In our exclusive interview, Stream TV Networks CEO Mathu Rajan tells us why glasses free 3D TV in the home could arrive sooner than expected.
“We have a very aggressive roadmap, the most aggressive in the industry”.
If you visit the Walkabout Pub in Covent Garden, not only can you get served a fresh cold of pint of Fosters, you can also see a preview of a 3D technology that Stream TV Networks claim will even give the 2D industry the ‘fight of its life’.
Stream TV Networks says its technology is the first that lets a viewer move from side to side without any loss of picture quality. “True 3D should be like looking out through a window – a natural experience not an optical illusion.” Mathu Rajan, CEO Stream TV Networks says.
Last month, we reported that Stream TV Networks will be making some big announcements during September’s IFA, which will send “shockwaves through the display industry”. In our exclusive interview with Mathu Rajan, the company’s CEO is certainly able to make one feel positive about the future of 3D with his bold claims. We hope that his company will deliver on these promises and there is substance to his spin as, if his statements are true, 3D in the home without glasses could be with us sooner than we all thought. And, as James Cameron recently said, perhaps we can then expect an avalanche of 3D programming.
Mathu Rajan acquired a company in Silicon Valley that was working on a range of the products including 3D that did not require glasses. Rajan and his team invested considerable financial and research resources into the technology to improve it further, long before the days of Avatar which will be commercialised later this year branded as Ultra-D.
“We first started looking at what everybody else was doing. We brought in a team of researchers that had been working on glasses free 3D technology for twenty years” Rajan told 3D Focus, “The largest technology and electronics companies are not even in striking distance, they are years behind us. So we did something completely different”.
Rather than create a 3D illusion using parallax barrier or lenticular technology, Stream TV Networks have invented a new type of optical lens system that can be applied to conventional screens. Both lenticular and parallax barrier have advantages and disadvantages compared to each other but both suffer a reduction in resolution and ‘viewing cones’ where the 3D effect is temporarily lost as the viewer moves his or head until they are in the position of the next viewing cone.
Stream TV Networks claim the Ultra-D system has no viewing cone restrictions so the image does not ‘jump’ from view to view. The Philadelphia based company also claim that there is no sacrifice in resolution due to their unique approach….“Everybody else in 3D is doing some variation of left and right, trying to trick your brain into seeing 3D when it is not there. That is not the approach we have taken. We have created an algorithm that mimics the way our natural eyes work. We use motion to produce the 3D and that is a radical concept. We call it Ultra-D because we don’t want to be associated with the other 3D systems. When you see Ultra-D, it is a lot easier to watch. There are no headaches, dizziness or blurriness. You can watch it for hours and hours”.
The company will be making some major announcements at this year’s IFA and will be showcasing the technology fitted to an LED panel. Stream TV Networks have installed an LCD version in the Walkabout Pub, Covent Garden where people can watch 3D TV without the risk of dropping a pair of 3D glasses in their pints and the LED version is set to be a vast improvement.
Also at IFA, Stream will announce improvements to their stereo to auto-stereo conversion solution known as SeeCube. We are also promised big announcements from consumer electronics companies.
Rajan is bullish about the future of the company’s glasses free solutions and quick to be differentiated from other companies working in the autostereo field… “You can’t even compare us to the [parallax] barrier guys. If you move from the centre [of a parallax barrier screen] you could lose the 3D effect and if someone is playing a video game that is not going to fit too well. It’s one thing with Angry Birds but quite another with high end games like Call of Duty.”
A range of consumer models are expected to be announced at IFA for an Autumn launch starting with 42” and 46” 1080P LED consumer glasses free 3D TV’s. Ultra-D televisions will be bundled with the SeeCube auto converter which converts 2D and 3D stereoscopic (with glasses) into autostereoscopic (glasses-free) 3D format in real-time. Feeds can be taken from a range of sources including Cable & Satellite TV Channels, Blu-ray, XBOX, PS3 and sites like Netflix, Hulu and YouTube.
Rajan tells us that these models will be followed by larger TVs and then laptops and tablets but he believes it is the TV market that needs to be cracked first… “The main ball game is TVs and the bigger screens because that is where you watch most of your content like movies, TV shows and sporting events. Tablets and phones are still second screens at the end of the day.”
Many observers have suggested Stream TV Networks are focussed on consumer propositions, leaving breathing space for other autostereo display companies to target industrial applications such as digital signage but Stream TV Networks say they have already been approached by video conferencing, medical and educational institutions and that there will be announcement from the scientific community soon.
“The difference between us and a lot of the other companies is that, because they are more into the industrial market, their price point is just astronomical” said the CEO… “Our price point is so competitive that we can go into the mass market as well as the commercial. Our technology is so much better than all the others. You can even do Skype calls and Apple Facetime on ours.”
Looking to the future Rajan said “If you don’t want to repeat what happened last time with stereoscopic then you have got to have world class technology that is far superior and I think you are going to be seeing that very soon. I’m not talking years from now, I’m literally talking months if not weeks from now”.
For more information visit the Stream TV Networks website
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