Viewing Variations between Polarised 3D Glasses

Earlier this week I finally managed to see Madagascar 3… I arrived at the cinema with my RealD polarised glasses excited to see the magical work of Phil McNally! Sterkinekor and NuMetero here in South Africa encourage users to recycle and re-use their stereo glasses, and I think it is great! I am all for saving the planet, avoid plastic bags where ever possible and encourage others to do the same! Here’s me encouraging you right now!! Don’t buy the one use plastic bags!! Anyway I am drifting off topic here!

From top to bottom – Panasonic, Zalman, RealD, MasterImage

So before Madagascar had even started the adverts played in 3D and I began to notice some heavy ghosting. Given adverts in stereo are generally terrible and push the parallax to extremes, but two adverts or announcements stood out! Firstly the clip asking us to put on our polarised 3D glasses was clearly made by RealD (hard not to recognise their glasses design), but minutes later a clip played saying that this was a MasterImage 3D Cinema. Instantly my heart sank, was this actually a MasterImage system and not RealD?

The reason being, I have noticed fundamental incompatibility between these and other systems! To view the absolute best 3D possible you as the viewer need to make sure that you are wearing glasses that match the projector system being used. Whilst working on Zambezia & Khumba here at Triggerfish I have moved between the monitor I work on all day, a Zalman ZM-M240W and the Panasonic BT-3DL2550 that is connected in our Dailies Room. The Panasonic came with two great pairs of glasses that give excellent 3D results on the Panasonic and the same can be said for the Zalman glasses on the Zalman. However the minute we bought a whole bunch of RealD and MasterImage glasses to use during dailies I noticed heavy purple fringing and ghosting from the monitors. This same ghosting (not so much the purple fringing) is apparent when I tried using the Panasonic and Zalman glasses in a RealD cinema.

Ultimately, you as the cinema goer must be smart enough to realise that to watch the best 3D possible you must match MasterImage glasses with a MasterImage projector system and RealD glasses with a RealD projector system. You cannot share glasses between systems! This is generally not easily done as not everyone gets to sneak up stairs into the projector room and find out which system is being used! I can however tell you that it would appear that here in South Africa (as I write this*) SterKinekor theatres are mostly MasterImage and NuMetro are mostly RealD.

To end my story, sure enough I had to watch Madagascar 3 in what I would call mediocre 3D… the sparkly ghosting effects caused by mismatched cinema eye wear is terrible and really ruins the overall viewing experience. The plus side to my story is that I was finally able to see the floating windows Dreamworks carefully place on their movies and most cinema houses crop off because they think they are a mistake! This is a little feather in SterKinekor Cavendish, Cinema 4’s hat!

*Please note that recently SterKinekor made a public announcement that they were converting all their cinema’s to digital and so I would suspect that they are having a huge bidding war with the projector companies and thus this may change in the not too distant future!

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1 Comment

  1. Pippa says:

    Thanks for this article! Was very helpful.

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