Friday, October 03, 2008

Commentary: Ghostbusters 3D? No, Not The Planned Sequel... but Real D

**UPDATE: October 4th: This post needs to be updated as I have a factual error. Yes! I am not above them! Carol Giardina is right to have reported that the studios are wanting Real D to do this processing immediately before projecting at each theater. And as pointed out in the comments section, there is hardly any ghosting because of the fact that there has been ghostbusting applied. However the post stays. This needs to be said: Real D is THE standard. Period. Folks need to wake up to this fact and adjust there operations accordingly.

Sure Real D is working on a solution for the ghosting issue from the studios and may very well have something to implement for each and every 3D theater under there care. To me this is above and beyond the call of duty and it does not seem as though they are getting the credit they deserve - to the contrary it seems that the only press has been negative! The bigger picture and what should be happening in my opinion, is for the studios to realize that, yeah - Real D is the standard and we need to add the ghostbusting process TO our complete process as it covers 90%+ of all 3D implementations. Get off your high horse and work with the defacto standard - rather than force a company to implement a solution to drop a black box in front of thousands of screens and growing every week.

So Carol, I owe you an apology. Your piece was accurate and timely if lacking further details I would have liked to have seen like Real D's track record for implementing optimizations. It is my passion for 3D that drives my posts and this whole blog in fact and so when I see a company that has done great things for 3D seemingly dragged through the mud I get upset.

According to THR
, there is an issue with ghosting with Real D systems. Sure, ok - perhaps a few times during a movie there seems to be some blurring where images for one eye leaks into the other eye's view. I barely notice it and I am looking for things like that. By the way, yes - Real D is a sponsor of MarketSaw, but I have always supported their tech over all others from day one. It just makes much more pragmatic sense.

Ghosting in today's modern 3D is a small issue. But Carolyn Giardina of THR has made a big stink about it. In fact she goes on to say that competing 3D companies do not have the same issue. Yeah, so? They have their own issues, big time. If they had such a great solution then they would have all large chains locked up like Real D does (AMC has not announced anything yet), but they don't. There are reasons why. I won't go into them now.

Look, I want a perfect system too - so that absolutely everyone has a perfect projection of 3D, everytime. And it will happen. Real D is working on a solution and say that they will have something in place by mid 2009 to correct this minor issue. I am happy with that. It bothers me that a publication like THR goes to such length as it makes it seem as though seeing a 3D movie will be terrible because of all the ghosting. IT IS HARDLY NOTICEABLE IF AT ALL. Relax already. Frankly I am stunned at how they presented this whole story.

Will Real D succeed in correcting the ghosting? Of course. THR does not focus on Real D's track record of having a problem and correcting it. A little background would go a long way to help their readers understand this. For example, they had a more worrisome problem like dimming. To project 3D on to larger screens presents a problem as you must obviously project two different images, one for each eye. This cuts the brightness down considerably. Last year they had a breakthrough to allow REAL D systems on a 60' screen. Awesome. Now, this year they have a solution for screens up to 75'! (Real D XL) Now that was a much more serious issue and was corrected quickly and is being continually optimized. But THR did even touch on that. You can expect the same response from Real D for ghosting. Indeed Real D has said that they will provide the solution at no charge for the theater chains.

How do you feel? Have you noticed blurring during the 3D movies you have seen within the past 12 months (since Beowulf last fall)? And if you did notice it, did it bother you enough to tell others about it?

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Jim Dorey
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