CEA Will Set Specs for 3-D Glasses

The Consumer Electronics Association plans to set standards for stereo 3-D glasses. The move is one of many efforts aimed at paving the road to interoperable 3DTV products for the digital home, a concept some see as the next big thing in television.

"Almost every stereo 3-D device comes with its own set of glasses and almost none of them are compatible," said Chris Chinnock, president of Insight Media, a market research company focused on display technology.

The 3D@Home industry group will draft a list of existing 3-D glasses and their attributes to help the CEA identify compatibility issues. It will also draft a document on user requirements for 3-D glasses, said Chinnock who sits on the board of the year-old group which now has 40 members.

The CEA aims to set separate standards for active and passive glasses. It has scheduled a May 12 meeting to take up the issue. Last fall, the CEA started exploring standards for 3DTV and kicked off an effort to update for stereo 3-D the CEA 861 standard that defines an uncompressed video interconnect at the heart of HDMI.

"They are trying to move things along as quickly as possible," said Chinnock.

Standards for glasses are just one small piece of the puzzle needed to deliver interoperable 3DTVs. The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers said earlier this year it will kick off in June an effort to set standards for a master file for stereo 3-D content.

For its part, the 3D@Home group is working on document that will map out the many different technical approaches to rendering stereo 3-D content on consumer systems. It will also draft a list describing the various encoding techniques used to compress stereo 3-D content.

"We're asking standards bodies and industry groups what they need," said Chinnock. "There are a lot of moving parts here."

Interest in stereo 3-D continues to rise, led by Hollywood studios who are finding success selling premium tickets for 3-D movies at theaters. For example, the Dreamworks animated 3-D feature Monsters vs. Aliens earned more than $318 million in its first 32 days, according to one Web site.

Consumer electronics companies are keen to find a next-big-thing beyond today's big screen digital LCD TVs and think stereo 3-D could be it. A Panasonic chief technology officer called for a 3DTV standard this year at the CES show in January.

The drumbeat on 3DTV is continuing at industry events. As many as 53 sessions addressed aspects of 3-D at the recent National Association of Broadcasters annual conference. A high profile 3DTV panel is planned at next week's Digital Hollywood event in Santa Monica, Calif.

"The big take away for me was the level of activity in 3-D at NAB," said Chinnock. "Almost everyone has a product or program, and everyone in the whole NAB infrastructure chain is engaged in it — that's a sea change from last year," he said.

Plenty of roadblocks are still ahead. They range from efforts to set standards for rendering content in the home to how the content is created at the studio.

"The average engineer going to the NAB show realized there were twice as many issues that they thought going in," said Richard Doherty, principal of consulting firm Envisioneering. "You do 3-D wrong and you don't just give people headaches, you make them sick," he said.

Delivering good 3-D content in the cinema requires careful attention to a variety of issues in human perception. Translating that content to a 47-inch home TV has its own set of complex issues, Doherty said

"A lot of [OEMs] were saying, 'cripes this is more complex that we thought,'" he said. "That was the great awakening that came out of this show.

"It's easy to create 3-D, but it's hard to create good 3-D," said Chinnock, a fact he said movie producers made clear in NAB sessions. "So called pros were putting up stuff that hurt my eyes," he said.

"There will be a lot of subpar material that comes out, and it could give the sector another black eye," Chinnock said referring to the fast rise and fall of anaglyph 3-D movies in the 1950's.

"There is a handful of stereographers that know what they are doing," he added.

The 3D@Home group will put together a primer on creating good stereo 3-D based on interviews with some of the top filmmakers, he added.

By Rick Merritt, EE Times

Stereoscopic 3-D Tools at NAB

Camera Rigs
ZGC were showing the beautifully engineered P+S Technik beamsplitter rig, fully outfitted with focus, interocular, and convergence motors and 2 Sony EX-3 cameras, as well as a Maxi side-by-side rig from Stereotec.

P+S Technik beamsplitter with 2 Sony EX-3

P+S Technik beamsplitter with 2 Sony EX-3

Stereotec Maxi side-by-side rig

KUK Filmproduktion and Fraunhofer IIS were around the corner in the German Pavillion and showed several more stereo cinema product. A Mini version of the Stereotec side-by-side rig (also shown by Transvideo), a large beamsplitter with 2 Arriflex D21, etc.

Fraunhofer IIS side-by-side rig

Beamsplitter rig with 2 Arri D-21 cameras at KUK

Beamsplitter rig with 2 Arri D-21 cameras at KUK

Stereotec Mini side-by-side rig

Binocle 3D, a French company, had systems and/or literature at several booths, especially Silicon Imaging. Both a side-by-side rig and a beamsplitter with 2 tiny SI-2K Mini cameras. Their literature lists several configurations for different weight cameras.

Binocle side-by-side rig with 2 SI-2K cameras

NHK Enterprises America (NEPA) was exhibiting several stereo rigs, including a side-by-side with two Sony F900, using (I believe) a motorized prism lens mount to get the lenses closer together and control the convergence, plus a beamsplitter rig with dual Sony 1500.

NEPA side-by-side rig with 2 Sony F900

NEPA beamsplitter rig with 2 Sony 1500

Pace had a display in a nearby booth with 2 rehoused Sony F950 in a custom beamsplitter.

Pace beamsplitter rig with 2 Sony F950

Swissrig offered the fully equipped and highly accurate beamsplitter Swissrig 3D with 2 Red cameras hooked up to Piranha’s system.

Swissrig beamsplitter with 2 Red cameras

Swissrig beamsplitter with 2 Red cameras

Swissrig beamsplitter with 2 Red cameras

Inition from the UK displayed a side-by-side rig with an unusual approach to convergence. The cameras were 1080i’s from Toshiba.

Inition side-by-side rig with 2 Toshiba 1080i cameras

Inition side-by-side rig with 2 Toshiba 1080i cameras

Transvideo showed a custom beamsplitter rig built by Alain Derobe with 2 Canon camcorders.

Alain Derobe's beamsplitter with 2 Canon cameras

Alain Derobe's beamsplitter with 2 Canon cameras

Panasonic had one of the most anticipated products of the show (though only a mockup), the AVC-Ultra 3D camcorder. Many if not most of the features are apparently not finalized. They’re promising a complete integrated system, with recorders, Blu-Ray, monitors, etc.

Panasonic AVC-Ultra 3D Camcorder

Panasonic AVC-Ultra Mobile Recorder mockup

Panasonic AVC-Ultra Portable Recorder mockup

Transvideo offers the 3D CineMonitor family: 6”, 12”, and 15” LCDs with 2x HD SDI inputs, anaglyph mode, and an optional shutter glass interface. Prices range from $8900 to $13500.

Stereotec showed a Stereoscopic Calculator application for interocular and convergence.

Inition also offers Stereo Calculator software.

Andersson Technologies has SynthEyes, a motion-moving stabilization application which promises to be able to geometrically match footage from the two cameras, correct mis- aiming, rotation, and zoom mismatches without keystoning, and more.

Frantic Films showed Awake, a plugin package for Eyeon Fusion that allows for stereoscopic compositing.

CineForm was demonstrating new applications, Neo3D and FirstLight 3D, which essentially allow a CineForm file fully compatible with most editing systems (FCP, etc.) to be attached via metadata to the second stereo file. While cutting it appears as a single image, but can be played back as 3D on most monitors. Also allows for convergence adjustment and anaglyph preview. About $3000.

IFX makes the Piranha Stereo On-Set Tools for fast calibration of the camera rig and automatic recording of dailies into QuickTime. Demonstrated with the Swissrig.

Binocle 3D offers the Stereo Visualization and Correction Tools, as well as motion control capabilities.

Binocle Stereo Visualization/Correction

Fraunhofer HHI showed the Stereoscopic Analyzer, a box that can automatically control the optimal stereo baseline, correct in realtime both geometric and colorimetric distortions, remove vertical disparities without keystoning, fix color mismatches, calculate scene depth, etc.

