3D is the buzzword. This year's CES is to blame, where all the biggies got together and virtually stretched out the 3rd dimension out of nowhere almost. These 3D TV models are already coming to India, thanks to prompt decisions by market leaders Samsung and LG. Now the thing is, there is not much 3D source material to watch, unless you are one of those diligent few who have been buying and accumulating all the latest 3D Blu-rays. It's expensive, and then there also is the issue of 3D gaming, all of which requires certain software and hardware to play properly.

Thus, for today's column I would like to touch upon the concept of converting 2D video to 3D, in realtime as it plays, mainly whether its possible at all and then how good it is. This is without the Nvidia entourage, I'm talking about alternate 3D, like in the Acer Aspire 5738 3D laptop. Also depending on the screen and type of 3D technology, glasses may or may not be needed. But the screen itself has to be 3D ready, be it a monitor or a HDTV (it should be able to double the refresh rate of the original feed).

The main job then, is on the software algorithms; which will need to analyze stuff like the color, position and motion characteristics of objects in a sequence of video frames, and finally estimate depth. The result will be an artificially rendered stereoscopic view. This works great for polarized 3D, which is just one of the 3D transmission technologies there. As was much expected, a little Googling sprang up some niche names, out of which one is gaining real popularity: DDD.

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