3DTV hasn't quite gone the way that everyone planned or rather it hasn't gone the way that the powers that be planned. Problems with intense headaches, poor 30 films, limited availability, issues with people's inconsistent experiences and of course, the overall cost, have all had an adverse effect on the format. There are a few out there who swear by it, though, and love the technology that can make spaceships or Superman, look close enough touch.

In fact we were so impressed we endevoured to get our grubby mitts on a 3D projector and started to dig around the old disc collection for something of a 3D nature. Unfortunately, we didn't find anything, so we set out to see if we could effectively convert an existing, conventional, two dimensional film we had stored digitally into a three dimensional version that will play back with our newly acquired projector; allowing us to sit around wearing silly glasses and looking a little foolish. ArcSoft Our hunt brought us to

ArcSoft, the popular developer of many multimedia tools, programs and utilities (that are paid-for usually, but offer a decent 15-day trial to let you be sure you want them before committing to a purchase). Among its wares we spotted the ArcSoft Media Converter and due to the fact it's blurb contained the words 'easy' and 'free trial' - we were instantly a little intruiged.

The Steps The first step is to actually get hold of the software, open goo.gl/rQbcsL into your browser and download the latest version of ArcSoft MediaConverter . Once it's downloaded, double-click the executable and run through the setup wizard, carefully avoiding the installation of the AVG add-on it asks to put on your system. Once it's up, run the 15-day trial (we had a full version at hand in this instance), you'll be presented with a getting started window which is what we'll follow in a little more detail than the ArcSoft version.


  • If you want to improve the speed of the conversion process you can always opt to include more available cores from your CPU


Step 1: First, you'll need to choose the source file from the left-hand panel in the main window. In this case, we'll choose 'Video'. This will launch an Explorer window to your default Video library, but then it's up to you to navigate to the location of the video you want to convert from 20 to 3D. Once you've located it, either double-click it or single left-click the file followed by the Open button.

choose the file you want to convertpickup your 3d output

Step 2: When the video has finished loading into the program, click on the 'Select Output' button on the right-hand panel in the main window. From the 'Type:' drop down menu, choose '3D' and opt for the 'MP4 3D' option. When you've done that, click on the 'Done' button.

Step 3: If you have any subtitles that need loading, then click on the 'Load Subtitle' link next to the title of the loaded video and use the Explorer window to locate the subtitle file. This will hard encode the subtitles to the video.

Step 4: Next, click on the 'Settings' button located in the lower corner of the right-hand pane and, from the drop down box that will appear, choose one of the available Video Output Formats. These range from 320 x 240 up to 1920 x 1080. Click 'OK' when you've made a selection and you're ready to continue.

Step 5: Next, click on the 'Hardware Acceleration' drop down box to select what kind of GPU acceleration you want to use to make the conversion run more smoothly - and a faster little bit faster, too. Normally, this will be pre-selected with the best option, but if you have different GPU active in your system you may want to pick from the more powerful graphics cards the software can make use of.

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Step 6: The last step: click on the 'Start' button. The conversion process will begin and hopefully turn the standard dimension video into one of these new-fangled three dimensional ones.
You can now click on the link above the 'Settings' button from step 4 and you'll be taken to the saved location of the converted video. All you need to do now is load it up on your 3D TV, projector, monitor (or whatever else you have) and enjoy it with the appropriate glasses perched on your nose.

If you want to improve the speed of the conversion process you can always opt to include more available cores from your CPU.The graphic in the bottom pane, with CPU next to it, can be clicked on with the plus and minus symbols to increase or decrease the number of cores used by the program. The end result is a slight improvement in the speed at which the conversion process takes place.

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Conclusion
The conversion process worked really well thanks to the 3D algorithms used by ArcSoft and the result was perfectly fine, in our humble view. Mind you, it doesn't mean that this can herald in a new era of 3D goodness, it still made our eyes water slightly, but this was down to the effects of 3D rather than anything to do with the process itself. Saying that though, once we converted a few of our movies from 20 to 3D we weren't seen for several days afterward.