The cheap passive glasses system may win for another reason. Have you noticed how retailers tend to hide the 3D sets at the back of the display section, near to the office? My experience was to find two pairs of chunky active glasses available... but securely tethered to the shop's fabric. I could just stretch the tether to reach a prime position in front of the large 3D Sony screen and donned the glasses. As I just saw the same `double' images I twigged that I needed to turn them on. I found a switch on the left side, and another on the right side... Could I get them to work. No. Was there any help on hand. No. So, would they be able to sell me that big Sony 3D TV set...? I have since learned that the retailer is now showing LG screens at the front of the department, with ample supplies of untethered passive glasses that, of course, work perfectly without any switches. So which one would you buy? Speaking of screens, there seems to be a competition running for the biggest 3D screen... well screens actually as there is a category for LED screens as well as reflective `cinema' screens according to Guinness World Records. On the 28 May at an event in Gothenburg, VIDEOFORCE specialist in technical support for video for events, together with Viasat, set a record for the world's largest 3D LED display. The screen measured 7.11 m (23 ft 3.92 in) diagonally and the display area is 6.192 m (20 ft 3.78 in) x 3.483 m (11 ft 5.13 in). You think that's large? You ain't seen nothing yet! Christie helped set a world record when it displayed the French 3D premiere of Warner Bros Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows Part Two on a 29.9m wide by 12.33m high (98 ft by 40 ft) screen at the Palais Ominisports de Paris-Bercyon 12 July. Guinness World Records has certified the event. Illuminating the vast screen required the light of six Christie Solaria Series CP2230 DLP Cinema projectors, configured in two clusters of three, with each projector's output rated at 32,000 lumens. This must have cost but with an audience of 8,500 the Euros per eyeball were probably not so bad. Of course what we really want is autostereoscopic `no-glasses' screens. Most of these use a lencticular filter in front of the screen to direct the left and right images to each of our eyes. This technology has been around since you could buy stereo postcards. General drawbacks are a loss of image resolution and being able to see the full 3D effect only as particular angles, or `zones', to the screen. The more zones the better. It is popular for digital signage but may yet prove to be the best alternative to glasses. The best results are delivered if each zone has its own version of the picture, as the 3D effect should be presented slightly differently for each. A good deal of work is going into this area and the Hungarian company iPoint (now with a UK office in Oxford) has been impressing viewers at shows. Interestingly the demo uses an iPoint processing box, a small rack-full, to process the stereo video for each zone. If this is to work for the wider consumer market that box has to be boiled down to a cheap chip. This process has happened many times before but it only becomes commercially viable if there is a large enough market. This is a space to watch. By the book? by Robin Palmer 3D TV and 3D Cinema: Tools and Processes for Creative Stereoscopy' (ISBN: 978-0-240-814612) is Bernard Mendiburu's latest book, published this summer by Focal Press. It follows on from his previous success (`3D Movie Making') which has had several reprints to keep up with demand. Since the first book came out two years ago, the art of 3D media, techniques, technology and products have all moved on. This new book expands into all these interesting areas. It is a collaboration in some part with Steve Schklair (3Ality) and Yves Pupulin (Binocle) plus inserts from other notable industry experts so you just know it is going to be authoritative and comprehensive. The blurb given for this paperback is that it covers the technical requirements of shooting stereoscopic images. `3DTV and 3D Cinema' ` defines the concept of a professional 3D camera system and describes what features are required to make a successful unit to keep your production on schedule and on budget. It details the various hardware and software systems, with a section dedicated to the specific requirements of shooting for 3D cinema, 3D conversion, keying, and CG processes. It also goes into the essential staging, lighting, set-dressing, framing and camera movement techniques. The theoretical knowledge is complemented with real-world examples of 3D TV and cinema productions that are analysed by crew members or producers. Chapter 3 (3D Image Processing and Monitoring) gives a very comprehensive, run-down of each potential 3D image problem or error to be encountered together with possible fixes, remedies or precautions. How to monitor and measure these difficulties is also covered, plus a nice mention of the CelScope3D stereoscopic analyser. My guess is that even experts will find `3D TV and 3D Cinema' a useful resource. For anybody curious or aspiring to any part of the 3D product or post-production process, this has to be an essential book to read. Strangely: the copyright on the text is given as `2012' so perhaps the book is future-proof? Robin Palmer is Managing Director of Cel-Soft. He is involved with software solutions for 3D & TV quality control and measurement technology. Robin can be found on the Cel-Soft stand, K01 in Hall 7, at IBC 2011. TV-BAY MAGAZINE | 45