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TDVision Pushes Home Uses for 3-D Codec

After introducing the first 3-D codec that was compatible with full high-definition stereoscopic broadcast and the Blu-ray format last year, TDVision Systems is now offering an optimized version of its TDVCodec for home use, according to the company's director of production marketing, Ethan Schur.

The TDVCodec is designed to allow users to "encode once and deploy anywhere," Schur said, without any loss of quality for a 3-D HD or 2-D HD versions.

"The system we have retains full HD 1920 by 1080 resolution for each eye," he said. It is backwards compatible to Blu-ray and other formats and is designed to reduce bandwidth requirements for cable, satellite and other platforms."

In theory, 3-D HD images, created by producing a version for each eye, would double the bandwidth required for an image with 1920 by 1080p resolution. But compression techniques allow the bandwidth requirements to be reduced to as little as 1.5 times those needed for 2D HD content, Shur said.

He noted that studios are already using the codec to create Blu-ray disks of daily footage for theatrical films, which can then be played on projectors in the studio's offices.

In September 2008, MagicPlay Entertainment also announced that it would release the "first ever" 3-D-ready programs on Blu-ray. Those releases are using TDVision's format.

Shur added that cable networks are exploring the idea of offering 3-D programs and that the gaming industry is particularly interested in 3-D content.

While 3-D HD has been getting a lot of buzz of late, Schur said that there are number of problems with standards, which means that glasses used for one system can't be used on another, and that some companies have taken what he believes is are short sighted approaches that reduces the quality of the image to save bandwidth.

"If you squeeze the image for the left and right eyes into one view that isn't HD," he said. "Those kinds of shortcuts are harmful to all of us. If you see this and say ‘I don't like 3-D,' then you're shooting yourself in the foot."