glasses. What is common about these methods is that each is capable of displaying any form of digital 3-D content, notwithstanding its mode of creation. Choosing one of these technologies for use in a theater require asking the following questions:
- How much does the digital cinema projection glass cost?
- Will it be essential to use a silver screen?
- What would be the additional costs for moving the 3-D movie to a different auditorium?
- Will the digital cinema projection glass require washing?
There is another method for projecting 3-D images, which is known as dual-projection. This is usually reserved for big screens. The problem with dual projectors is that they would need to be continually aligned for 3-D presentation.