3D4YOU Breaks Cover

Visitors to the consumer technology show IFA will get the opportunity to see the first test footage from the 3D4YOU project, writes Nick Radlo.

The EU project, which aims to develop the key elements of a practical 3D television system, includes the BBC, Phillips, Thomson and France Telecom amongst its partners. It has been set up with a 30 month timescale to examine the feasibility of 3D for broadcast TV, finding systems that are backwards compatible to 2D HDTV, provide options for multiple viewpoints, can be transmitted in a spectrally efficient way, and are display technology independent.

The first test footage was shot by another 3D4YOU partner, KUK Filmproduction in Munich, which specialises in 3D production. The capture rig involved two Sony HD cameras, plus two satellite cameras and a range finder camera, to help with the depth information.

Two remaining partners, the Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Insitute and the University of Kiel, are responsible for the processing of the depth information from the 3D shoot, and it's their first results that will be shown at IFA on the HHI booth.

First reports say the images look good and seem to vindicate the value of the 3D4YOU concept, whilst it's admitted there is of course room for improvement.

There will be another, more sophisticated test shoot towards the end of 2008, which will continue to experiment with several 3D capture techniques. The project is also evaluating different coding and broadcast formats, with the idea that one transmission method might be found to service a variety of capture and display technologies. The project aims to conclude with a demonstration system in summer 2010.

"We've started to learn how to tackle some of the difficulties presented by the different capture systems, such as how important it is to calibrate where the cameras are in relation to each other, and to objects in the scene, and how to improve and streamline the processing stage," said John Zubrzycki, senior engineer on the project at BBC Research & Innovation.

Source: TVB Europe