12:12 PM

Technicolor Intros 3D Video Certification

Certif3D program aims to eliminate production problems that reduce viewing quality.

Technicolor has developed a 3D certification program to make sure the video content meets minimum quality requirements before delivery to consumers, the company said Tuesday.

The Technicolor Certif3D program is geared toward broadcasters and network providers. Each shot will be evaluated by Technicolor against a set of objective criteria for stereographic reproduction, as part of the service, according to the company. The criteria include a 15-point quality checklist to identify common production errors which result in suboptimal 3D content, Technicolor said. Training programs will also be offered to help broadcasters and content creators move their production and post-production techniques to the three-dimensional medium from traditional television, the company said.

An advanced 3D analysis software application was developed by Technicolor's research and innovation team as the foundation for the Certif3D service. The software assembles a 3D model in real time using the left and right source masters to give an accurate pixel count for objects that are too close to or far from the viewer and would create discomfort, Technicolor said. The software also is able to detect and flag conflicts with the edges of the TV screen automatically, which the company said is another significant source of discomfort when viewing home-based 3D content.

"Our 3D certification platform allows our stereo technicians to quickly and precisely diagnose many of the issues that create viewer fatigue and discomfort," said Pierre (Pete) Routhier, Technicolor's VP for 3D product strategy and business development, in a statement. "Our goal in launching the Certifi3D program was to take a proactive approach in support of the industry to ensure a consistent and quality end-consumer 3D experience in the home."

3D technology has seen huge momentum over the past year with the launch of products and services including 3D televisions and glasses for viewing. Last week, Apple was granted a patent on a system to project 3D images without glasses. Panasonic debuted a 103-inch 3D plasma TV in November. Computer graphics maker Nvidia in October unveiled 3D software to let users connect 3D notebooks and desktops running its 3D Vision technology to 3D high-definition TVs.

Research facilities for 3D have also sprung up. Among them, the Intel and Nokia Joint Innovation Center, a partnership formed last summer by Intel, Nokia and the University of Oulu in Finland to conduct research on 3D graphics. Last spring Sony Electronics and CBS launched the Sony 3D Experience research center, mainly to study consumer preferences and perceptions toward 3D programming, as well as how broadcasters and studios can deliver 3D content for optimal viewing both in and out of the home.

Over the next couple of years, the 3D TV market will accumulate a base of content and devices, according to ABI Research. Market growth will start to accelerate by 2013, and shipments of 3D TV sets will approach 50 million by 2015, the firm said.

Technicolor provides high-end visual effects, animation and postproduction services. It also supplies digital content delivery services and home access devices, including set-top boxes and gateways.

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