Sunday, November 02, 2008

3D-At-Home Tech Shown at SMPTE Expo

Hi everyone, Michael here. Last week I saw an impressive demonstration of 3D-at-home tech at the SMPTE 2008 Tech Conference & Expo. TDVision, which makes a number of 3-D products, was showing off their 3-D media encoding/decoding technology on a Samsung 3-D ready DLP HDTV via shutter glasses. The 3-D footage--a combo of CG and live action--was vibrant, smooth, and immersive.

TDVision hopes to license their codec--which allows both 3-D and 2D versions of content to be stored on the same disc--to makers of DVD/Blu-ray players and set-top boxes. While their representatives were coy about giving a date when the first 3-D content utilizing their tech would hit the market, they did say that they have been having many discussions with the major studios and other 3-D content providers, as well as hardware companies such as Texas Instruments.

Above: Ethan Schur of TDVision (holding the TDVCam 3-D Camera) demonstrates TDVision's 3-D tech at the SMPTE Expo

Perhaps the most potentially revolutionary aspect of TDVision's presentation was their interactive 3-D virtual gaming world "AlterSpace", in which the "player" navigates around the environment using a controller and can choose to socialize with friends, surf the net, hold live video-conferences, view movie clips, images, and even play games. A 3-D version of the classic Pong which could be accessed through the virtual world was a particularly neat example of how 3-D can make something old new and exciting--and the stereo effect was quite pronounced and impressive.

I can't wait until 3DTV / 3D-At-Home becomes a reality...and it will have to become real soon if the studios want us to be able to purchase 3-D versions of big 3-D movies such as Bolt, Monsters Vs. Aliens, and eventually Avatar. There is a ton of movement in the industry towards this, so let's hope everything is worked out soon!

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