If you were hoping that Samsung may get back to the Nvidia camp for its 3D-capable PC monitors after being the company that released the first 3D Vision-ready display and then moved to the TriDef 3D solution for providing stereoscopic 3D support on PC, you’ll might be disappointed by the news that Samsung has just renewed its license agreement to continue using DDD’s TriDef 3D software package. Samsung Electronics will continue to bundle DDD’s TriDef 3D solutions with Samsung’s lineup of 3D monitors probably for another two years, though the length of the agreement extension hasn’t been mentioned. The previous license agreement between the two companies was for a period of 2 years and was announced on 14th April, 2011 in time for the release of the Samsung SA/TA750 and SA/TA950 series of 3D monitors. It is interesting to see if Samsung will be releasing new models soon considering the company is renewing the license agreement.
Have in mind that Samsung has also licensed DDD’s 3D technology in it’s 3D HDTV products that allow Samsung to perform automatic 2D to 3D video conversion. The five-year license agreement was announced in February 2008 and involved DDD and Samsung collaborating to implement DDD’s TriDef real-time 2D to 3D conversion and 3D image processing architecture in the embedded 3D processing chip developed by Samsung for their next generation 3D HDTVs. In 2012 approximately 15 million units with DDD’s TriDef 2D to 3D conversion technology were shipped, up 67% from 2011. This brings the cumulative number of consumer devices shipped with TriDef 3D technology to more than 26 million units worldwide (this number covers all devices and not only 3D HDTVs) at the end of December 2012.
Chris Yewdall, Chief Executive of DDD has also revealed that over three million copies of the TriDef 3D software package has been shipped to date. That number probably includes the OEM versions as apart Samsung Electronics, DDD also has licensed the TriDef 3D software to AOC, HP, Lenovo, LG, Sony, Philips, Viewsonic and others though besides form Samsung most other 3D displays use passive 3D technology. At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January 2013, DDD debuted a number of new 3D solutions aimed at the growing market for 3D mobile devices – including smartphones, tablets and personal media players. DDD expects mobile shipments to return to growth in 2013 on the back of emerging demand for tablet PCs with 3D functionality.
DDD’s TriDef 3D software is available in more than 37 languages and allows over 750 of the latest PC games to be played in stereoscopic 3D “off the shelf”, even in cases where the game has not been specifically developed to be played in stereo 3D mode. The TriDef 3D game conversion engine is compatible with DirectX 9, 10 and 11 games and is compatible with PC graphics processors from AMD, NVIDIA and Intel’s 2nd Gen Core processors. In addition to a wide variety of PC games, TriDef 3D automatically converts PC video and photo files from 2D to 3D and is compatible with the growing library of original 3D content available from DDD’s Yabazam! 3D content portal.
20th Century Fox will apparently be preparing a 3D conversion for a re-release of the movie Independence Day scheduled for release on 4th of July 2013. Supposedly it will be a top quality conversion supervised by Roland Emmerich (the director of the movie) and the conversion itself will be made by the same company that worked on the 3D conversion of James Cameron’s Titanic into 3D… though still a 3D conversion. You can safely assume that Fox deciding to work with the same company that converted Titanic in 3D is after the really big success of the 3D conversion of Titanic, resulting in enormous revenue from the 3D version of the movie. But you should not forget that with these hit movies from the not so distant past there is also a serious number of viewers returning to the movie theaters not because of the 3D, but because of willing to experience the movies on the big screen again or because they haven’t seen them when they were originally released.
But before releasing Independence Day 3D Twentieth Century Fox will have another go at the 3D conversion with the movie I, Robot though this one will be a Blu-ray 3D release only. The conversion of the I, Robot however will be done using a new 2D-to-3D conversion process developed by JVC that promises good results with much less time and work, meaning lower costs for the conversion. And if you are re-releasing a 2D movie only on Blu-ray 3D it would not seem a very good idea to prepare an $18 million budget for the conversion process like Cameron did with Titanic as you may have serious trouble covering even the cost, let alone to have profit from the movie. And big movie studios thing first about the profit they can get when making decisions about re-releasing old movies converted into 3D, but we’ll have to wait and see how good JVC’s conversion process will turn out to be. We already now it will be cheaper and quicker, but it is also important how good will be the quality of the conversion compared to the longer and more expensive conversions done.
And no matter if you are willing to watch any of these 3D conversions, or if you are watching a movie shot in 3D, the important thing is that the 3D effect is there not just to impress you with some cheap tricks, but instead to be used as a tool to tell the story better. Obviously this is harder to do when converting a 2D movie into 3D, but it is not impossible… a good 3D movie is not good just because of well used 3D effects, this is just one of the components.
Last year YouTube has introduced a new function allowing users to upload 2D videos and then have them autoconverted from 2D to 3D by YouTube and today this beta functionality has been further expanded. Now every user can select to see an automatic 2D to 3D conversion for short-form videos uploaded in 1080p resolutions, there is no more need for the owner of the clip to select that he wants it autoconverted.
You can activate the 2D-to-3D autoconversion feature by clicking on the Options icon (the one with a gear) in the player and then clicking on the 3D button that will appear on the left. When you activate the 3D autoconversion feature of YouTube you will be able to select from less available resolutions up to 720p. It seems that the 3D button does not yet appear on all 1080p videos, so it may take some time, but you can test with the embedded YouTube video above – it already works. It is a quite different thing however how good the autoconversion to 3D is, it may work well on some videos and not that good on others, so if you are interested you can experiment with multiple videos.