Dual DV or HDV camcorder setups are widely used to record stereoscopic video content. However, even when using a
remote control to operate the camcorders synchronously, the number of recorded frames per scene is slightly different
on the left and right tape. The different lengths make it impossible to play back the recorded content immediately. Up to
now, both tapes had to be transferred to a hard disc and edited scene by scene.
This paper presents a software-only solution to synchronize a pair of DV or HDV camcorders: Playback is assumed to
be out of sync whenever a scene change does not occur at exactly the same time on the left and right tape. In such a
case, the first tape is stopped until the scene change occurs on the second tape as well. Once both tapes have reached the
scene change, playback on both drives is resumed. Detecting scene changes by means of image analysis is unreliable
and CPU intensive. Consequently, we suggest a better method based on the recording date and time embedded in the
To test the suggested solution, tape synchronization capabilities have been added to the Stereoscopic Multiplexer, a
multiplexing solution for the Microsoft Windows platform.
Computer-based solutions are well suited for capturing and playing stereoscopic video content at high quality, because the constraints of TV standards need not be obeyed. We developed an application called <i>Stereoscopic Player</i> to play stereoscopic videos. Based on Microsoft's DirectShow, it can handle all major video sources, codecs, stereoscopic layouts and viewing methods. Usability was an important goal in the application design; several features simplify handling of stereoscopic videos. To free the user from choosing the proper settings, we introduced the concept of stereoscopic information files and an Internet-based service for automatic configuration. The <i>Stereoscopic Multiplexer</i> is a solution to capture stereoscopic content within applications compatible with WDM capture drivers. It takes frames from two 'real' capture devices, synchronizes them and passes the resulting stereo pairs to the application. If the cameras support numerical control of camera parameters, Stereoscopic Multiplexer also synchronizes these parameters. Supporting resolutions up to high definition and a wide range of devices, Stereoscopic Multiplexer and Stereoscopic Player are universal, affordable solutions for stereoscopic video recording and playback.