Momentum Building Fast for Home 3D

We could say it’s the day the planets aligned (literally) for the Home 3D market. First, Home 3D just got a big shot in the arm as on-line video hosting giant YouTube is reportedly working on a 3D stereoscopic video player for the world’s most popular shared video web site.

On the 3D display front, Canada based Sensio reported they just inked a 3D licensing agreement with TV maker Hyundai IT Corp to integrate Sensio’s 3D decoding technology into Hyundai’s LCD-TVs. And, in 3D home distribution, Sonic Solutions reported they will team with Nvidia to add 3D content to its Roxio / CinemaNow Internet distributed movie service allowing for download and decoding of 3D films for both 3D ready TVs and PC displays in the home. Collectively, these events show building momentum for 3D in the home as manufacturers begin to tackle the barriers of mindshare, display platforms and distribution. Let’s take a closer look...

Evidence of YouTube support for 3D is now conclusive and a modified 3D player is on-line for users to upload their content. Some YouTube 3D video test results can be seen on the site that includes a new "3D View Style:" menu bar with several style options available from a drop down menu located on the bottom right of the player.

This "enables different (primitive) 3D formats," said a developer on the YouTube support web site. The potential impact for spreading the word on Home 3D is immense. The YouTube site is ranked the third most visited web site on the world wide web by San Francisco based Alexa. The web ranking company, says YouTube is viewed on average, by about 20% of all Internet users daily and tracks almost 500K web sites linking in to YouTube. By providing a new cutting-edge stereoscopic 3D player, YouTube is doing its part that should go a long way to building 3D at home mindshare by initiating the next generation into the third dimension of display technology.

The bad news is that the site only supports anaglyph 3D right now. We, and many others, are very worried about the negative impact of this weakest form of 3D on the perception of 3D. Exposing 3D to a mass audience is great — exposing the lowest quality 3D to a mass audience is not so great.

On the other hand, we clearly applaud the news from Sonic Solutions / Roxio CinemaNow. This approach will allow home cinema viewing of 3D films using the CinemaNow player and PCs with the popular Nvidia GeForce video cards (with GTX 295, -85, -75 processors). The output must be coupled to an Nvidia 3D Vision or Vision Ready display, such as the Samsung SyncMaster 2233RZ and ViewSonic FuHzion VX2265wm. These are both 22" 120Hz page-flipping LCD monitors that require active shutter glasses. The monitors offer a very good 3D image, so this initiative will help drive demand for more 3D content and display platforms.

And speaking of display platforms, Korean TV maker Hyundai, may be looking to leapfrog commodity flat screen TVs with the future proof message of 3DTV support as well. They will join the ranks of Mitsubishi and Samsung with 3D ready TVs and will start selling them in the fall of 2009. But beyond the TV maker, this is a big win for Sensio and their flagship Sensio 3D technology that allows 3D content to be distributed over conventional 2D channels.

3D technology has been around for a long time, and even pre-dates photography, but momentum is finally building for 3D in the home. Perhaps this is happening now because the technology breakthroughs like enhanced HD displays, Internet distribution and embedded media PCs have finally reached the masses. An alignment of planets you might say that eclipse the old way of viewing things, blossoming before our very eyes, in our own living rooms.

By Steve Sechrist, DisplayDaily