Google adds Nvidia 3D Vision support to YouTube

Nvidia has announced a partnership with Google that will see users of its 3D Vision active-shutter-glasses technology able to view 3D YouTube clips in all their glory for the first time.

While YouTube plays host to a surprisingly large quantity of 3D videos - some 6,000 at the last count - they are currently only viewable using a specialist 3D-display that supports interleaving or side-by-side viewing, or in low-quality using coloured glasses.

Nvidia has upgraded the options on offer to YouTube users by adding 3D Vision support - in the hope of driving sales of its 3D glasses and associated products like certified monitors and high-end graphics cards.

"There's a number of 3D videos currently on YouTube, but to view them the main option, the main viewing option is anaglyph - the red and blue lenses - which doesn't give you the level of quality that you get with 3D Vision," claimed Nvidia's George Millington at a press event unveiling the partnership. "The colours aren't as sharp and the resolution isn't quite as good," he said

"What YouTube is doing," Millington explained, "is they're enabling a 3D Vision viewing option. So, when you go to watch the video, you can click on that option and if you have 3D Vision you'll be able to launch these videos in full stereoscopic 3D, which is a much better, much more rich and immersive 3D experience."

The process won't happen overnight, although YouTube began rolling out the technology late yesterday. The 6,000 videos will be slowly converted to support 3D Vision, while all new content will be automatically viewable immediately.

The 3D Vision technology won't be available to everyone, however. "You do need HTML5 streaming capabilities," Millington admitted, "and that is currently available in version four of the Firefox web browser, so when YouTube turns on this option you'll be able to view these videos right away if you have 3D Vision and Firefox 4."

Nvidia will also be selecting the best of YouTube's 3D video collection to be showcased on its 3DVisionLive.com portal, which currently plays host to 3D photographs and film trailers and which, Millington explains, Nvidia is positioning to be the "primary community destination" for all things 3D.

With Nvidia's Andrew Fear confident that 3D Vision won't fall by the wayside - as the company's previous efforts at active-shutter 3D have in the past - the company's YouTube deal could give it a significant advantage over rival graphics specialist AMD.