Five Digital TV industry players join forces to promote 3D"HD TV in France

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010 
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PARIS — As 3D Television equipment begins to gain ground, Numericable, Panasonic (NYSE:PC; Tokyo:6752), Cisco Systems (NASDAQ: CSCO), Nagravision (SWX:KUD.VX) and Sagemcom have joined together into a “3D-HD ALLIANCE” to promote 3D in high definition (3D”HD) quality, and provide television viewers with the optimum 3D experience. This «3D”HD» quality will be available this fall on all of the already deployed HD set”top boxes of Numericable supplied by Sagemcom. For the first time in France, a 3D”HD VOD offering will soon be launched on the Numericable networks in partnership with Cisco and Nagravision. Numericable will feature 3D in its outlets on Panasonic’s brand”new 3D screens.

By combining a transmission in HD quality with the best existing 3D reception devices, « 3D”HD ALLIANCE » intends to speed the adoption of 3D by consumers.

The 3D revolution has begun

Having demonstrated its success in movie theatres in 2009, 3D is now coming to your living room. With flat screens, exclusive content, video games and television production, 3D TV is now a reality. Like any technological revolution, 3D Television is bringing new concepts and standards that may be disconcerting for consumers. To address the vagueness inherent to the emergence of a new technology and provide television viewers with a unique 3D experience, 5 major players are joining forces to promote 3D in “3D”HD” quality.

The “3D”HD ALLIANCE” intends to promote a true, high”quality 3D experience, mainly by:

  • Broadcasting native 3D contents
  • Applying a High Definition format
  • Encoding at high bit rates, with a minimum of 15 Mbps, guaranteed by Numericable
  • Adapting the user interfaces to 3D”HD TV
  • Using « Active » screens, with shutter glasses, like the Panasonic plasma screens, operating at a frequency of 600 Hz to ensure better response times

3D”HD available on all HD Set”top boxes from Numericable

To promote the rapid spread of 3D, Numericable is working with Sagemcom to make its current base of deployed HD STBs 3D”compatible thanks to a software upgrade. No need to change the STB to be able to receive 3DTV in HD.

Members of the “3D”HD ALLIANCE” to roll out a 3D awareness plan

To accelerate the development of 3D”HD TV, a 3D awareness plan will be launched in the coming weeks. According to the plan, true 3D will be featured in 30 Numericable outlets between May and September on Panasonic’s brand”new 3D screens.

This will allow not only Numericable customers, but also any consumer interested in 3D Television, to come and test “3D”HD” quality in a Numericable outlet.

The “3D”HD ALLIANCE” will also take initiatives to inform the consumers and answer the many questions related to adopting this 3D technology.

A 3D”HD VOD offer this fall, a premiere in France

This fall, a selection of 3D”HD VOD programmes will be offered in partnership with Nagravision, for the content and user interfaces, and Cisco, for the end”to”end video broadcasting infrastructure.

This 3D”HD VOD offering is a major first, demonstrating the expertise and ambition of the partners in the “3D”HD ALLIANCE.”

According to Pierre Danon, Chairman and CEO of Numericable, “It was when I saw Avatar several months ago that I realized how big 3D would become in France and around the world. So I asked my teams to work with our partners to speed up the adoption of 3D. Naturally, I’m very happy with this first step.”

According to Laurent Roussel, Chairman of Panasonic France, “3D needs to be Full HD if we want our television viewers to be able to enjoy a completely immersive experience. Panasonic was the first manufacturer to promote Full HD 3D right from the start on the 600 Hz NeoPDP plasma televisions now available in France. We are proud to participate in the creation of the 3D”HD ALLIANCE, whose mission is to bring the best of 3D to the general public.”

According to Jean”Christophe Dessange, Head of New Media Development, Cisco Europe, “3D in High Definition format is a never”before”seen user experience. The innovative services offered by Numericable meet the demands of television viewers, and Cisco’s Content Delivery System solution provides an intelligent network platform that allows operators to enhance and reinvent the experience of watching television while still making it available on all types of terminals.”

According to André Kudelski, Chairman and CEO of the Kudelski Group, “Numericable’s culture is a technological pioneer in the cable industry. As a partner, we are making every effort to help make Numericable’s vision a reality that is accessible to its subscribers. In addition to the technologies we have rolled out for Numericable in the areas of content protection, interactivity and IPTV, we are also committed to offering Numericable’s customers an exciting new 3D experience.”

According to Patrick Sévian, CEO of Sagemcom, “As a European leader in digital Set”top box industry, Sagemcom is thrilled to participate in the 3D”HD ALLIANCE consortium, which aims to provide an exceptional 3D experience for viewers on all of the already deployed HD digital STBs we have delivered to Numericable up to now.”

About 3D”HD Alliance

The “3D HD Alliance” is an open group of major players in Digital Television industry who share the objective of promoting and encouraging the development of high”quality television in 3D and HD. In particular, the 3D HD Alliance recommends 3D in “native” quality, a high”definition image format, high encoding rates for broadcast (15 Mbps or more), user interfaces adapted to 3D and screens with shutter glasses and very short response times.

The initial contributions to the 3D HD Alliance have come from Cisco, Nagravision, Panasonic, Numericable and Sagemcom. The group is open to new members who share the same vision for 3D HD TV.