Dolby to offer 3-D cinema system

The company will combine Infitec's 3-D technology with a digital cinema playback system it developed for movie theaters
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Dolby Laboratories has joined with Infitec, a German virtual reality company, to develop a three-dimensional projection system for theaters. The company expects its 3-D technology to be available by spring of 2007.

Dolby will integrate Infitec's 3-D technology, designed by Daimler Chrysler for automotive design, with the digital cinema playback system it developed for movie theaters in converting to digital projection systems from 35mm film projectors, Reuters reported.

Dolby says its Infitec-based system because it allows a 3-D image to be projected directly onto standard white screens instead of requiring silver screens to boost light on the image.

Real D, a 3-D cinema company, has installed more than 200 silver screens worldwide and has led the two largest digital 3-D film debuts ever — Walt Disney's “Chicken Little” and “Monster House.”

Existing 3-D systems that use white screens require the audience to wear battery-charged glasses to view the 3-D images. Dolby said its solution allows theater patrons to use the inexpensive polarized plastic glasses used by Real D systems.

Dolby said it has installed its digital playback system on 160 theater screens worldwide.