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THX, BluFocus aim to bring quality certification to 3D production chain

Cinema and audiovisual quality certification standard-setter THX has partnered with US Blu-ray testing facility BluFocus to address the challenges posed by 3D post-production. One of the biggest reported concerns among consumers is experiencing fatigue from 3D video and glasses.

THX and BluFocus are researching root causes of viewer fatigue to better understand the physiological effects of 3D. The goal is to work closely with content producers to implement best practices and guidelines for all 3D elements, including onscreen characters, objects, graphics and subtitles.

THX-BluFocus certification also evaluates how 2D-to-3D conversion adds depth to the picture, and whether this added depth results in creative errors or flaws that deviate from the storyline or causes viewer fatigue.

When shopping for a 3D Blu-ray discs or digital download, consumers will be instructed to look for the following THX-BluFocus certification logo and icons on disc packaging and digital artwork.

The AV (audio video) icon that will appear on 3D Blu-ray discs indicates that the film has been analysed, frame by frame, to ensure that the 'left eye' and 'right eye' images retain their original sharpness, and that the audio is of a high quality.

The C (creative) certificate that will appear on boxes shows that all elements of the 3D production – including graphics and subtitles – are correctly focused, in order to reduce the potential effect of viewer fatigue.

The I (interoperability) icon illustrates that the 3D Blu-ray film will work on 2D and 3D Blu-ray players from the major manufacturers.

"While positive, this move from THX and BluFocus won't mean much until all the major studios are signed up to a standard introduced by an official accreditation body," says Mike Briggs, TV expert at Which? consumer magazine. "When HD TVs started becoming more prevalent many consumers were confused by the number of labels they were finding on product packaging. The European Information and Communications Technology Industry Association (IECTA) stepped in and introduced a recognisable HD Ready badge. Without such an action in the 3D Blu-ray arena, there could be a number of opt-in certificates that may only cause confusion."

Story filed 11.08.10

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