Stream TV Networks promises glasses-free 3D displays

Consumer Reports News: May 15, 2012 03:38 PM

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Stream TV Networks announced today that it has struck a deal with a manufacturing company that will result in 3D-capable displays that don't require any 3D glasses.

According to Stream TV, the deal will result in its glasses-free Ultra-D technology being used by Unihan Corporation to develop a variety of 3D-capable displays. The initial product to be developed by the two companies will be a 42-inch 3D display. The companies did not mention the price, but said the goal is to produce the display later in 2012.

The two companies will also build an outboard 2D-to-3D converter box—called the Ultra-D Seecube—that can create 3D effects from regular 2D programming, as well as take stereoscopic material and convert it to glasses-free 3D on the fly. The companies say they'll also be working to develop a wide range of products, including tablets, smart phones, laptops, PCs, digital communicators and TV sets of various sizes, that can use the technology.

Stream TV describes Ultra-D as a combination of both hardware and software, which operate in sync. Displays use a layer of lenses that directs light at an optimal angle to create a 3D image for the human eye, while the software uses sophisticated algorithms to scan incoming video streams to determine the different layers that can help produce a depth effect.

The Seecube converter box will reportedly work with a variety of content, including regular and 3D cable and satellite feeds; Blu-ray players; video-game systems; streaming websites such as YouTube, Netflix and Vudu; and even Facebook and Skype. Stream TV said that the Seecube also supports Apple's iOS devices, including the iPad, iPhone and Apple TV.

The company promised that more information about products will be available during the upcoming Computex show in Taiwan.

James K. Willcox

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