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Darbee, EE Demo Depth Cue Processing

10/04/2010 07:13:00 AM Eastern

ATLANTA — Darbee Vision and Entertainment
Experience (EE) used the recent CEDIA Expo
to demonstrate new 3D processing systems
that combine their individual technologies to
produce 2D HD images with 3D-like depth
cues and color enhancement.

The two sister companies have combined
their respective set-top boxes — Darbee’s containing
its Visual Presence IP core and EE’s offering
its TruVue eeColor processor with added
color enhancement — to create images with an
enhanced look of depth without the need to
wear 3D glasses of any kind.

The EE device uses a 3D color table to independently
choose what the correct color should
be for each pixel in real time. Using visual models
and full, three-dimensional color processing,
the system improves the contrast, brightness
and color of any television or projector without
changing the artistic look of the media or memory
colors like flesh tones and blue skies.

A plug-and-play unit with a simple remote
control lets the user choose the most pleasing
viewing experience for any video display device
or any home theater system, anywhere in the
house, said David Monks, EE business development
director.

The Darbee system takes a single image and
mathematically synthesizes a double (left and
right) image, offering the effect of a double
drop shadow around objects without introducing
annoying artifacts, explained Paul Darby,
Darbee Visual Presence CEO and founder, and
one-time founder of Universal Remote.

The system is said to improve images by
using digital logic to process an image in the
same way a human brain does and then adds
these results back into the original image, the
company said.

Depth cues are inserted to create images
that seem to pop off the screen to create an
immersive visual experience with 2D material.

Darby said his company is now working to take the
technology to market in three directions: the first is as
an IP block that will be placed into other manufacturers’
chips; the second is to develop its own FPTA chips that
can be placed in a device manufacturers’ components;
and the third is to put the technology into a set-top box
that can be attached to legacy TV systems.

The two sister companies’ boxes, which are separate
now, will soon be integrated into a single device.

Because the depth-cue technology affects the pixels,
Darby said, the imagery could be applied at any point
in the life of the image from inside the camera, during
transport over cable or satellite or in the display.

“The display is really the sweet spot because it’s the
end of the chain,” Darby explained. “We create extra information,
up to 15x larger. So you really want to get to
the point where the signal is uncompressed.”

Darbee processing surpasses HD 1080p/60 resolution,
the company said. The technology does not require
a full-frame buffer, runs at pixel-clock rates and utilizes
all-integer arithmetic. The processing is local, modifying
the image luminance on a per-pixel basis with no effect
on grain, noise or pre-existing sharpening.

Darby explained that the eeColor system then enhances
the chroma in the image to round out the presentation.

The companies said the system was designed not to
impact the artistic goal of the director. Rather, the new
processing advances gives them greater control over
creating the final look of the production.

Darby said that while the system gives a 3D look to 2D
material, it was not intended to compete against today’s
3D display systems. Instead, he said, the system can be
applied to native 3D material to enhance the visual impact
even further.

Darby said in several months he expects each company
to deliver its image enhancement solution in separate
set-top boxes. Both systems will be combined in a third
integrated box.

Work is also progressing on a chip that can be integrated
into television sets.

Enhanced Entertainment will serve as the U.S. distributor
for both companies’ products, while Darbee will
distribute both companies’ products in Asia.