JVC demoed a new system, a real-time 2D-to-3D converter. They were understandably secretive about the technology, but did admit that there was a built-in bias to keep the upper imagery on the screen further away from the viewer. It was generally successful, but there was a cartoony quality and some objects, such as fences, seemed behind the objects that they should be in front of.

Zaxel had a fascinating system, a combination of the Zaxtar 4K DVI server (around $30K) and a software package that works with digital projectors and a Canon digital SLR. You can, for instance, project a 4K stereo video by using 8 1K projectors, loosely overlapping the images, and the software will correct all overlap, warping, brightness and color differences, etc., and give you a perfect image. The demo was amazing. Software is about $2K per 1K of resolution and can work with some other servers.

cmotion announced C3D software for their remote lens and camera control system, in order to give precisely synchronized control of focus, iris, and zoom on two lenses.

Inition has two Stereobrain Stereoscopic Processors, the SB-1 for viewing stereo streams on many different systems, and the SB-221, which can compress the two video streams into one stream losslessly (when recorded uncompressed), shift convergence live, etc.

Source: BLMP Blog

Sony at NAB Show 2009

JVC at NAB Show 2009

Keisoku Giken Launches UDR-D100 Uncompressed Portable Recorder

The UDR-D100 is a compact-size, lightweight, battery-driven uncompressed recorder designed particularly for digital cinema shooting. Setting the standard for versatility, the UDR-D100 can also be used for 3D(Stereo) shooting at HD, 4:2:2 format using 2ch HD-SDI input.

The system can be camera mounted, hand carried, on shoulder, kept in a back pack or adapted to any shooting style. From studio to location, the rugged durability makes it ideal for action shooting from vehicles, motorcycles, helicopters, airplanes and boats.

In addition to its compact size and light weight design, the UDR-D100 can be driven by a rechargeable DC battery for cordless application as real-field-recording. The recording media is selectable either from HDD Disk Pack for longer shooting and Flash Pack (SSD) for higher durability. Those media can be replaced easily like film magazines and it can continue recording with additional recording packs. Recording time is 100 minutes at 1920 x 1080 24p, 4:4:4 in a HDD pack (1.50 TB) and 22 minutes in a Flash pack (384 GB).

The UDR-D100 is adapted to Panasonic Variable frame rate and ARRI Data mode and can be used as a recorder for any camera that is provided with HD-SDI output including ARRID21, Sony F23/F35, Panasonic AJ-HPX3700 and others.

One advantage of the UDR-D100 is a LCD viewer. It shows not only menu settings but also recorded images. The recorded image files are shown as thumbnails and images are reviewed on this LCD viewer right after shooting. This feature gives maximum assurance to the shooter, especially on location. The UDR-Pack Reader is a data loader to a non-linear editing system. Once images are shot on the disk pack (HDD or Flash pack), the pack can be removed from the UDR-D100 and the image files are then downloaded to a non-linear editing system (server) though the UDR Reader.

The UDR-100 records uncompressed images, which provides for higher efficiency in editing environments, especially in visual effects applications. Many sequential uncompressed formats including AVI, CINEON, DPX as well as QuickTime format are supported.

Recorded image files are copied into industry standard LTO-3 or 4 tapes for back up purposes or for storage. Once the tapes are made, it can be sent to anywhere. Also, the setting parameters and condition of the UDR-D100 can be stored into USB memory stick for easier setting in a field or enables to set the UDR-D100 at same condition whenever necessary.

Source: StudioDaily

AJA Ki Pro recorder

Click to watch the video

By Guy Cochran, Vimeo

Convergent Design nanoFlash

Click to watch the video

By Guy Cochran, Vimeo

nVidia Unveils Integrated GPU Platform for Broadcast Production

NVIDIA Corporation introduced the NVIDIA Quadro Digital Video Pipeline, the industry's first integrated GPU-based platform for broadcasters to acquire, process and deliver virtual effects to video.

The solution offers the fastest graphics computation engine for broadcast production, in a flexible, reliable and cost-effective PC-based platform. By providing a direct path for image processing into and out of the GPU, it allows professionals to incorporate higher quality, graphic-rich broadcasts in real time. It also offers the fastest path for capturing and transcoding HD broadcast-quality video for use in real-time Internet streaming services.

The Quadro Digital Video Pipeline integrates the following:
Quadro SDI Capture card - enables uncompressed video to be streamed directly to Quadro SDI-enabled GPU memory, with the ability to capture up to four HD-SDI Single link sources simultaneously. Supports all SMPTE standard formats (3G, 2K, HD and SD) and includes a monitor out of the primary input.

Quadro SDI Output card - provides an integrated graphics-to-video solution, enabling 2D and 3D effects to be composited in real-time with 2K, HD and SD video. It can be genlocked to external house sync, or synced to the SDI Capture card.

Quadro FX professional GPU solutions - choose from the latest generation Quadro FX 3800, Quadro FX 4800 and Quadro FX 5800. Based on NVIDIA's revolutionary CUDA parallel computing architecture, Quadro offers advanced features and capabilities, up to 240 parallel processing cores and support for next-generation OpenGL and Microsoft DirectX 10 applications.

Quadro Digital Video Pipeline SDK - includes an extensive software development kit containing samples, APIs and plug-ins that allow applications to easily optimize the graphics and data processing pipelines of the Quadro GPU. This ensures easy programmability and control through the entire Digital Video Pipeline -- from capture through final delivery.

“The Quadro Digital Video Pipeline lets us bypass the CPU and main memory, and take full advantage of the visual and computational power of the GPU,” said Marv White, chief technology officer, Sportvision. “By continuing to work closely with NVIDIA, we’re ensuring our customers continue to get the most innovative technology in live broadcast today.”

Pricing and Availability
NVIDIA Quadro Digital Video Pipeline will ship August 2009. The estimated street prices range from $5,000 to $8,000 USD, depending on configuration.

Source: NVIDIA

Dolby and Arqiva Partner to Provide Electronic Delivery to Cinemas

Dolby Laboratories launched Dolby Direct Distribution Services -- a pan-European satellite content delivery network for digital cinemas. The service is provided in association with leading digital network solutions provider Arqiva and uses their international satellite infrastructure to distribute feature movies, trailers, and advertising content direct to their participating exhibitors and cinemas throughout Europe.

Dolby Direct Distribution Services will simplify the cinema distribution process, eliminating physical delivery and manual upload of digital content onto individual cinema servers. The new services, coupled with Dolby's world class JPEG 2000 compression and two-pass encoding system, delivers Digital Cinema Packages (DCPs) efficiently without compromising quality. The incredibly low file sizes offered by Dolby DCPs are a key element in the efficient use of satellite as a highly effective delivery platform.

"Dolby is committed to utilizing the most effective methods to deliver cinema content. Our new service using Arqiva's satellite delivery network offers very exciting opportunities in that area," said Richard Welsh, Digital Cinema Services Manager, Dolby Laboratories. "Arqiva's extensive experience in delivering live content via satellite to cinemas, coupled with their core satellite expertise and international infrastructure, makes them an excellent technology partner for this innovative service."

Arqiva operates at the heart of the broadcast and mobile communications industry and is at the forefront of digital network solutions and services. The company provides much of the infrastructure behind television, radio, and wireless communications in the UK and has a growing presence in Ireland, mainland Europe, and the United States.

"We see electronic content distribution as the future of cinema and satellite is the most efficient means of delivering content to multiple sites across countries and continents," said Barrie Woolston, Commercial Director of Arqiva's satellite and media division. "We are delighted to have entered into this partnership with Dolby which we believe represents an important advance for digital cinema."

Source: Dolby

The Challenges of Three-Dimensional Television

An interesting paper by BBC R&D.

