Sisvel Technology and Utah Scientific to Demonstrate 2D-Compatible 3D Transmission at NAB

Monday, April 11th, 2011

Technology Allows Both 3D and 2D Viewing From A Single Broadcast Stream

LAS VEGAS — At the 2011 NAB Show, Sisvel Technology (booth N4618) and Utah Scientific (booth N4511) will be demonstrating a new form of 3D broadcasting fully compatible with 2D television displays, allowing 3D and 2D viewing from a single broadcast stream. These demonstrations, the first of their kind to be conducted in the U.S., are made possible by Sisvel Technology’s 3D Tile Format, an innovative technique for formatting stereoscopic images that integrates two 720p frames within a single 1080p frame. The reconstructed right and left images maintain full 720P spatial and temporal resolution, giving viewers of both versions the full benefit of the original picture.

Sisvel Technology’s 3D Tile Format also provides better transmission quality of 3D content than current solutions (Side by Side or Top and Bottom), and — because it’s backward compatible — allows broadcasters to transmit to both 2D and 3D users without the need for increased bandwidth. The 3D/2D-compatible system is already in use at QuartaRete TV in the Piedmont region of Italy as part of its DVB-T broadcast service, and is being tested for implementation by several broadcasters elsewhere in Italy.

“Our alliance with Utah Scientific is giving us the opportunity to provide the entire 3D TV production and distribution chain,” states Mr. Paolo D’Amato, CEO of Sisvel Technology. “As a result, it is allowing us to demonstrate that the 3D Tile Format is ready to be adopted for day to day use in the broadcasting environment.”

At NAB, Sisvel Technology and Utah Scientific will demo a standard UTAH-400 digital router switching multiple 3D and 2D picture sources that are then mixed by a specially configured Utah Scientific MC-2020 Master Control Switcher. The resulting program video stream will then be encoded by a Sisvel Technology 3D encoder and transmitted to the Utah Scientific booth over an RF link to simulate actual delivery conditions.

The 3D Tile Format ensures consumers with 3D TV equipment can fully enjoy a 3D viewing experience, while consumers with traditional 2D TV sets will appreciate the service in 2D. The technology behind 3D video is the transmission of two separate images (Left & Right), to reproduce human stereoscopic vision, packed in a single stream. Traditional systems squeeze the Left and Right images into a single High Definition frame, and service providers reuse part of the existing production and the entire distribution infrastructure. This approach not only causes a loss in the video quality, halving the vertical or horizontal resolution of the source image, but also makes the 3D transmission unsuitable for viewing on 2D TV receivers. The challenge was to avoid the drawbacks of the current frame packing techniques.

“The 3D Tile Format technology we developed offers great benefits for the whole market, from broadcasters to TV manufacturers and consumers,” states D’Amato. “Standardization bodies are considering adoption of our tile framing system, and, thanks to the creativity of the 3D Tile Format, this system can even be implemented into the last generations of HD set top boxes and TV sets with a simple software update.”