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I bought Sony’s first stereoscopic camcorder, the Sony HDR-TD10, on the day it arrived in Canada. After experiencing Panasonic’s weak “adapter” offering, Fuji’s grainy video with the W3 and the limited scope of GoPro’s 3D capabilities, I was looking very much forward to a high quality recording device.

As I stated in a previous review, the camera has been amazing. I take it everywhere with me, barely touching my 2D cameras anymore.

Unfortunately, it has had one major fault, to date: no way to edit the footage in a PC, in stereoscopic form.

Fortunately, a fellow named Peter Wimmer, of Austria, has developed some amazing utilities that the device manufacturers should be ashamed of for not offering, themselves!

He wrote a utility called MVC to AVI Converter, which separates the left and right eye channels into discrete files.

The best part of this tiny application is that it’s essentially drag-and-drop! Here’s all you do:

  1. Open MVC to AVI Converter
  2. Drag your selected video clips from Explorer into the empty box under the word “Files:’, in the application’s window
  3. Files > Start Conversion

Yep, it’s that easy. Once complete, you will see two AVI files, with either -l or -r appended to each filename, located in the same folder as the source file.

The files you get out will be much, much larger your source material, as the converter, by default, produces uncompressed output. For my purposes, this is ideal, as it limits quality loss. If you don’t have scads of huge hard drives around, you can go to the File > Settings menu and select one of your installed encoders from the appropriate tab.

Keep in mind that the Sony HDR-TD10 produces 1080i (interlaced) video. To avoid losing image continuity between the left and right channels when you are working with your files, I recommend waiting  until the final render stage to remove the interlacing, if you plan to.

To adjust the convergence of the two streams, grab StereoMovie Maker, a freeware tool developed by Masuji Suto and David Sykes. It’s a bit old, but does a great job.

Finally, he mentions that you need to install FFDShow for audio support. I must have installed it previously, as the sound was just fine.

The Sony files have 5.1 surround encoded audio! If you want to down mix to stereo at this point, the software has an option for that. For me, I figure if you are going 3D video, convert the audio to 2D?

Visit the 3DTV.at website and grab the MVC to AVI Converter today and save yourself countless hours of headaches trying to do it yourself! At 19 euros for private use an 49 euros for a commercial license, it’s a great deal. Peter deserves every penny.