Nab 2011: Utah Scientific and Sisvel Technology to Demo 2D Compatible 3D

Utah Scientific (booth N4511) and Sisvel Technology (booth N4618) will be demonstrating a new form of 3D broadcasting at NAB that the companies say is fully compatible with 2D television displays, allowing 3D and 2D viewing of a single broadcast stream.

This is made possible by 3D Tile Format, a technique for formatting stereoscopic images that integrates two 720p frames within a single 1080p frame. The reconstructed right and left images maintain their original 720p spatial and temporal resolution, giving viewers of both versions the full benefit of the original picture.

The 3D Tile Format also provides better transmission quality of 3D content than current solutions, 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 Sisvel Technology is giving us a unique opportunity to learn about real-world 3D broadcasting,” said Tom Harmon, president and CEO of Utah Scientific. “As a result, it is allowing us to learn the process from the inside so that we can design products like master control switchers that are ideally suited to meeting the distinctive requirements of an emerging new service environment.”

The NAB demo involves 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 the Sisvel Technology 3D encoder and transmitted to the Utah Scientific booth over an RF link to simulate actual delivery conditions.

The Utah Scientific MC-2020 master control switcher provides full mix and wipe effects between 3D sources as well as between 2D and 3D content. The switcher offers up to four keyers that can present internally stored logos or external key/fill sources in either 2D or 3D modes, allowing branding information, including text and graphics, to be inserted into the program stream. In addition to the video effects, the switcher also offers a full complement of audio controls, including level adjustment and insertion of voiceover announcements, putting all of the necessary controls into a single device for maximum operational simplicity and reliability.