New technology breakthrough means you won't have to upgrade television to watch 3D TV
Users won't have to upgrade their television sets to be able to experience 3D television claims John Lowry, an imaging industry veteran and creator of a new 3D technology called TrioScopics3D.
The new 3D tech doesn't require the viewer to upgrade their new television set or DVD/Blu-ray player and in fact can already be seen in movies already out.
"Our technology lets you use a standard Blu-ray/DVD player and a standard television screen. All you have to do is wear a pair of glasses," Lowry told Pocket-lint in a one-to-one interview.
The technology, which is based on the 150 year old anaglyph method of using a blue and red filter over your eyes, takes the technology one step further introducing a new colour system (green and magenta) and better image processing and encoding on the disc.
"We've turned anaglyph into a science," Lowry tells us. "The results we have created are respectable, but more importantly work today with today's technology. We expect to see even more dramatic changes even before the end of the year."
Lowry, who has been in the TV industry almost 60 years, has seen his fair share of new technologies and innovations. A previous company he created, Lowry Digital, is a leading restoration and imaging house working on films such as The Curious Case of Benjamin Button to the NASA Apollo 11 moon landing footage.
As Lowry proclaims himself in our interview: "I am imaging."
So when he states that he could "have Sky broadcasting 3D TV or double the cinemas in the US that could show 3D movies in a week" you have to sit up and take note.
His company has so far applied this new technology to 7 of the 14 3D films released in 2009 with the latest offering Aliens versus Monsters out on the 29 September in the US and 26 October in the UK.
Those who opt to buy the Dreamworks-produced movie will be able to watch a 15 minute short film included in the extras, called Bob's Big Break, using the new 3D technology.
Buyers will get four special green and magenta glasses in the box and be able to experience "the best 3D you can in the home right now" says Lowry, without the need to have gone out and bought a new DVD player or television set.
"The system works by merging two images together through a series of algorithms. It creates one image that can be encoded on a standard Blu-ray or DVD disc. Wearing the glasses lets your brain decode the image," explained Lowry.
So are Sony, Panasonic, LG, Samsung, Philips and Toshiba barking up the wrong tree? Far from it. Lowry concedes that the polarised systems the companies are developing will be the way of the future. But for the moment are just that:
"That system [polarised] will come over time, however the average roll rate for a new television is 8 years. Add that to the fact you've got to buy a new television and Blu-ray player as it's going to take a while to take hold. Our system lets you enjoy 3D today."
So how long before we are all sitting in front of the television wearing glasses?
"It's starting right now. Every indicator I see suggests there will be 25-30 3D movies released in 2010. That's one every 1.8 weeks. The demand is there," comments Lowry before hitting us with a swath of figures on glasses sales. "Between just three of the DVD movies currently available with the technology (Journey to the Center of the Earth, Coraline, My Bloody Valentine) we've shipped over 50 million 3D glasses. That's a lot of people watching 3D."
Where Lowry is hoping to succeed with TrioScopics3D is that you don't need to upgrade your current technology. While the television manufacturers are unlikely to like the idea that you might not be buying a new television after all, for the broadcasters like Sky and Channel 4, it could mean a 3D roll out sooner than expected.
In fact Channel 4 are about to run a week of TV Shows with a competing anaglyph technology from ColorCode 3-D.
The system has has already been used for the Super Bowl 3-D commercials earlier this year as well as the 3-D Chuck episode that was aired on NBC in the US.
As Lowry says, Sky could, if they wanted to, offer a 3D service tomorrow rather than in 12 months time.
As for when we will all be immersed in movies with Lowry's glasses? Lowry is working on that:
"I will work like crazy to make that happen," he says.