3D Adverts Could Appear Out of Thin Air

Advertising displays could soon appear out of thin air, thanks to a laser system that projects moving 3D images in the sky. The system, developed by Burton of Kawasaki, Japan, focuses a laser pulse onto a point in the air to ionise it, briefly creating a ball of glowing plasma, dubbed a flashpoint. By firing hundreds of laser pulses each second, the system creates the illusion of many constant points of light.

An early version of the system, created in collaboration with teams at Japan's National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology and Keio University, Tokyo, was unveiled in 2006. It produced 200 flashpoints per second and used a mechanical system to move the laser. This limited it to displaying basic 2D images.

A new laser has increased the firing rate to 1000 flashpoints per second, while the pulses are now directed automatically using optics, allowing the system to create more complex 3D images - and even animations. New images released by Burton include stick figures and a version of the "Utah teapot" - a long-standing reference object in 3D programming.

The company is now investigating the use of the technology for outdoor advertisements, for which they will need to increase the size of the projections - currently less than a metre wide - by using more powerful lasers. It is aiming for a practical device by 2011. Other suggested applications include light displays that resemble fireworks, and 3D TV.

The Pentagon is developing similar technology as a defensive device for military vehicles. Called the Plasma Acoustic Shield System (PASS), it creates violent effects by using an additional laser pulse to explode the initial plasma ball, producing a bright flash and a loud bang. It has recently been installed and successfully tested in a military vehicle.

A curtain of flash-bangs could be created instantly up to 100 metres away to provide a visual screen against snipers, says Keith Braun of the US army's Weapon Systems and Technology Directorate. Stellar Photonics of Bellevue, Washington, which developed PASS, plans to increase the number of laser pulses per second, says Braun, "to create a wall of light and sound".

By David Hambling, NewScientist

Calibrated Software Announces Importing and Decoding Tools

Calibrated Software announced an enhanced family of cross-platform tools to streamline and speed the process of viewing and using high-definition camera and other video files within popular post-production systems and editing packages:

Calibrated{Q} MXF Import — A QuickTime plug-in that accelerates the editing process for Final Cut Studio applications by enabling native importing and playback of Material eXchange Format (MXF) files from Panasonic P2, Sony XDCAM-HD, Ikegami GFCam HD cameras and MXF files from Avid Media Composer. Calibrated{Q} MXF Import eliminates the need to log and transfer within Final Cut Pro and allows native use of these MXF files in other QuickTime-enabled programs.

Calibrated{Q} MP4-EX Import — A QuickTime plug-in offering native import and playback of MP4 files from JVCPro HD HM700 and Sony XDCAM EX cameras with the same workflow advantages as Calibrated Software's MXF Import tool. JVCPro HD HM700 and Sony XDCAM EX MP4 files can be imported and played directly without logging and transferring clips and can also be used natively in other QuickTime-enabled applications.

Calibrated{Q} Decode Codecs — A family of cross-platform, multi-threaded decoders that allows the freedom to view and share QuickTime movies on Macintosh and Windows systems without having specific editing software installed. Using Calibrated{Q} Decode codecs, movies in various proprietary QuickTime formats can be viewed directly from applications that support QuickTime.

Calibrated{Q} decoders are available for viewing and sharing DVCProHD, XDCAM HD/EX, HDV, IMX and DV50 QuickTime movies. Calibrated{Q} Decode codecs feature a range of gamma settings, color options and other advanced decoding capabilities. When used in conjunction with Calibrated Software's MXF Import or MP4-EX Import products, Calibrated{Q} decoders can turn the QuickTime player into a native player for Panasonic P2, Sony XDCAM-HD, Ikegami GFCam and Avid Media Composer MXF files or a native player for JVCPro HD HM700 and Sony XDCAM EX MP4 files.

Source: StudioDaily

JVC Turns Heads with 3D Conversion Technology

JVC unveiled a potentially disruptive 3D technology at NAB this week. The company is showing an early prototype of a 2D/3D conversion box that it is looking to further develop as a basic conversion system and, get this, sell for $10,000.

Today more elaborate methods of converting 2D imagery to 3D can run anywhere from $50,000 per minute to over $100,000 per minute, depending on the complexity of the material. Sunday at the NAB Digital Cinema Summit, Warner Bros. Technical Operations president Darcy Antonellis discussed the studio’s interest in converting library titles to 3D. She said: “We have 40 or so titles in our library that are potential candidates.”

Filmmakers are also looking to use conversion techniques, for new titles. Disney’s upcoming 3D release “G-Force,” for example, features live action that was shot in 2D and converting to 3D using In-Three’s Dimensionalization process. CG is being added to the hybrid 3D film at Sony Pictures Imageworks.

By Carolyn Giardina, Celluloid Junkie

Moving Hologram Showcased at NAB

A system of creating a moving hologram is among the bleeding-edge technologies that are on display this week at the NAB Show. Some industry leaders believe that the stereoscopic 3-D of today is a stepping-stone to hologram imagery. To that point, the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology in Japan is demonstrating how its electronic holography technology can be used to create a moving hologram.

NICT hopes that in a decade it will be able to interest the broadcast industry in the notion of using holograms for television, which would offer multidimensional imagery without the need for special glasses or displays.

In related news, manufacturers Stats and Vizrt are showing their process for creating a hologram effect, which was used for CNN's Election Night coverage in November. Stats managing director Shimon Katzubes reported that audiences could expect to soon see the technique used again on other networks.

Meanwhile, Japan broadcaster NHK is showing continued development of its Super Hi-Vision 8K television system, with 22.2 multichannel sound. The big-screen presentation of pre-recorded imagery dazzled audiences, while live footage of the Las Vegas Strip was used to demonstrate the technology as a future broadcast system. To record the live imagery, NHK has on hand its 8K cameras.

The broadcaster also showed its research on a 3-DTV that does not require special glasses and can be observed even if the viewer moves horizontally or vertically. NHK additionally presented a stunning demonstration of high definition 3-D imagery of the surface of the moon and Earth, lensed from a lunar orbiter.

By Carolyn Giardina, The Hollywood Reporter

Miranda Shows 3D HD Multiviewer

In a sign that it believes 3D HD production will soon become reality, Miranda Technologies introduced at NAB a new multi-image display processing product, or multiviewer, which provides monitoring of stereoscopic 3D signals. The Kaleido-X16 system, which Miranda was demonstrating in its booth using 3D-capable professional monitors from JVC and Hyundai, could be used to monitor camera feeds in 3D form during live productions. That will become a core requirement in trucks and control rooms when 3D HD takes off, says Michel Proulx, CTO of the routing, infrastructure and monitoring supplier.

Proulx admits to being skeptical about 3D HD at first. But after seeing a number of stereoscopic 3D demonstrations and getting a behind-the-scenes look at some of the 3D productions undertaken by U.K. satellite operator BskyB, he has changed his mind. “My feeling is, this is real,” says Proulx.

He notes that Miranda has been pitching its new range of 3 gigabit-per-second (Gbps) routers, which it is offering after acquiring NVision last December, as a way to either handle a single 1080-line-progressive signal at 60 frames per second or the dual 1.5 Gbps signals used to feed the left and right eyes and deliver a 3D effect. But he says most of the interest in 3-gig now is based on 3D HD. “Stereoscopic 3D has just taken the lead as a reason to have 3-gig in your plant,” says Proulx.

The 1RU Kaleido-X16 has 16 video inputs, two multi-viewer outputs, and an integrated 16x2 router, and can be used with 3Gbps/HD/SD and analog video. It has an ultra-quiet design appropriate for use in mobile environments, allowing it to be installed next to an operator. But it also offers seamless integration with the NVision router family, and third party routers, to allow expansion up to 1152 video inputs and 144 multi-viewer outputs.

