A new universal 3D video format will be announced at IBC capable of 1280 horizontal resolution and glasses free 3D within a backward compatible signal
The new 3D format is called Universal 3DZ Tile and is a result of a close collaboration between Sisvel Technology and auto-stereo specialists Triaxes Vision.
The backward compatible video format delivers high definition (1280 horizontal) 2D and 3D, as well as glasses free 3D video within a single bandwidth efficient stream. The widely used side-by-side 3D format, as used by most 3D networks around the globe, squeezes the left and right image into one full HD 1920 resolution frame reducing each image to a 960 line resolution.
Sisvel Technologies had already created the 3D Tile Format, which retains the left image (L) and splits the right image into three parts (R1, R2 and R3). The way they are arranged means greater resolution for 3D broadcasting can be achieved. There was even remaining space left in the 3D Tile frame. Triaxes DepthGate adds depth information into that space creating the new universal 3DZ Tile Format.
Horizontal resolution is important for 3D perception because it provides a greater sense of depth. The 3D Tile Format delivers 1280 lines of resolution compared to 960 that's provided by common side-by-side format. It means that human eyes recieve a 33% more details and additionally a more accurate depth map can be generated as Triaxes DepthGate has access to 33% more information.
With 3DZ Tile, a broadcaster can deliver a programme suitable for a 2D TV, 3D TV and autostereoscopic 3D TV in one regular HD broadcast signal.
The Triaxes DepthGate system converts regular left and right stereo pairs into 3D formats suitable for a range of different autostereoscopic displays from manufacturers such as Dimenco. It is not a live solution, rather a studio solution.
Whilst the format is technically superior to what is out there now, Triaxes and Sisvel will have a challenge on their hands persuading broadcasters and TV manufacturers to change from the status quo. However, most modern 3D TVs and set top boxes feature embedded firmware which means they could be upgraded to process the 3DZ Tile Format without hardware changes. Similar software updates would need to be processed at the broadcaster’s end. Sisvel also operate a license agreement for the format although the Italian based company have told 3D Focus that fees are low in order to encourage uptake.
As glasses free 3D TV appears to be likely to reach consumer’s homes sooner than expected and passive 3D TVs overtake active 3D TV’s, the 3DZ Tile Format could be a cost effective and very neat solution. However, it remains to be seen whether the format can compete against the well established side-by-side format.
Sisvel and Triaxes will be showing IBC attendees the new 3D format in September.
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