EBU Sticks Neck Out for 3D TV

The subject of 3D TV gets 'hotter' by the day, though the systems useable today are still relatively rudimentary, and are more rightly called 'plano-stereoscopic' rather than '3D TV'. These can be seen as 'first generation 3D TV'.

All going 3D?
Nevertheless there are many calls to use the technology. The DVD world has recently chosen a 3D TV system (developed by the manufacturer Sensio) for standard definition DVDs, and the Blu Ray world is examining proposals from, among others, Panasonic. The giant News Corp has announced its intention to broadcast (yet another) 3D TV by satellite using a so called 'polarisation plane' approach. The MPEG group and the SMPTE are also working on 3D TV technology. Maybe the question should be 'who is NOT working on 3D TV?

World leadership needed
In total there are at least six different approaches to broadcasting '3D TV' on the table, and the world may be heading for a confused public, which will need multiple TV sets at home to handle all the standards, and be spending much more money than it needs to. World leadership is needed now to agree unique systems to avoid fragmentation. The public has a right to expect this. Can the industry deliver?

1st and 2nd generation 3D TV
WP6C classifies 3D TV systems into two groups. The ‘first generation’ systems are essentially those based on ‘Plano-stereoscopic’ display of single or multiple discrete lateral left and right eye pictures. Recommendations for such systems should be possible now. The ‘second generation ‘systems are those which are based on object-wave recording or approximations of object wave recording. Recommendations for such systems may be possible in the years ahead. The systems and the relationships between them need to be considered.

3D TV Workshop
On 30 April 2009 there will be a workshop on 3D TV at the EBU Headquarters in Geneva, open to EBU Members, SMPTE Members, and ITU-R Members, to examine what can be done to 'save' the situation. It may be that the ITU-R will be able to issue a universally respected single recommendation for first generation 3D TV, as it has done for digital television and high definition television. But it will be no easy matter, the world is a more complex place than it was when digital TV or HDTV began.

In any event, every journey must begin with a first step. On the 30 April 2009 in Geneva, the world may take the first step towards good sense for first generation '3D TV'.
For more information, contact David Wood (EBU).

Source: EBU