3DTV On Course For DVB Standardisation

Friday, September 10th, 2010 
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DVB Project Moves On Frame Compatible Approach To Ordered And Standardised Broadcast and Cablecast 3DTV

AMSTERDAM — Following the approval of the Commercial Requirements for a 3DTV Frame Compatible Plano-Stereoscopic system by the DVB Steering Board on 2 July, DVB – anticipates completion of the specification for DVB-3DTV by the end of 2010.

The 20 Commercial Requirements agreed upon by the Steering Board were formulated to meet the demand of providing 3DTV by making use of existing HDTV set-top boxes. The approach specifies the delivery of two images, the Left and Right eye signals to be arranged in what is known as a spatial multiplex, so that they can be seen with depth on a 3D display using special glasses. The signal appears to the set-top box to be an HD signal that is then decoded and passed onto the display as an HDTV picture. The display then unravels the picture to create the Left and Right eyes’ images for 3D viewing. Viewers will need a new display, but not a new set-top box. This is known as the “Frame Compatible Approach”.

The Frame Compatible spatial multiplex could take any one of a large number of technical forms. One of the critical tasks was to define a minimum set of Frame Compatible formats that would meet worldwide requirements. This had to take into account the needs of the interface from the set-top box to the display (the HDMI 1.4 connection) and the use of many HDTV formats, i.e., 720p/50 or 60, 1080i/50 or 60, and1080p/24, for HDTV broadcasting. The DVB commercial requirements specify eight formats that will form the DVB Frame Compatible system. These are given in the Commercial Requirements document.

The specification will also provide a mechanism that allows subtitles and other onscreen graphics to be best positioned so that they can be viewed correctly in the stereoscopic picture.

The Requirements can be found in full in DVB BlueBook A151 “Commercial Requirements for DVB-3DTV”, which can be downloaded from the DVB website.

“DVB’s Technical Module is actively working on a specification to meet the Commercial Requirements. This work should also provide useful input to the other bodies working on 3DTV. We believe the die has been cast on ordered and standardised broadcast and cablecast 3DTV for the Frame Compatible community,” said David Wood, chair of DVB’s Commercial Module for 3DTV.

More: DVB Commercial Requirements for DVB 3D-TV