Dolby dives into digital 3-D

Sound co. inks deal with Infitec

Dolby is getting into the booming digital 3-D biz.

Digital cinema unit of the sound company has signed a deal with German company Infitec, a maker of virtual reality systems, to develop a 3-D system for theaters that it hopes to deploy by next spring.

Move makes Dolby the third major competitor providing 3-D technology that takes advantage of d-cinema, along with Real D and In-Three.

The two films that have been released so far in digital 3-D, “Chicken Little” and “Monster House,” both used Real D systems.

Dolby digital cinema senior VP Tim Partridge said he hopes the company’s system will stand out as it does not require either a silver screen, as Real D does, or the battery-powered glasses utilized by In-Three.

“Hopefully, we’ll take all the strong points of the systems out there, but without the drawbacks,” he told Daily Variety.

Studios are increasingly interested in digital 3-D as a way to lure auds into theaters, particularly for animated films. As a result, it’s expected to become a more competitive space.

Dolby’s digital cinema business is currently focused exclusively on servers. By moving into 3-D, it will start selling attachments for projectors as well.