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NHNZ creates depth with Korea

Global production house NHNZ is taking a lead role in the development of cost-effective 2D-to-3D conversion technology with Korea’s tech giant ETRI.

NHNZ General Manager John Crawford and Technical and IT Systems Manager Wayne Poll head to Daejeon in Korea this week, to take part in a workshop with a team of ETRI scientists who have already begun work developing software that converts 2D television programmes into 3D.

Korean-based ETRI is an internationally renowned research and development institute specialising in information and communication technologies (ICT).

Mr Crawford says NHNZ is providing information about broadcast quality needs and technology, and contributing its blue chip series Life Force as a test case for the project.

“The research team has already shown us initial tests, which look very promising indeed; the nucleus of the software is already there. At this workshop we’ll move the software a little further forward and, using Life Force and its huge diversity of HD imagery – from super slomo to macro imagery – as our test case, we’ll really put the technology through its paces.

“If ETRI manage to pull this off, and we are very confident that they will, they will be the first to create software with cost-effective conversion capability. That technology isn’t currently available anywhere in the world.”

Since 1976, ETRI, Korea’s largest government-funded research institute, has played a central role in establishing Korea as one of the world’s most advanced countries as regards information and communications. ETRI developed the Electronic Telephone Switch (TDX) which paved the way for Korea’s “one-phone, one-household era”. It was ETRI which developed the 4M/16M/64M DRAM that revolutionized memory semiconductors. Commercialization of the Digital Mobile Telecommunications System (CDMA) laid the foundation for Korea`s emergence as a mobile phone powerhouse. Digital Multimedia Broadcasting (terrestrial DMB) technology significantly helped to institutionalize the “TV in my hand” culture. In addition, ETRI developed WiBro technology for mobile Internet use and NoLA technology as part of the 4th-generation mobile data transfer system.

NHNZ is a major global producer of factual television creating over 100 hours each year of original content for National Geographic Channels, Discovery Channels, Smithsonian Channel, A&E Television Networks, 3Net and NHK. Highly regarded for its 30-year plus natural history heritage, more recently NHNZ has branched out to other factual genres with hit shows like I Survived for A&E’s Bio Channel. The company’s storytelling prowess has been recognized with more than 300 international awards including Emmy awards and the prestigious Wildscreen Panda. In addition to its base in Dunedin, New Zealand, NHNZ has offices in Beijing and Washington DC, and controlling stakes in Singapore production company Beach House Pictures and South African-based Aquavision. www.nhnz.tv

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