Los Angeles Business Journal

Local Firm Starts 3-D TV Subscriptions

By Natalie Jarvey Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Three-D television hasn't exactly taken off with consumers, but a Westchester company is ready if it does.

DDD USA Inc. – which develops technology to automatically convert 2-D photos, videos and video games into 3-D – has launched a subscription service for consumers who want to watch 3-D shows on their TVs.

The subscription service, which costs less than $10 a month, gives customers unlimited access to DDD’s 3-D video database, called Yabazam, but works only on certain 3-D equipped LG TVs.

Yabazam’s 3-D video offerings include sporting events broadcast by ESPN and lifestyle shows broadcast by WealthTV in San Diego. The company’s Yabazam app has been downloaded more than 180,000 times to Internet-connected TVs.

“There’s a lot of 3-D content that never gets seen on the screen,” said Chris Yewdall, DDD’s chief executive. “Yabazam allows people to stream movie trailers and 3-D TV straight to their TVs. With the subscription, you can watch anything you want for as long as you want.”

DDD has been working in the 3-D space in Los Angeles since the late 1990s. The company, which is traded on the London Stock Exchange, became profitable for the first time last year. The company announced in December that it would also begin trading on the OTCQX in the United States.

Yewdall said the company wanted to make itself available to U.S. investors as more people become aware of 3-D technology.

“As our company has grown and 3-D has grown as a marketplace, we’ve had an increasing amount of interest from investors in the marketplace,” he said. “We felt that the time was right to start telling our story on this side of the Atlantic.”

But DDD could face a slow business as 3-D TV adoption in the United States lags.

Only about 2 percent of TVs in the United States last year were able to show 3-D programming, according to research from IHS Screen Digest.

And at the Consumer Electronics Show in Last Vegas this week, where 3-D TVs were all the rage in 2010, few television makers are promoting their the 3-D capabilities of their TVs, according to multiple news reports. One article from the San Jose Mercury News about CES asks, “Whatever happened to 3-D TVs?”

But Yewdall said DDD’s 3-D business is big in other countries and he expects the United States to follow eventually.

“The adoption of the 3-D feature varies from country to country,” he said. “In the U.S. adoption is lagging behind China. But it has become a feature in lots of TVs. If you look at CES, every LG TV has 3-D built into it.”