The DVB has given its approval to the commercial requirements for a 3DTV Frame Compatible Plano-Stereoscopic system, typically deployed as a side-by-side format.
The 12-page document available from the DVB website has been directed towards the provision of 3DTV services using the same infrastructure that has already been deployed by pay-TV operators for the introduction of HD services.
However, the door has been left open to possible future enhancements to the Frame Compatible system, with some DVB members expressing a preference for a separate system altogether. Last Week Broadband TV News revealed that over half of EBU members would prefer the adoption of a Service Compatible format that would save bandwidth by broadcasting additional 3D information with a regular 2D signal. Service Compatible would however require the purchase of a new receiver and TV display.
It can be expected that the majority of 3D services already in the pipeline, such as the Sky 3D service to pubs and clubs and that planned by Canal+ in France, will be broadly in line with the DVB requirements. The DVB anticipates that a number of services will be launched over the coming months.
A key requirement set out in the document is the need for Left and Right images to be arranged in what is known as a ‘spatial multiplex’. It means a set-top box processes the resulting signal in the same way as a conventional HDTV signal. In line with ITU terminology this is termed a Frame Compatible format.
In total 20 requirements have been listed in the document that will allow the transmission of 3D content to displays already in the market and using existing receivers. However, the document covers 3DTV services up to their point of reception and decoding by a digital receiver and not how the received and decoded content is displayed.