While the Kaleido-X16 is the first 3D HD multiviewer from Miranda, Proulx says existing Kaleido-X models can be upgraded to 3D operation by inserting a new processing card.

Source: Broadcasting & Cable

The First 3D Football Match in European Football History

On 24 April 2009, Orange will air an experimental broadcast of the first ever football match in 3D when OL (Olympique Lyonnais) meets PSG (Paris Saint-Germain). This Ligue 1 (French Premiere League) championship game will be broadcast live on 3D screens in Parc des Princes and Gerland stadium for supporters and football fans invited by Orange and the two clubs. This European First showcases the Group’s ability to innovate, particularly in the presentation and broadcasting of premium content.

For the first time in Europe, Orange will deploy special equipment to produce a football match live and in 3D, including six stereoscopic cameras, a standalone production bus, and specialised 3D teams. This operation will be run in conjunction with the professional football league LFP and HBS, executive producer of the French Ligue 1.

First trialled by Orange in 2008 at the Roland Garros International Tennis Open, 3D broadcasting provides gripping involvement and incomparable emotion compared to normal TV. The OL-PSG match will also be broadcast in high definition for Orange sport channel subscribers both on Orange TV (Orange sport: channel 20) and on orange.fr.

Source: WebWire

Sensio: Bringing 3D to Online Video

Sensio Technologies showed off live 3D video streaming through the Internet at the NAB convention in Las Vegas today, providing yet another illustration of how 3D technology is moving from the theater to the home -- albeit with some nontrivial hurdles yet to cross.

In the demo, a high-definition video feed from a stereoscopic camera in NAB's International Datacasting Booth streamed to a computer in the booth, which compressed it into Sensio's format and again into MPEG-4. It then traveled via Internet Protocol to another computer in the booth, which displayed the video on a 3D-ready high-def screen. Viewers who donned a pair of special glasses saw the video in clear and convincing digital 3D; without the glasses, the images were blurred to the point where they were barely recognizable.

Felician Farcutiu, an audiovisual technician for Sensio, said the transmissions require about 5 Mbps of bandwidth at most -- no more than a 2D high-def stream of similar quality. That's at the upper edge of many home DSL connections, but those speeds are likely to increase as consumers tune in more high-def video online. And the technique can work with any type of screen -- Sensio's software on the computer can convert the signal to match the screen and the glasses worn by the user. Polarized screens require polarized glasses, checkerboard screens work with shutterglass lenses, and conventional screens work with colored lenses (e.g, one lens red, the other blue).

The limiting factor is the computer software required to view the 3D streams. Sensio has but one licensee today -- Arcsoft -- which sells the 3D video player as part of a photo and video software suite. There's the usual chicken-and-egg problem; content providers won't be interested in delivering 3D streams until there are lots of people who can view them, but software makers won't be interested in distributing the technology until there's plenty of content to be consumed. But Farcutiu suggested that online games would be an important driver, given the obvious appeal of 3D to gamers. Beyond that, the computer screen seems a more natural first stop for 3D in the home. Online video is more of a lean-in experience, and consumers can obtain a 3D-ready computer screen for a much smaller investment than a 3D-ready TV.

Sensio spokeswoman Magali Valence said the goal is to enable live programming to be presented in 3D simultaneously online and over the air. The company has already participated in one such event: a performance by the British band Keane, which was carried live to viewers in a London theater, to homes with satellite TV and via the Internet. It's not clear that many people actually watched the concert in full 3D glory -- setting aside the fact that the band was Keane, the transmission required a special set-top box or PC software. Yet it's easy to imagine what might happen if the software found its way into wide distribution -- say, if a popular tech company started building 3D capabilities into its media player. Studios might suddenly have a reason to make their 3D blockbusters available for streaming on demand with all their dimensions intact.

By Jon Healey, Los Angeles Times

Panasonic: 3-D is Critical

How important is the development of 3-D television? As far as Panasonic is concerned, it’s “critical.” According to Eisuke Tsuyuzaki, the company’s general manager for its Blu-ray Disc Group, 3-D television “could be as significant as the transformation from standard- to high-definition TV.”

In a discussion on Monday during the National Association of Broadcasters convention in Las Vegas, Mr. Tsuyuzaki said that Disney had been particularly keen on getting Panasonic’s help in the development of 3-D TV standards, so that the company could make additional revenue for its 3-D animated features by selling versions for the home.

If 3-D television takes off, it could fall right into the sweet spot for Panasonic’s products: large plasma displays that have received high marks for their picture quality. 3-D TV looks best on large screens, and Panasonic thinks the technology could significantly increase sales of its sets, as well as a new generation of 3-D Blu-ray players (current Blu-ray players cannot be used to show 3-D content).

The sets will be positioned in the middle of the market, priced just slightly more than standard HDTV models, Mr. Tsuyuzaki said, to encourage mass adoption.

Panasonic is pushing for a system that would use so-called active glasses, with shutters that electronically open and close over each eye to create the depth effect. Mr. Tsuyuzaki figures that several pairs would probably be included with each new 3-D-capable TV. By the time the dog chewed them or the kids stepped on them, economies of scale would have lowered the replacement price to a nominal amount.

Panasonic has been lobbying hard for the adoption of 3-D TV standards by the end of this year, so that it can get 3-D-ready TVs and Blu-ray players into the market by 2010. The company is concerned that if the technology doesn’t become available soon — within a year — the industry will miss an opportunity to sell the next generation of large-screen displays, because that many more people will already have purchased a flat-panel set thanks to the imminent transition to all-digital broadcasting in June. And once the market is saturated, not that many customers will be ready to buy a new set anytime soon.

How big could the market be? Panasonic says it thinks 3-D could represent 10 percent of TV industry sales within two to three years.

By Eric A. Taub, The New York Times

Digital Rapids Advances Digital Content Distribution

Digital Rapids today raised the bar for ease and efficiency in the digital distribution of media content, unveiling two new solutions for the delivery of media and data files between content owners, creators, collaborators, and distribution partners. New features in the Digital Rapids C2 data delivery software include support for unicast, multicast and hybrid distribution models, and a flexible architecture supporting dynamic deployments with exceptional cost-effectiveness. The new MediaMesh RX appliance, introduced today as a technology preview, receives and repurposes media and associated data from centralized distribution sources, forming the ideal endpoint for syndicated delivery of ad spots through long-form content to broadcast affiliates and distribution partners.

The rapidly expanding scope of content distribution opportunities brings with it the need for easier and more efficient mechanisms to deliver content to distribution points. Traditional physical methods for delivering content between production facilities, networks, affiliates and distributors -- such as shipping video tapes by courier -- are no longer efficient. Fully digital distribution via IP-based networks or satellite offers reduced manual effort, greater immediacy and tremendous cost savings over tape-and-truck transport.

Digital Rapids C2 overcomes the performance limitations typical in IP-based networks, which limit the speed, reliability and efficiency of these transfers to a fraction of their potential. C2 streamlines the transfer of media files between contribution, collaboration and distribution points, transferring media and data files to multiple destinations securely, reliably, and with a tremendous speed advantage over standard file transfer technologies like FTP.

C2's flexible network topology allows transfers to be performed simultaneously between multiple points in parallel, maximizing efficiency when transferring files to multiple recipients. Transparent recovery enables transfers to resume automatically from intentional or unexpected connectivity interruptions. Transfers can be initiated from an easy desktop client, watch folders or a new Web Services API, with delivery confirmation receipts providing proof of successful transfer. C2 supports multiple distribution models to take advantage of available network capabilities, from unicast Internet delivery to multicast-enabled networks, satellite-based transmission and hybrid architectures.

C2 is ideal for media distribution -- where content files usually are large, have high value, and can be time-sensitive -- but equally well-suited for non-media applications. C2 brings the same benefits of speed, reliability, security and efficiency to the transfer any type of data file, from medical imaging and scientific data sets to financial databases.

