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Conversion algorithm to boot conventional TVs

Posted: 09 Mar 2009 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:conversion 2D to 3D? algorithm conversion? 3D TV?

As TV makers ready 3D models, a company called Dynamic Digital Depth claims its automatic 2D-to-3D conversion algorithms could help replace conventional TVs.

Parent company DDD Group plc argues that several dozen 3D movie titles are not enough to persuade wary consumers to buy a dedicated 3D display. By including automatic 2D-to-3D conversion for regular TV, PC games and even the user's own images, the company says 3D TVs may be poised to eventually displace regular TVs altogether.

"There are not enough 3D movie titles out there yet to justify purchasing a TV dedicated to stereoscopic," said Christopher Yewdall, executive director and CEO of DDD. "We are stuck in this Catch-22 situation where the TV manufacturers won't make many 3D TVs until there is sufficient content available. And the content providers won't produce more 3D programming until the 3D TVs are available."

'Chicken-or-egg dilemma'
Putting a 2D-to-3D button on a TV remote control would break "the chicken-or-egg dilemma by allowing viewers to automatically convert existing 2D to 3D," Yewdall added.

Last year, DDD formed a partnership with Altera Corp. to embed its TriDef Core algorithms into the company's Arria-GX FPGAs, permitting DDD to license PCB subsystems to major TV manufacturers. DDD is currently delivering its subsystem technology to such TV makers as Hyundai IT, Sharp, Samsung and Wistron. It provides both automatic conversion capabilities and the ability to sense and display native 3D content in a variety of formats.

The TriDef Core algorithms provide user controls for "point-of-focus" and "depth." Users adjust the point-of-focus to determine which parts of 3D images protrude from the front of the TV. The depth control determines how far it appears between the point-of-focus and the farthest object in a scene (often the horizon).

When users tune into native 3D content, DDD's algorithm senses and translates the content into the 3D format of the display. 3D content can come from Blu-ray disks, DVDs, live broadcasts or PC game consoles. Supported displays include parallax barrier, lenticular, polarized and LCD shutter-glasses displays.

For high-end LCDs, digital light projectors and plasma TVs, Hyundai, Samsung, Wistron and others are using Altera FPGA versions of DDD's algorithms for automatic conversions to 3D and to sense native 3D content. It is then translated for display.

- R. Colin Johnson
EE Times

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