ADS launches 3D conversion service targeting TV content
August 1, 2011

ADS launches 3D conversion service targeting TV content

HOLLYWOOD — Advanced Digital Services ( is offering new 2D-to-3D conversion services geared toward the producers and owners of television content. ADS is gearing the service toward owners of episodic television content, documentaries, animated features, music videos, sporting events, commercials, and infomercials. The converted 3D video footage is optimized for cable and broadcast television, Blu-ray box sets, and pay-per-view scenarios.
Post spoke with ADS’s CEO Thomas Engdahl recently, who noted that while consumers have increased opportunities to experience 3D at home through satellite, cable and Blu-ray products, there is still a shortage in the supply of content. This can stunt the growth of the format in the broadcast space.

The price point of converting a 2D feature film to 3D is different than episodic television, he explains. “Features films are $60-$90,000 per minute right now.” As such, ADS set out to create processes and technology that would specifically address episodic TV.

Their process involves off-the-shelf technology, such as converters from Teranex and JVC, and NLEs from Avid, along with their own proprietary technology. Together, Engdahl says ADS can convert content for as little as $3-5,000 per minute. At this price point, he feels that content owners can affordably find new ways to make money on their existing assets. He cites the 10,000 television shows that are already available in HD as prospects.

A typical 46-minute show can be converted to 3D for broadcast in four to 10 days, depending on the steadiness of the scenes, Engdahl says. So far, ADS has performed numerous tests on classic television series, and this often involves restoration too. The studio can also optimize the converted content for multiple viewing screens, particularly for viewing on mobile devices. 

The company has three stereographers on hand to deal with project demands and is looking at bringing in more talent as demand for their services grow. The conversion work is also all being done in Hollywood, notes Engdahl, making the best use of their equipment and talent, and keeping the work local, as other studios are sending their conversion work out of the country.

IMAGE: (L-R) ADS's Brad Weyl, Alfonso Bowen and Thomas Engdahl.