MediaMesh RX, the new media receiving appliance, provides robust functionality at the endpoint of the digital distribution chain. Comprehensive features including verified receipt, visual Quality Control verification, inventory management, transfer to broadcast servers, print-to-tape and play-to-air are tightly integrated in an intuitive graphical interface. Transcoding and re-packaging capabilities allow received media to be repurposed and conformed to local requirements "at the edge" of the content distribution pipeline, eliminating the need for distributing numerous variants. The combination of C2 and MediaMesh RX enables ad spots, promos, paid programming, syndicated shows, long-form and digital cinema content to be distributed to affiliates and distribution partners efficiently, automatically and at substantial cost savings.

MediaMesh RX works seamlessly alongside Digital Rapids' ingest, encoding and transcoding solutions to form complete workflows from ingest through delivery. It can also be easily incorporated with third-party systems through open standards, workflow features such as watch folders and Web Services APIs for custom development.

Source: StreamingMedia

BSkyB Exec Pleas for Help with 3-D

Gerry O'Sullivan, director of strategic product development for U.K. broadcaster BSkyB, told the audience at the National Association of Broadcasters Show that they have a choice to continue to discuss 3-D or take the first step.

He urged them to get started.

"We can deliver 3-D to people's homes using the investment we have already made in broadcasting," he said Monday. "I think that should be the first step for 3-D in the home. I plead with you to help."

He urged set makers to build the sets and program makers to produce content. "In the technology community, make it simple," he said. "We can do this a lot quicker."

He added: "You don't need standards. We've got a standard: It's called HD."

Sky already has demonstrated 3-D TV broadcasting by sending encoded 3-D content out using Sky's digital satellite broadcast infrastructure. The home setup relies on a Sky+HD set-top box.

"Sky wants to make it simple, using the current infrastructure and set-top boxes that are already in 1 million homes," O'Sullivan said.

During his keynote, O'Sullivan introduced footage of a recently lensed 3-D production of Swan Lake from the English National Ballet and a clip from a recent performance by Keane at Abbey Road Studios, which was broadcast in 3-D by BSkyB as a test.

By Carolyn Giardina, The Hollywood Reporter

Henry Selick Sees Film Advancing Beyond 3-D

Coraline director Henry Selick believes that beyond 3-D, holograms might be in the entertainment industry's future.

"It looks like this is going to happen," he said Monday at the NAB Show. "This could be huge, though it could take long time. Everyone wants to bring spectacle to entertainment."

He related that he has started to research hologram imagery.

On the subject of 3-D innovation, journalist Anne Thompson, who moderated the discussion, asked his thoughts on James Cameron's upcoming performance capture-based 3-D Avatar for Fox.

"James Cameron is a very smart guy," Selick said. "Some of his films showcase the latest technology of the time. No doubt what he is going to deliver in Avatar is going to be spectacular.

"In terms of motion capture, I have mixed feelings about it," he added. "I don't really love it. I think the best use of it was what David Fincher did with The Curious Case of Benjamin Button where he captured the performance of Brad Pitt and used that on a variety of versions of Benjamin Button."

Focus' Coraline recently made more than $74 million at the boxoffice. In discussing the 3-D release, Selick echoed the industry concern that more screens are needed.

"We need to get the digital projection in place. We were given only three weeks on the 3-D screens," he said, adding that those screens were shared in part with Lionsgate's My Bloody Valentine 3-D at the beginning the run and the Jonas Brothers 3-D concert film at the end. The screens were then unavailable because of the release of DreamWorks Animation's Monsters vs. Aliens.

By Carolyn Giardina, The Hollywood Reporter

CGR Cinemas and RealD Announce Exclusive Partnership

CGR Cinemas, one of France’s leading exhibition chains, and RealD, the world’s leading outfitter of 3D-enabled theatres, announced today an exclusive partnership where CGR Cinemas will add RealD 3D capabilities to each of its 33 locations for a total of 200 RealD 3D-enabled screens. The result will be the largest 3D circuit in France. Installation of RealD technology will begin immediately and is expected to be complete by mid-year, with 4 to 6 RealD-equipped screens at each CGR Cinemas location.

“We are happy to be the precursors of new technology for French and European cinema by allying with the known world leader in 3D systems, RealD. This is another example of CGR Cinemas seizing opportunities first, which make it one of the pillars of French film exhibition today. This collaboration will allow us to take advantage of upcoming 3D films beginning with Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs,” said Jocelyn Bouyssy, chief executive officer of CGR Cinemas.

“We’re excited to work with CGR Cinemas to bring the market-leading RealD 3D experience to all of their locations,” added Bob Mayson, managing director or RealD Europe Ltd. “Audiences are seeking a new and engaging cinema experience that CGR Cinemas and RealD together will provide through this agreement to build out the largest 3D circuit in France, and one of the biggest in Europe.”

RealD’s next-generation technology is deployed across the world’s largest 3D platform in more than 40 countries with over 8,000 screens under contract and over 2,600 RealD 3D screens worldwide today. A bright spot for the entertainment industry, RealD 3D is driving box office to the tune of three to four times per screen revenue of the same film on 2D screens.

Source: Yahoo

Omneon and Aspera Partner to Deliver Content Distribution Solutions

Omneon Inc. and Aspera Inc. announced at NAB the terms of a broad partnership in which Aspera will acquire the Omneon Castify content distribution business unit and the two companies will collaborate on making CDN solutions more widely available to broadcast and technology markets. Omneon will continue to market the ProCast CDN product, with Aspera assuming ongoing development, engineering and operational responsibility for the technology, with the goal of creating a more powerful and complete content distribution platform for customers. Aspera expects to integrate its fasp transport technology with ProCast and the Omneon APIs to create a highly manageable and high performance solution for moving content between Omneon systems.

The agreement will expand Aspera’s reach in supplying market-leading content delivery solutions and will allow Omneon to continue to focus on providing best-of-breed video servers and media storage platforms. The deal will ensure seamless integration of Aspera and Omneon technology and will also enhance new solutions to support distributed workflows that were not possible before.

“With the growth of file-based workflows, the demand for a tightly integrated solution for producing, storing and delivering content across geographically distributed locations will continue to increase. Aspera’s acquisition of Castify combined with our partnership with Omneon will enable both companies to deliver the kind of high performance, tightly integrated solutions that customers demand,” said Michelle Munson, president and co-founder of Aspera. “The team and product line match up very well with our area of expertise, and we look forward to leveraging our partnership with Omneon to make the platform’s unique content distribution capabilities available to an even broader user base.”

Based on its patent-pending fasp protocol, only Aspera software fully utilizes existing infrastructures to deliver the fastest, most predictable file transfer experience. Aspera provides innovative, high-performance and secure data transfer software that eliminates the fundamental transport bottlenecks facing today’s file-based workflows and delivery applications.

Unlike conventional file transfer technologies that perform very poorly over the WAN, only Aspera fasp technology fully utilizes existing network infrastructures to deliver the fastest, most predictable file transfer experience with maximum end-to-end transfer speeds, regardless of the distance of the endpoints. These gains are maintained across the dynamic conditions of the network and for even the most difficult satellite, wireless, and unreliable international links. Users have extra-ordinary control over transfer rates and bandwidth sharing, and full visibility into utilization.

The Castify team has created a portfolio of products and technologies providing an end-to-end software solution that enables enterprises and service providers to build scalable, easily managed, and cost-efficient service acceleration and content delivery platforms over the Internet and on Intranets. Taking advantage of advanced reliable IP Multicast, WAN acceleration technology, network management, and bandwidth control, Castify enables organizations to initiate, monitor, and manage the delivery of content either as file transfers, progressive downloads or real-time streams.

Enabling the Castify product line with Aspera technology will result in a portfolio of software solutions that work across existing network infrastructure and enable the easy deployment of a wide variety of mission-critical applications including Portal Acceleration, eLearning, Wide Area File Delivery, Business TV, IPTV, Push VOD, Hotel VOD and Digital Cinema.

