In separate press releases, Sonic Solutions announced today two strategic partnerships that will make its online streaming services a lot more interesting.
The first announcement brought to light an alliance with RealD, a leading licenser of stereoscopic 3D technologies. The partnership is said to bring home 3D technology for both personal content capture/publication in Roxio software as well as premium studio content through RoxioNow and compatible streaming services.
“Our next-generation 3D cinema technology is delivering a premium 3D entertainment experience,” said Michael V. Lewis, chairman and CEO of RealD. “We welcome this opportunity to join with Sonic, a leading developer of applications for personal and premium content enjoyment, to bring multi-dimensional video to life on home PCs and in consumers’ living rooms.”
In a second announcement, Sonic let fly a similar partnership with Digital Theater Systems (DTS), provider of home theater surround-sound encoding and compression technologies. The two companies plan to bring 5.1 surround sound and high-bitrate stereo sound to Sonic’s various online video streaming services, including those that are part of the CinemaNow brand, including Blockbuster and Best Buy’s upcoming streaming service.
“Best Buy is always looking to meet the needs of our customers by bringing them the best technology, products, content, and services,” said Ryan Pirozzi, director of movies for Best Buy. “Sonic’s partnership with DTS falls in line with our goal of delivering exciting solutions in home entertainment and helps provide high-quality experiences across a broad range of connected devices at a critical junction in the evolution of digital delivery.”
This combination of RealD 3D technology and DTS 5.1 surround sound may make Blockbuster and Best Buy’s CinemaNow services extremely compelling for home theater enthusiasts. Netflix’s extremely popular Watch Instantly service is currently handcuffed to 2D 720p video (with most being lower resolution SD) and stereo sound. A wide selection of 3D capable movies with DTS 5.1 surround sound would give any service a big leg up with enthusiasts. With the current state of 3D content (nearly non-existent), it might give 3D display sales a nice kick-in-the-pants as well.
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Stephen Hopkins is chief technology editor for EH Publishing. He writes product reviews, features, and focuses heavily on 3D TV, iPhone and iPad apps, and digital content.