“We believe that gaming is likely to drive stereoscopic technology into the home, and we’ll be there to complete the media experience,” says David Cole, CEO of Next 3D.
In an effort to prepare for the expected demand, Hollywood is now releasing big-budget 3D movies at the rate of one per month and professional sporting events are being broadcast in 3D. Low-cost 3D cameras and even 3D web-cams are becoming available. This week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, many top television manufacturers around the world including Sony, LG, and Panasonic have announced 3D ready TV’s, and both Samsung and Mitsubishi have already shipped an estimated 2 million 3D ready plasmas and DLP-based TV’s.
Next3D content is encoded with a tool that allows it to be viewed in full stereoscopic 3D 1080P high-definition. Like YouTube, Next3D will offer user-created content channels for stereo enthusiasts to post and share 3D video and still images. Premium, pay-to-view content channels will also be available by mid-year. Initial Next3D content providers include rights holders to 3D IMAX films, theatrical 3D films, and movie trailers.
The Next3D Movie Player will be free to consumers on every platform. “Remember how iTunes revolutionized getting the music you want?” adds D.J. Roller, Co-founder of Next3D, “That’s how easy we’re making 3D.”
The Next3D Player will be available for Xbox 360s and PCs this spring.
Engadget believes that the 3D player announcement is vapourware, but a spokesperson from Next3D responded:
"Next3D is producing a player for the XBOX 360 as well as other DirectX and Open GL paltforms. We use the GPU to decode and checkerboard (among other interlacing techniques) the signal, then squirt it out the HDMI port. In many ways, the XBOX 360 is an easier target that the PC or Mac - as the hardware is 100% consistent across the installed base.
As for the streaming strategy, we'll announce our first rights-holder partners in less than 1 week. They aren't huge studio names out of the gate. But, one is an IMAX film distributor with a fantastic 3D catalog. It will take time to hit critical mass with the online offering - there is a LOT to prove about a home 3D audience to rights holders. We do believe that there is enough inertia that, when combined with the stereo gaming market, a viable audience is worth cultivating.
The proof is in the seeing, and we'll be out on the coast early next month."
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