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2D to 3-D, new conversion service for TV programming claims to do it 90-percent cheaper

Advanced Digital Services has announced it can convert 2D content to 3-D through a service it claims is 90-percent cheaper than previous conversion technology.

ADS said it’s the first service to provide studios, production companies and content owners an affordable business model to drive the conversion of many thousands of hours of video footage currently sitting idle. The service, the company said, will result in “guaranteed” broadcast-quality 3-D footage in a timely manner.

The company said it is targeting the conversion service to content owners of episodic television content, documentaries, animated features, music videos, sporting events, commercial advertisements and infomercials. The resulting converted 3-D video footage is optimized for cable and broadcast television, BluRay box sets and pay-per-view, the company said.

In addition, ADS’s processes include 3-D support for mobile devices and for services such as Netflix, iTunes and Hulu. Broadcast-quality 3D content — either converted to, or shot in, 3-D — remains in short supply, and a new low-cost technology could open the floodgates.

“Although consumer demand for 3-D is growing, the limited supply of broadcast-quality 3-D content has served to stunt that growth,” said Thomas Engdahl, CEO of ADS. “With our new conversion methodology, we are poised to fill this market void.”

ADS can convert content for about $3000 to $5000 a minute, completing a 46-minute episode in as little as four days, Engdahl said. Science fiction, space programming and content with open spaces, ranches, aerial shots, car races, CGI and animation work particularly well in 3-D, he added.

Previously, conversion has been slowed by frame-by-frame processes that result in production costs out of reach for most television programming. ADS, using proprietary processes and technology, has demonstrated that broadcast-quality 3-D footage can be developed from 2D content for as little as three to five percent of the cost of frame-by-frame processes and in a small fraction of the time.

ADS said its methodology has been validated as a proven technique by several major U.S. studios. CBS, which has worked with ADS, has reportedly been pitching a 3-D channel to operators that would feature prime-time programming and other fare that had been converted to 3-D.