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Streaming 3D Services Gain Momentum

6/06/2011 12:01:00 AM Eastern
NEW YORK – Samsung’s announcement that it will launch in June a fulfillment engine for streaming 3D video on demand content on its connected 3D TVs is another step in the growing trend to bring 3D video to the masses over alternatives to traditional multichannel video platforms.

Samsung’s 3D VOD streaming capability on the “Explore 3D App” is an extension of a streaming 3D HDTV demos which have been offered to owners of connected Samsung 3DTVs in the form of 3D HD trailers of other short-form 3D HD content.

The new filling engine in the Explore 3D App was developed for Samsung in collaboration with Rovi and will start by continuing to offer free demo material before ramping up to a broader service with fulllength 3D feature films later in the year.

The more compelling offerings will eventually carry an online charge, Samsung said.

“I think the future plan is to not discontinue offering free [3D] content, but to still offer it but also compliment it with theatrical movies,” Dan Shinasi, Samsung Electronics America, senior marketing manager for HDTV product planning, told TWICE. “We are in discussions with multiple studios now, as another form of delivery for 3D.”

Shinasi explained that premium Samsung streaming 3D content will be offered in side-by-side, framecompatible format, but the exact resolution level and frame rates are still to be announced.

Samsung will be the administrator of the 3D movie service, Shinasi said, adding that authentication will begin in Korea, and servers will be maintained at different locations around the world, including the United States.

“They will do authentication to make sure it’s a genuine TV, because that is part of the Digital Rights Management (DRM) process, to make sure you are not streaming to somebody who is ripping content.”

The Explore 3D app will ship on 3D Samsung LED LCD and 3D plasma TVs and will be accessible with a single click from Samsung’s SmartHub interface.

In addition to movies, the service is expected to include: music videos, educational content and fulllength TV shows from Wealth TV.

Shinasi said delivery of the 3D film from the studios will be “very similarly handled to the way others are doing it,” pointing to VUDU’s streaming 3D HD movie offerings, which began in January.

VUDU currently offers more than 35 movies in 3D including “Tron 3D,” “Green Hornet 3D,” “Toy Story 3 3D” and more.

Among the most recent 3D releases from VUDU is “Gnomeo & Juliet.” A full listing of available 3D titles can be found on VUDU’s web site (www.vudu.com).

VUDU’s 3D content is also available on select Samsung 3D TVs, as well as 3DTV from Vizio and Sharp. LG offers VUDU’s 3D service on both HDTVs and 3D Blu-ray Disc players.

It is also available on the Play- Station 3 console.

“As more 3D content is made available for home audiences, VUDU intends to grow this offering to provide its 3D-enabled customers with the most-convenient way to access 3D content at home,” a VUDU spokesperson said.

Movie studio Turner was also said to be preparing the launch of a streaming service platform for 3D versions of some of its library films later in the year.
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