Though Imax is not competing directly with RealD to put its 3D technology into multiplex screens, the company still mixes it up, trying to draw audiences for the Imax Experience (in 3D) for such blockbuster films as “Avatar.”
Imax 3D differs from other solutions on the market in several ways. It sells reusable linear polarized glasses (as opposed to the circular polarized glasses used by companies like RealD) to exhibitors showing films in Imax 3D.
Brian Bonnick, executive VP of technology for Imax, said, “We use linear polarized glasses because you’re able to use a better quality polarizing material, which gives you a higher signal-to-noise ratio and that cuts down on ghosting.” Imax glasses also have a wider surface area than many other glasses used in theaters today, he said.
The company uses a two-projector system instead of a single projector — two Christie projectors that are modified using proprietary tech, including a suite of lenses developed by Imax.
“The seats in an Imax theater are closer to the screen and the geometry of the theater is more stout, which produces more immersion,” Bonnick said. “On top of that our proprietary Image Enhancer helps allow us to boost the contrast in 3D films by about 40%.”
Additionally, all films shown in Imax receive a dose of the company’s secret sauce — its fabled DMR process that allows films to be readied to be shown in Imax. While Imax won’t discuss exactly what adjustments are made during this process, Bonnick said the company is constantly refining this approach to bringing movies to its screens.