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WA imager on verge of cracking 3D market

AFTER five years of research and development, a Perth imaging company is on the verge of cornering the 3D television market.

Dynamic Digital Depth, formerly Xenotech, has signed an agreement to integrate its 3D broadcasting technology into the General Instrument Corpora-tion’s new advanced digital set-top boxes.

Set-top boxes are used for the delivery of pay TV services and General Instruments is the largest manufacturer and supplier of set-top boxes in North America.

The US set-top box market is substantial. Of the 90 million US TV-households, 60 million subscribe to some form of pay TV.

DDD president Bob Baker said his company’s technology allowed it to broadcast 3D TV signals along the same line as the 2D image with less than a one per cent increase in bandwidth.

Previous attempts at 3D TV have required images to be sent on two separate lines.

Mr Baker said one of the biggest problems facing 3D TV was the lack of content, so DDD developed software allowing it to convert 2D images, be they from film or video, into 3D.

It is likely early 3D TV will have to be viewed with special liquid crystal display shutter glasses.

“However, glasses-free 3D TV will be coming into the marketplace. I believe it will be commercially available in five years,” Mr Baker said.

“Philips has announced a glasses-free 3D display for the industrial marketplace.

“Our prediction is, with 3D content available, consumers will want it.

“Our objective is to have live events broadcast in 3D. We are working with major corporations to make that happen.”

The General Instruments contract has sent DDD into a recruiting drive. It has also opened an office in MGM Plaza in Santa Monica and moved its headquarters to new premises at Technology Park in Bentley.

The company has been listed on the Alberta stock exchange since 1994 and plans are afoot for a major US listing in the next six months.

DDD started out creating a 3D glasses-free display aimed at the arcade game market.

“We’ve shown the 3D display to all major arcade game manufacturers,” Mr Baker said. “But there are very few stereo 3D display games.

“We are targeting to license the technology to the games manufacturers and have something in the market place within the next eighteen months.

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