Source: SYS-CON

Next3D Brings 3D Movies in Full HD to Sony PS3 and Apple Mac

Next3D, the technological leader in direct-to-consumer, stereoscopic 3D high-definition content delivery, announced the first 3D Movie players for Sony PS3 game consoles and Apple computers. The free downloadable player software, combined with Next3D's content delivery service, will allow consumers to download and play full 1080p theatrical 3D high-definition movies and other 3D content on PS3's, Mac computers and, as previously announced, XBOX 360's.

Next3D downloadable content is encoded with patent-pending technology that delivers full stereoscopic 3D 1080P high-definition to the home over broadband. Users will be able to download premium pay-to-view Next3D content including theatrical 3D movies and movies originally produced for IMAX 3D theaters. Next3D will also offer additional content such as 3D movie trailers and user-created content channels for independent producers and stereo enthusiasts to post and share 3D video and still images. The Next3D Movie Player will be free to consumers on every supported platform, including the XBOX 360, PS3 and Mac, and supports the over 2 million 3D-ready TVs already in consumers' homes as well as upcoming 3D-ready TVs from Sony, LG, Mitsubishi, JVC and others.

Next3D's technology is based around a proposed specification for the H.264 video standard already in use; the proposed spec adds support for compression of multi-view-based content. When paired with a 3D-capable television along with LCD "shutter glasses" and an emitter that synchronizes the glasses to the television, it makes it possible to view content in 3D without any color shifting, as is common with old-fashioned red/blue anaglyph glasses.

Source: PR Newswire

STAN – Perfect Stereo-3D in Real Time

The Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute and KUK Film Productions present STAN – the world’s first system for stereoscopic analysis and real time image processing. STAN’s mix of hardware and software captures and analyses stereo pictures enabling them to be processed in real time. STAN is used for the production of stereo content at 3D shooting of live events. But STAN can also generate and store metadata making it ideal for use in 3D-postproduction.

Fraunhofer STAN

Obtaining good quality film material or live pictures in 3D is a major headache in many areas as a large number of parameters – like the stereo baseline, color, geometry or the camera distance – change from shot to shot according to the set and the scene properties.

STAN is the Stereoscopic Analyzer System produced by the Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute that assists camera people and production staff in setting the critical stereo parameters. Its ultra-rapid feedback loop means that values calibrated for the shot can be fed directly to the cameras and processing units so that errors or false settings can be identified and corrected in real time.

STAN is the only system to have an automated on-site control of the stereo baseline through the motor-controlled positioning of the cameras steered by stereo parameters calculated in real time. It’s this imagebased calculation of the stereo baseline and the preview of data for the image depth that really marks STAN out from other systems.

Source: OpenPR

NAB 2009: Holography Comes True

The holographic images being demonstrated in the north hall may not seem spectacular to the untrained eye, but TVB correspondent Mark Schubin’s assessment is unequivocal.

“This is the most exciting thing I’ve seen at NAB in my 37 years of doing NAB,” he said. “It was beyond anything I could have expected ... they have actual electronic holography.”

They are the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology, a Japanese national entity.

“It’s like the holy grail ... what all media is theoretically doing toward. This is not stereoscopy. This is real 3D of everything. You don’t need glasses,” he said.

NICT’s holography is very crude and at cursory glance, unimpressive. Schubin said most onlookers were underwhelmed. The display consists of an optical table resembling a slab of granite with a bunch of lenses and mirrors controlled by micrometers moving them fractionally.

“The pictures sucks, it’s tremendously noisy, but it exists, and it hasn’t before,” he said.

Capture mechanism for the holography

NICT, in booth No. N925, is also demonstrating what Schubin described as “minor stuff,” but nonetheless unique to NAB.

One is life-like, 3D audio processing.

“There’s a room where you can walk around and hear musicians; as you walk around or between the flute and string player,” Schubin said. “It’s as if you’re there in person, but it’s just audio. You’re just walking around speakers. “

Another display features a tactile 3D experience.

“You put on shutter 3D glasses, look at an ancient Japanese mirror on a screen, hold a pen in your hand. You push it to the mirror, and you feel it pushing back. You can feel the texture of mirror and the frame,” he said.

The mirror is merely a picture on the screen, and the user isn’t actually touching the pen to it.

One other notable display involved a cube with what appeared to be a soccer ball inside of it that looked like the real deal as the viewer moved around it, but was actually a projection on a set of lenticular LCDs.

However, it was the crude holography that delighted the veteran video engineer who’s walked hundreds of miles on the Las Vegas Convention Center floor over the years.

“To me, this is like looking in on John Logie Baird’s first TV image in 1925,” he said.

By Mark Schubin, Television Broadcast

Steve Schklair, 3D Apostle

Pausing for a smoke as he lurches frenetically from one 3D panel or presentation to another, 3ality Digital Systems CEO Steve Schklair was a particularly upbeat fellow today. Despite the economy’s general woes, after all, his chosen discipline -- stereoscopic motion picture technologies -- is booming and hot right now, and is, in fact, a major and important theme at NAB this year. Plus, interest in Schklair, his company, his projects, and his company’s new products is high right now.

In fact, after decades in the field, Schklair now finds himself in the position of being a technology manufacturer. It was necessary to start selling the company’s technology, Steve told me.

“The 3D industry is not an industry if only 2-3 companies are making content,” Steve points out. “We’re pushing hard to get theater owners to build more 3D rooms, but it’s not a business with only a few companies. We knew it was critical for the growth of the industry that there be professional quality broadcast and feature film camera systems. There are those out there, very high quality. So we are starting to sell ours because we are getting calls from all over the world to shoot 3D. But if we are the production company, our shipping bill is $50,000, and then you bring the crew, house them, and that is before you have shot anything. So it is critical that people on other continents have access to this gear directly.

“And the other thing that is also critical is the stereoscopic image processor, the SIP box. So many people are selling camera systems, and in combination with the image processor, they at least have a chance to align the thing and have quality 3D.”

Thus, 3ality is selling its SIP technology, cameras systems, and other tools, and Schklair says it is worth it to him because, in the long run, “if this is to be an industry, everyone has to have access to the technology. That way, as a filmmaker, I can pick and choose the projects I want to do (himself). We can’t do these projects all ourselves, after all.”

Schklair also suggests that the 3D industry that he is helping to build, despite the economic downturn, is on what he calls “an upswing and is a good place to be right now from a business point of view” when you consider it started from near zero just two years ago. Thus, he’s one of the more positive guys you will find cruising NAB this week. He’s very pleased with the success of Monsters Versus Aliens is rooting for Jim Cameron’s Avatar and is hopeful that stereoscopic production could become, sooner or later, a standard production methodology for just about every genre of motion picture including, yes, even the prototypical My Dinner with Andre example.

“There isn’t a film you can conceive of in 2D that wouldn’t work better in 3D,” he states proudly. “Even a dialogue piece like My Dinner with Andre. You can compress or expand space between characters, you can convey to the audience more about what the characters are feeling by using the depth. It can be done very naturally, so you don’t get poked in the eye on every shot. It’s a tool for storytellers to convey to the audience emotions the filmmaker wants you to feel at any given point.”

By Michael Goldman, Digital Content Producer

Harmonic’s Video Transcoding Solution Integrates YouTube Fingerprinting

Harmonic Inc. announced that its Rhozet Carbon Coder transcoding solution can now be used as a delivery platform for generating ID files for YouTube’s Content ID System. This development allows Carbon Coder users to automatically generate an ID file or so-called “fingerprint” of the video content they own during the transcode process. Using YouTube’s Content ID System, they may then upload these ID files to YouTube and use them to automatically identify their content in user-uploaded videos on YouTube and apply “usage policies” that have been specified by the content owners regarding how they want matched content to be handled by YouTube, such as monetize, track usage statistics or block content.

