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ADS Pitches Low Cost 3D Conversion

Advanced Digital Services has launched a new service offering that allows content owners and distributors to convert 2D content to 3D stereographic TV much faster and at a lower cost.

The move comes as some content owners have been looking for ways to convert their content to 3D. Most notably, CBS has reportedly been pitching a 3D channel to operators that would feature prime time programming and other fare that had been converted to 3D.

ADS believes its solution would make it cost effective for producers and content owners to expand their 2D to 3D conversion efforts, which in the past had either produced lower quality product or was so expensive that it was only suitable for big budget Hollywood fare.

That would also help overcome the lack of content that has limited consumer demands for new 3D TV, notes ADS CEO Thomas Engdahl.

Currently 2D to 3D for major feature films is an extremely labor intensive process can cost $60,000 to $90,000 per minute, or more, Engdahl explained in an interview.

While high costs have traditionally made conversion of 2D TV programming uneconomical, he contends that ADS can convert content for only $3,000 to $5,000 a minute and that they can complete the process very quickly, doing a 46 minute episode in as little as 4 days.

Such costs would also make the conversion of library product as well as new production practical. "We are seeing a lot of interest from the studios in conversion," and some major studios are already using the technology, he notes

Science fiction, space programing, and content with open spaces, ranches, aerial shots, car races, CGI and animation would work particularly well in 3D, Engdahl says.

But he also stresses that it is important not to overdo the 3D effects in conversion, which can produce eyestrain in viewers, and that certain types of content, such as hand held reality fare, do not work well.

"There is a market void for 3D content that this can help content owners fill," he says. "It could really give library content a new life."