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Digital Projection Demos 3D Titan Projectors, Dimension Server

New York –
Although it has been actively marketing its high-end projectors equipped with
its proprietary 3D system for several years,

Digital Projection

gave custom
installers and system integrators a demonstration here Wednesday of its Titan
1080p commercial and home-theater 3-chip DLP
projectors powered by a new server solution, all using the company’s
proprietary approach to active-shutter 3D technology.

The projectors,
which are available now, were designed to deliver 1080p high-definition images
at 120Hz refresh rates — 60Hz per eye. Alternately, if video is delivered at
24p, the system can use triple flash to achieve a 144Hz refresh rate, explained
Jeff Schneider, Digital Projection Northeast and Midwest
sales manager.

“It’s as powerful
as a DLP cinema projector as far as refresh
rates is concerned, but we can play back any 3D media and it’s available in a
lot of brightness levels,” he added.

In addition to
supporting the latest 3D Blu-ray active-shutter formats, the server and
projectors can be configured for a wide range of 3D applications from video
games to movies requiring either active or passive-shutter glasses. The system
will support Digital Projection’s active-shutter system as well as the DepthQ
and RealD Z-Screen, polarized passive-glasses technologies.

Using polarized
glasses, viewers lose about 75 percent to 80 percent of the brightness output
of the projector, Schneider explained, while those viewing 3D through the active-shutter
system lose about 60 percent of the brightness output.

New in the setup
is the Dimension Server ($45,000 suggested retail), which is a Windows 7-based
system with support for 3D signal playback. It will provide onboard storage
(1TB hard drive is included but can be expanded up to 3TBs), a stereoscopic
player, optical disc drive and real-time conversion of 2D DVD
source material to 3D. Video is enabled with a high-end Nvidia card.

Also included with
the Dimension Server is an IR emitter and active-shutter glasses in counts of
eight or 12 pairs. The company is using Xpand and RealD active-shutter glasses
for the system, Schneider said.

Projection’s 3D partner Mechdyne, which is a specialist in stereoscopic 3D
advanced-playback solutions, helped to develop the server software platform,
Schneider said.

The server and
projectors are being upgraded to support the new Blu-ray 3D standard, added
Bill Gillette, Digital Projection senior applications engineer.

“We are ready
today with frame-sequential 3D, but we are following up with the more involved
Blu-ray standard,” Gillette said, adding that the company is waiting for more
players and media supporting the standard to arrive.

Both 3D and 2D
images can be projected effectively on any surface using the Titan 3D
projection systems, and offer a nearly 180-degree viewing angle, provided the viewer
doesn’t step outside the IR emitter range.

The flagship commercial
Titan 1080p Dual 3D (dual lamps) models sell for between $55,000 and $75,000
depending on the brightness configuration. The top of the line version will
produce up to 9,000 lumens of brightness and a 2,500:1 contrast ratio.

The virtually
identical-looking Titan 1080p Reference Home Cinema models sell for between
$65,000 and $85,000, depending on the configuration, and will produce up to 6,000
lumens of brightness at a 5,000:1 contrast ratio. The home cinema models, which
include a lens in the package price, offer a significant reduction in projector
noise from the commercial systems, he said.

Projection’s 3D solution adds to the projectors, 120Hz 3D-ready HDMI video
inputs, supporting software and an electronics hardware module, which the
company code-named “Straight Shot” because it bypasses a lot of the internal
electronics, enabling half a frame or less of latency.

The added cost for
the 3D capability in the projectors is $15,000 in commercial models and $20,000
in the residential versions, Schneider said.

Models with
different maximum brightness output are also available depending on the

Both models use
three .95 Texas Instruments’ DLP
DMD chips and UHP bulbs.

“What we find with
3D is the larger the screen, the better the experience,” said Schneider. “So,
yes, you can get a 50- or 60-inch 3D flat-panel set today, but with the
projector approach the sky’s the limit.”

Nevertheless, Gillette
said that even with all the hype for 3D in recent months, the company expects
3D to be only “a special application” in its overall home theater projector

Schneider said the
advantage to Digital Projection’s approach to 3D over competitive high-end home
cinema front projector systems using dual projectors is first and foremost
simplicity of installation and consistency of image quality.

“To dual converge
projectors is a real science, an art form,” he explained. “You have to really
know exactly what you are doing and hope that you don’t have any problems with
your lensing. If there’s one difference in the lens design or manufacturing,
you will never be able to get a perfect over-layered image, and if you want a
2:35:1 to 1.78:1 aspect ratio, there is no way you could do that using an
anamorphic lens and a double-stack of projectors.”