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Author Topic: XPanD 3D system
Mark Lensenmayer
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1605
From: Upper Arlington, OH
Registered: Sep 1999

 - posted 07-24-2008 04:15 PM      Profile for Mark Lensenmayer   Email Mark Lensenmayer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I saw the awful JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH today at a Marcus theatre. The 3D system was called XPand. The digital system was Dolby, but these glasses looked a lot different from the glasses I see on the Dolby website.

The glasses were gray with a large lens. The glasses are heavy and very uncomfortable. I finally just pulled off my regular glasses and lived with it.

I was not impressed. The room had a 28 foot screen, and the 3D image was very, very dim...almost as dim as the over-under 3D prints of the 80's. The glasses really seemed to eat up a lot of light. I've seen Real-D, and it was a brighter 3D image on a larger screen. The 3D stage seemed to be rather shallow, neither going back into the screen very much or coming out very far into the audience.

There was a special 3D trailer for the system, but it had no sound, so I couldn't hear what they were saying. Sound on all of the other trailers was just fine.

Marcus is usually does a very fine technical presentation, but this was not up to their standards.

Marcus is charging a $2.00 premium for the 3D. Two tickets are generated at the box office and one ticket is given to an usher at the door to exchange for the 3D glasses. Matinee admission was $10.00 for this film, about $9.50 more then it was worth.

Website for XPanD is here.

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Mike Olpin
Chop Chop!

Posts: 1852
From: Dallas, TX
Registered: Jan 2002

 - posted 07-24-2008 06:08 PM      Profile for Mike Olpin   Email Mike Olpin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Oh my, XPanD has made it out into the wild.

A few other Film-Techers and myself caught the demonstration they put together for showest in 2007. It featured a 15 minute segment of Fly Me to the Moon.

The 3D was fine, though I still think Real-D is the new gold standard, but this demonstration only had a 7 or 8 foot screen set up in a conference room, so I don't think any brightness issues would have become evident.

What really put the whole thing over the top were the motion seats and a few really bad 4D type effects. I wrote it off as probably never going to market, but I guess I was wrong.

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Gordon McLeod
Film God

Posts: 9532
From: Toronto Ontario Canada
Registered: Jun 99

 - posted 07-24-2008 06:14 PM      Profile for Gordon McLeod   Email Gordon McLeod   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
It is an active polarization method so it will have light losses
but again the dark picture is not the system's fault but that of the exhibitor that didn't use a large enough light source
Just like single film 3d the problem was more the user not the technology

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Mark Gulbrandsen
Resident Trollmaster

Posts: 16657
From: Music City
Registered: Jun 99

 - posted 07-24-2008 07:31 PM      Profile for Mark Gulbrandsen   Email Mark Gulbrandsen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The Expand system uses active glasses that don't have replacable batteries. They claim as many usable cycles as Dolby does from theor glasses which in both cases is extremely optimistic IMHO. Expand will be introducing a new style glasses that has replacable batteries soon. The Expand system I saw demoed at Showorst a couple of years ago used two projectors.

quote: Gordon McLeod
but again the dark picture is not the system's fault but that of the exhibitor that didn't use a large enough light source
Not necessarily... the standard is in the 4.5 to 5.4 foot lambert range at the moment. This is mainly because its a realistic light level that can be accomplished with the reduced area being used on most 3-D systems. The releases have to be color mixed for higher light levels so if you do run with higher light keveks than say 5.4 then the colors will appear washed out. Gradually the studios want to raise the 3-D light levels, this will mainly be done through the use of stacked projectors and also the new breed of 1.2" DMD's will greatly aid in bring up light levels since they can triple flash the full active area od the DMD.

I find it halirous that theater chains think they need to liscense and or purchase expensive 3-D systems at all. In the long haul a 2-projector system is less expensive and much higher quality... and then you have a backup projector for when you run 2-D pictures which is 95% of the time.


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Jack Theakston
Master Film Handler

Posts: 411
From: New York, USA
Registered: Sep 2007

 - posted 07-24-2008 11:40 PM      Profile for Jack Theakston   Email Jack Theakston   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
If this is the same system that the Academy ran HONDO with last November (as they look like, I might be wrong), the test there was a miserable failure. There was a ten-minute long ruckus over whether or not the shutter glasses were in phase with the projectors and vague instructions about seeing a flash in one eye (all the meanwhile, photographers are snapping pictures). The glasses gave an overall unsuitable yellow tint and cut down on the light dramatically.

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