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Until now, home entertainment studios have only been able to offer consumers a downgraded version of the latest 3D movies drawing raves in theaters.
But Sonic Solutions will announce today plans to bring 3D movies to homes by the end of the year through its Roxio CinemaNow download service using newer 3D technology developed for the videogame world.
To get 3D movies into homes, Sonic has joined with NVIDIA, which developed 3D technology for PCs aimed at gamers. Sonic will take 3D films and format them for playback in the home using NVIDIA's GeForce technology.
You've got content being produced; the big gap right now is how do you get it from the production source through to the place where it's being played, Sonic VP of product management Michael Demeyer said.
Samsung and Mitsubishi have been including 3D technology in high-end TVs, and Sonic estimates there are 2 million DLP TVs in homes capable of playing 3D movies. Due to the computing power required to process and play 3D downloads, to watch the content on a TV, users would have to use a PC hooked to their set.
Viewers also will have to wear special glasses, either the same type used in theaters or ones using more advanced technology, depending on the display.
Sonic, which has deals with all the major studios to deliver films through its Roxio CinemaNow service, has worked with some to test current 3D films using the technology, but Demeyer wouldn't say what content they expect to have at launch later this year.
The better, the better, Demeyer said, referring to the importance of high-quality content for the service. He said the company would like to offer both Hollywood 3D blockbusters, specialized sports and other content.