California Academy of Sciences gets Dolby 3D

Dolby 3D installed in greenest digital cinema ever
Dolby 3D installed in greenest digital cinema ever

As if you needed another reason to jump on a plane and escape the weather, the California Academy of Sciences has just unveiled the world's most sophisticated 3D cinema, using Dolby 3D.

The installation at the brand new eco-building in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park is understood to be the world's first fully DCI-compliant cinema within a science institution.

In addition to a Barco DP-2000 digital cinema projector, AMX controller, and Meyer Sound 7.1 system, the setup features an HP/Nvidia real-time graphics cluster and SCISS AB's Uniview 3D visualization software.

First cinema with 3D graphics cluster

"Dolby was the only system that allowed us to connect an external 3D computer graphics cluster to the display and allow it to be used in 3D mode," says Blair Parkin of installers Visual Acuity.

"All of the other 3D cinema systems only permitted auxiliary display of 2D sources. This 3D arrangement had never been done before, and makes a real difference for a museum using DCI theatre technology."

The Academy building is officially the greenest museum in the world, and a 3D system that relied on disposable glasses would generate considerable waste—more than 300,000 pairs of glasses every year.

So Dolby 3D digital cinema offers a clean, environmentally sensitive alternative, with reusable passive (polarised) specs that are washed twice a day.

Appropriately, the first presentation at the Academy is a 3D film called Bugs!

Mark Harris is Senior Research Director at Gartner.