Startup Spotlight: This upstart wants to bring the 3D viewing experience to 2D TVs

The 3D Digital team

Many of us already watch television in 3D. But for those who are stuck in a 2D world, a new Seattle startup called 3D Digital wants to help. The company, led by former Microsoftie Raif Khassanov and entrepreneur Eugene Gershman, is working on a method for people to watch 3D programming on 2D screens.

Still in the early stages of development, the company is hoping to embed the technology in set-top boxes.

We caught up with the company for the latest installment of Startup Spotlight.

Explain what you do so our parents can understand it: ”We enable 3D programming such as movies and sports be available on regular 2D televisions.”

Inspiration hit us when” “World Cup 2010 was shot in 3D for all the 3D television owners. One of our founders has a 103-inch plasma and we just had to convert it into 3D for the full mind blowing experience. Why would we stop there? We decided to make it a priority to provide everyone with a 3D experience on their regular TVs.”

VC, Angel or Bootstrap: “We are self-funded seed stage and are now looking for angel (financing to) … go forward. We believe in this company and product, so we put our own funds to get the business going. Now that we have a prototype developed, we are looking for an angel investor to take us to the next level. We are not quite ready to go the VC route. Bootstrap route is an option, too. We are working on securing a few enterprise contracts that would help us advance forward.”

Our ‘secret sauce’ is: ”We are unwilling to put out a mediocre product. We work unrelentingly toward the perfection of the viewing quality of our hardware demo, which is a product of our image processing technology. We also will only work with ethical and honest people that deliver what they say and this transfers over to who we partner with. We place a huge emphasis on the quality of our glasses. Our Active Anaglyph glasses technology … mitigates many of the problems some people experience with regular active shutter glasses. The idea … is to provide the best viewing experience in terms of the color, contrasts, resolution, all while reducing flickering and ghosting, which are common side effects of 3D viewing.”

The smartest move we’ve made so far: ”Not listening to negative criticism from people. We have come across a lot of doubters, the naysayers and so on. We let our passion overcome negativity by not taking criticism to heart. All the while we have been hearing the advice and points of constructive feedback from our friends, family members, and industry experts; and we continue to implement their independent perspective for our benefit.”

The biggest mistake we’ve made so far: ”We, like many startups, had team members wearing many hats; and in some cases the wrong hats. We wanted to be respectful of all of our team members and wanted everyone to have a say and participate in all meetings. The result of having meetings like this in practice can provide for scatter-braininess and inefficiency.”

Would you rather have Gates, Jobs, Zuckerberg or Bezos in your corner: ”That would be nice given their backgrounds and success they have reached. Our team is important to us though, so these gentlemen would only add and never replace us.”

Our world domination strategy starts when: “When Active Anaglyph technology becomes an industry standard.”

Rivals should fear us because: ”Our technology is patent protected and it is the only way to display 3D on non-3D TVs while maintaining full color and resolution.”

We are truly unique because: ”Our unbeatable team and the technology that we’ve developed is a match made in heaven.”

The biggest hurdle we’ve overcome is: ”Making people understand what exactly our technology does. We do not convert 2D to 3D, we enable you to watch 3D content on 2D screens.”

What’s the one piece of advice you’d give to other entrepreneurs just starting out: ”Be patient and do your math. It’ll take some time to get going, meet people, analyze competition and make things work. Don’t give up on your idea and/or your investment.”

Startup Spotlight is an occasional look at a Pacific Northwest startup company. Have an interesting new venture you want spotlighted in GeekWire? Fill out this questionnaire in a fun and engaging style that shows off your startup’s culture. (Remember to upload photos). Past profiles can be found here.

  • ChetCrunch

    I’m not sure how I feel about the smartest move being made… “Not listening to negative criticism from people.” I understand passion and wanting to move forward with something you “know” is great, but if any startup is hearing large volumes of negative feedback, I’d say pivot before it’s too late to do so. I know for me and most of my friends/family, we’re just not that interested in 3d. Love what you do, but make sure your consumer is going to love it a hell of a lot more.

  • Pradeep Chauhan

    imho- the only way 3D will become mainstream is if people don’t have to wear glasses to watch TV. From the title of the article that’s what I thought they were going to do.

  • http://www.facebook.com/vqnguyen2 Viet Q. Nguyen

    Exciting to see the 3D Digital team moving to revitalize the 3D industry. Keep up the good work, guys!

  • 3D Digital

    Pradeep Chauhan – thank you for you perspective.
    Our goal is to bring 3D to “the rest of us” to the fully functioning
    2D flat panel TVs. We think the growth in the 3D content industry alone contradicts
    your perspective. Check out our infographic to learn more: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=421555791243424&set=pb.409570029108667.-2207520000.1362443886&type=3&theater

    Some people don’t like 3D, some don’t get it, but it doesn’t mean, there is no market for it. Our research shows that vast majority of the market would like to have 3D capability at home if only they did not have to pay too much for it.

  • 3D Digital

    ChetCrunch,
    Thank you for your advice. To address your point, we believe there is a vast difference between negative feedback versus constructive feedback.

    We do not claim that 3D is for everyone, like your family, right now today. 3D
    is however a standard that the film industry has adopted and research suggests
    that half of movies all-time will be in 3D, whether converted or filmed by the
    end of 2015. The best movies are now coming out in 3D, they are being filmed in
    3D, and many of them do look as good when viewed in 2D. Most people have just
    not had access to 3D in-home, either due to the cost or not knowing how to get
    content etc. Additionally, there are benefits of 3D, like for example the
    enhanced intimacy with the actual content.

    Admittedly 3D is not perfect. Nor do we have any influence on the content itself. Though the cinematography of 3D gets better every day, so does the professional direction of 3D, and we now know more about it than when 3D first arrived on the market as a five figure option for in-home use. Many of us have nice 2D flat panel HD TVs with a lot of life still on their ticker, and that is where our solution comes in. We hope to gain your support in the future, cheers.