Unlike previous content protection methods, the integration of fingerprinting into the transcoding process results in a faster, more simplified approach for automatically tracking and protecting content. With this process, actual content does not have to be delivered to YouTube in order to be protected – only the fingerprint is delivered. The producers of a television series can, for example, fingerprint content while in production. Once an episode has been aired, the owners could then choose to allow it to be shown on YouTube and share in the advertising revenue generated by that episode, or to block it from YouTube. In addition to fingerprinting, the YouTube team has integrated YouTube-specific format presets into Carbon Coder to ensure that content being delivered to YouTube meets quality and consistency standards.

Rhozet Carbon Coder is a universal transcoding solution used by leading media companies including Ascent Media Group, British Sky Broadcasting (BskyB), Lifetime Networks and MTV. It facilitates the creation of multi-format video for Internet, mobile and broadcast applications. As part of the transcode process, Carbon Coder handles an array of critical operations including SD/HD and PAL/NTSC conversion, logo insertion, color space conversion, color correction and Closed Captioning extraction. Multiple Carbon Coder nodes can be configured as a rendering farm to accelerate the workflow and provide automated processing for high-volume transcoding.

Source: BusinessWire

Reliance Globalcom Delivers Films Over Fiber

Reliance Globalcom is offering up its fiber optic backbone to major film studios and production houses as a way to globally distribute their content in a way that it says can speed time to market and help studios to avoid piracy.

Adlabs Films Ltd., a fast-growing film production and distribution house in India, has leveraged Reliance's global backbone to send a number of its digitized films to the U.S. In doing so, Adlabs was able to quickly and securely transfer films including Ghajini, Luck by Chance, and Delhi 6 from its digital cinema labs in Mumbai to two of its BIG Cinema locations, in New Jersey and California.

"In the past, the industry would send films by courier, which could take two or three or four days to get films from India to the U.S.," says Ted Rafretto, Reliance Globalcom's president of the Americas. By comparison, the Adlabs films, which could be as large as 2 or 3 terabytes a piece, took as little as five hours to transfer over Reliance's fiber optic network.

Rafretto says that kind of speed could allow movie studios to have faster time to market, which would enable them to better coordinate and synchronize global movie launches and ad campaigns.

While speeding the distribution of films, Rafretto says, fiber optic delivery also lowers the likelihood of a film being pirated. Because the files aren't subject to being handled by couriers, and because they are encrypted during transfer, a film isn't likely to be intercepted and copied before it reaches the big screen.

While Adlabs so far has only used the Reliance network to transfer films to two of its U.S. movie theaters, the company plans to expand that to 166 digital screens it owns in the U.S. market.

By Ryan Lawler, Contentinople

Japanese 3D Display Market to Exceed $4.36 Bil in 2019, Report Claims

Yano Research Institute Ltd announced the results of its survey on the three-dimensional (3D) display market in Japan. It estimated that Japan's domestic market expanded 60.9% year-on-year (YoY) to ¥1.355 billion (approx US$13.7 million) in 2008.

Shipments of new applications such as digital signage devices and 3D broadcast-compatible TVs, which emerged in the 3D display market in 2008, accounted for about 30% of the overall market and helped it expand, according to Yano Research. However, at the moment, it is not the case that large markets exist for applications in certain areas.

Most of the shipments were introduced only for testing in each application area, according to Yano Research. Japanese leading electronics manufacturers are planning to enter the business with 3D home theater products and peripheral devices from now.

According to Yano Research, the 3D display market has failed to establish itself twice thus far. The key factors behind the failures were the lack of content and proposed applications that only 3D displays can offer, as well as higher costs than those of 2D display.

This time, however, "The establishment of the 3D movie market is seen as promising after a number of famous Hollywood movie directors made announcements that they will be making sincere efforts to produce 3D movies," Yano Research said. The 3D display market is expected to grow rapidly with "leading home electronics manufacturers making efforts to enable to view 3D movie contents not only at cinemas but also at homes," according to the company.

Yano Research projected the Japanese 3D display market of ¥22.37 billion for 2014 and ¥432.15 billion (approx US$4.37 billion) for 2019. Compared with 2008, the market is expected to grow by about 16.5 and 318.9 times in 2014 and 2019, respectively.

Also, it predicted that the major applications of 3D displays will be game consoles in arcades and homes, digital photo frames and digital signage devices, etc, as of 2014. However, 3D home theater products and peripheral devices will not constitute a large portion in the domestic market in 2014, as they will be only at the early phase of introduction at that time, according to Yano Research.

In 2019, general home-use TVs will come with 3D viewing capability while BS, CS and CATV stations will start broadcasting 3D programs, the company said. Mobile phones equipped with a 3D display are also likely to increase compared with 2014. 3D game consoles, whose market will be growing as of 2014, will increasingly shift from glasses type to non-glasses type in 2019, according to Yano Research.

The increased adoption of 3D displays that do not require glasses will further increase the adoption of 3D displays, liberating people from the trouble of wearing glasses, the company said.

This survey, which was conducted from January to March 2009, is based on bibliographic research and interviews with manufacturers of both 3D displays that require glasses and those that do not, as well as peripheral device makers.

Yukiko Kanoh, Nikkei Electronics

Korean Maker to Launch 3D Camera

CompoBank Co Ltd of Korea will release a 3D digital camera and a 7-inch 3D digital photo frame that can display pictures taken by the camera in the autumn of 2009 at the earliest in Japan. CompoBank has already developed a prototype of the 3D digital camera. Assuming a parallax barrier 3D display, the company employed the "side-by-side" format, in which image data for two images, one for the right eye and another for the left eye, are simply placed side by side, for the data format of 3D images.

The 3D camera prototyped by CompoBank (front side)

The back side of the 3D digital camera

The output can be switched to "anaglyph format," which requires red/cyan glasses to view 3D images, and can be used for 3D printing that uses lenticular lens sheets, according to the company. The 3D digital photo frame employs the two-view parallax barrier method, which enables to see 3D images with the naked eye. It features a resolution of 800 x 480 pixels and a function to convert pictures and moving images from 2D to 3D, CompoBank said.

The 7-inch 3D photo frame, which can display not only still images but moving ones

Fujifilm Corp plans to release a 3D camera/display system within 2009. CompoBank said, "We would like to use the same data format, if possible, for compatibility with its products."

By Tetsuo Nozawa, Nikkei Electronics

NAB Probes Future of 3-D

Disney motion pictures group president Mark Zoradi emphasized that "we don't want a format war for 3-D for the home" as he called for technical standards to enable the wide adoption of 3-D on Sunday at the National Association of Broadcasters Show.

"We view 3-D as part of a holistic business opportunity, and we need to upgrade every distribution channel in order to support the new 3-D that we are now producing," he said in a keynote at the NAB digital cinema summit, during which he previewed content including a new 3-D teaser trailer for Toy Story 3.

Citing the recent Blu-Ray Disc/HD DVD battle, he said: "Your standards will allow us to creatively manage our digital content. We need 3-D standards to be flexible, allowing audiences to see 3-D any way they want to view it and in the highest possible quality."

The many moving parts to 3-D -- both for theatrical release and the home -- were explored during the weekend summit and will continue to be analyzed as the full NAB Show exhibition and convention opens Monday in Las Vegas.

Making news as the event was getting under way, international standards-setting body the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers -- which produced the summit with the Entertainment Technology Center at USC -- released an influential report on 3-D that could result in 3-D home standards in one year. The document outlines recommendations and findings of the SMPTE 3-D task force that will be used by the society to complete a set of stereoscopic 3-D home master standards for content viewed on TVs and computer monitors. Wendy Aylsworth, SMPTE vp engineering and senior vp technology at Warner Bros. Studios, expects the core standards to be completed by June 2010.

