NHNZ in project to develop 3-D TV

NHNZ general manager John Crawford
NHNZ general manager John Crawford
NHNZ is working with a Korean company to develop cost-effective software able to turn high-definition television into 3-D programmes.

Although the conversion of 2-D to 3-D television was possible, the results were not particularly reliable and it cost "an absolute fortune", NHNZ general manager John Crawford said from Korea yesterday.

So the Dunedin-based documentary maker had partnered with Korea's largest government-funded research company and technical giant ETRI to develop the software using its documentaries as a test.

"If ETRI pull this off, and we are very confident that they will, they will be the first to create software with cost-effective conversion capability."

Mr Crawford said countries that had launched 3-D television channels were very short on content.

Although NHNZ had made 20 hours of 3-D programming, it had hundreds of hours of high-definition television which could be converted to 3-D if there was a cost-effective way.

"There is not a lot of 3-D TV programming made."

If the new software worked, it would give NHNZ a leading edge against other, similar production companies and benefit it economically even when the system was sold on the open market, he said.

"We'll have the technology first."

Mr Crawford and technical and IT systems manager Wayne Poll were in Korea this week to take part in workshops with ETRI.

Initial tests looked promising and, during the workshops, they would be advancing the software using NHNZ's Life Force series due to its huge diversity of high-definition imagery.

"It'll really put the technology through its paces."

The Korean scientists would visit Dunedin in October to continue the testing.

"We're hoping to have the process completed in 12 months, but it's small steps."

- rebecca.fox@odt.co.nz


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