On the theatrical distribution side of the equation, eyes remain on digital-cinema deployment, as these screens are required to enable digital 3-D. The set standards follow the Digital Cinema Initiatives technical specification.

"No product today meets the DCI spec," warned Michael Karagosian, president of MKPE Consulting and senior technical advisor to the National Association of Theater Owners, adding that this included both servers and projectors currently in the field. "We need to get there. DCI compliance is written into the deployment funding agreements."

These funding agreements generally rely on a virtual-print-fee model through which the studios pay a fee per movie, per screen to help offset the theater conversion costs. But the deployment plans also involve raising capital, and as a result, they have been largely stalled since last fall because of the troubled economy.

Karagosian reported on some recent activity. For instance, just before the start of NAB, Digital Cinema Implementation Partners -- a joint venture between AMC, Cinemark and Regal -- and Sony reached a virtual-print-fee agreement. Warner Bros. is now the only major studio that has not yet reached a deal with DCIP, which Karagosian reported is working to secure the remaining needed funding. "We hope to see this move forward later this year," he said.

D-cinema deployer Cinedigm already has roughly 5,000 digital screens installed and is in the process of raising remaining capital for its next phase of its installation plans "There are flickers of light again in these challenging markets," Cinedigm president of media services Chuck Goldwater said.

Meanwhile, projector maker NEC outlined some creative financing programs it has created with 3-D providers Dolby and RealD.

Goldwater made a case for alternative content, saying that a ticket to the recent live 3-D cinema broadcast of the BCS college football championship ranged between $15-$25, and it grossed more than nine of the top 10 movies showing in U.S. theaters on that particular day.

Sony is meanwhile looking into how to bring games to the alternative content discussion.

Speaking on theatrical content, Darcy Antonellis, president of Warner Bros. Technical Operations, said: "In 2010, we expect to see a fair amount of movement in the space. Each studio is selecting projects." She added that Warners is exploring animation as well as live action.

"We are hoping to amortize the cost of 3-D production with theatrical and home distribution," she said. "We also need to focus on what we have in our library. We have 40 or so titles in our library that are potential candidates."

She added, "We want to get those library titles out there," saying that home releases need to be "good and consistent" as well as accessible to the mass market.

Addressing production, she said: "The economics are the economics. We need improvements on the production side. 3-D production does add time; it certainly adds costs."

Others addressed the need for 3-D production education and infrastructure. "If this is truly an industry that justifies installing more screens, it has to be much more ubiquitous than three or four production companies," 3Ality Digital CEO Steve Schklair said. To that end, 3Ality plans to offer its 3flex camera rigs for sale, as well as introduce a 3-D production training and certification program.

Panasonic confirmed at NAB that it is developing 3-D production gear including camera and display devices.

Director Patrick Lussier gave a keynote about the production of his latest film, Lionsgate's My Bloody Valentine 3D, which made $50.5 million and was produced for only $16 million. He concluded: "3-D is the future if there are more venues to support the volume of content. The second it stops making money is the second it stops being viable."

By Carolyn Giardina, The Hollywood Reporter

Interview with Chris Chinnock, 3D@Home Consortium Board Member

Where in the process towards completing the necessary 3DTV standards (for both a mastering standard, potential necessary HDMI/Blu-ray upgrades, and 3D-capable HDTVs) are we at this moment? Has 3D@Home Consortium finished with its recommendations to SMPTE and CEA, or do you have a continuing involvement? If so, what are 3D@Home, and you personally, focused on presently?
SMPTE has just released their report on 3D formats. It essentially describes a high quality master that is created at the end of the post process. It does not describe how this is to be formatted for distribution, so there is much work to be done there. BDA (Blu-ray Disk Association) is secretive about their process, but the goal is to come up with a standard by end of year. We are working with CEA (Consumer Electronics Association) on a number of issues, and have just reached out to EBU (European Broadcasting Union) to help them. Metrology co-op with ICDM (International Committee for Display Metrology) is well advanced. We have a whole briefing on 3D@Home at NAB, so I would rather send the sanitized version of those slides after the event rather than discuss here in full detail.

Do you know whether the Entertainment Technology Center at USC is still involved in the march towards a standard? I am unclear as to what their role has been up until this point.
Yes they are very interested in 3D and have set up a new lab with a bunch of 3D monitors and TVs. They want to have a consumer facing focus in evaluating equipment and content. The 3D@Home consortium is talking with them about supporting the effort to create a 3D test reel of content and in doing consumer testing of active shutter glasses.

I am also curious about the 1080p/60fps per eye standard that SMPTE is advocating. I think it sounds great, and would work perfectly for 60i and 30P material, but wouldn't a 24p movie require some kind of pulldown? Some MarketSaw readers have already expressed concern about this. I would think (correct me if I'm wrong) that for flawless, judder-free 24p 3D at home that is compatible with 30p and 60i content, the TV would need to be fed two 120fps streams (one per eye), requiring the TV to have the ability to process and display 240 fps?
If 1080p/60 per eye is desired, then in theory, a 120Hz display could do this. The problem is ghosting between the two images. The turn off time for the LCDs and the phosphor decay times for the plasma are not fast enough, so you need to increase speed (essentially going to a 240hz, or 480hz equivalent speed). The Panasonic demo is at 1080/24p as this is the fastest the phosphors and electronics can do in the current PDP to support good 3D (my understanding anyway).

Given the current state of the effort, what is the greatest challenge going forward in terms of bringing 3DTV into the home?
There are many: improving cost and efficiency of content creation workflow tools; distribution standards thru all media; 3D encoding evaluations and decisions; 3D TV technologies, more content, business models and on and on.

What do you think are the chances of having a 3D-at-home standard in place in time for the 'Avatar' Blu-ray release (circa May 2010?)
I think goal is achievable and will be achieved (too much money at risk).

Source: MarketSaw

JVC Demonstrates 4K 60p Live Camera

At NAB 2009, JVC provides an exciting glimpse into the world of ultra high resolution imaging with a live demonstration of its KY-F4000 real-time 4K camera. Live 60p images from the KY-F4000 are displayed on JVC’s new 56-inch LCD panel with 4K resolution. This compact camera features a single 1.25-inch CMOS image sensor of 3840 x 2160 pixels, capable of producing live images with 4 times the resolution of full HD.

JVC KY-F4000

The KY-F4000 features ultra high resolution imaging, with a 60 progressive frame live output capability, including HDSDI Dual Link (4:2:2/10 bit 4 ch) and DVI Single Link (4:4:4/8 bit x 4ch). The camera also features a built-in genlock input, HDSDI 1080 (60i/59.94i). Additional specifications include an RGB Bayer color filter, switchable 60p/59.94 frame rate, and for the demonstration, a Nikon F-mount is used.

The two-piece design of the KY-F4000 includes a compact, lightweight camera head at 6.6 lbs, which is ideal for pan and tilt mounting applications. The CCU processor can be separated from the camera head at a distance of 328 feet.

With the demonstration of the KY-F4000, JVC is positioned to be a major player in the 4K arena. JVC is currently shipping a 4K D-ILA projector, the DLA-SH4K. The addition of a 4K camera and 4K LCD monitor brings full capture capability and further display options to the product line. The KY-F4000 will be available in April 2010, priced under $200,000.


Source: JVC

Panasonic to Start Development of New Professional 3D Production System

Panasonic Corporation announced it will start developing a professional 3D Full HD production system. The system, which is expected to be the first of its kind in the industry, consists of a twin-lens P2 professional camera recorder and a 3D-compatible High Definition Plasma display. Panasonic will exhibit concept models of the 3D system at its booth at NAB 2009.

Production of 3D movies requires a great deal of time and effort. With the new 3D production system, which can enable an easier and more efficient 3D production process and environment, Panasonic will contribute to accelerating the realization of easier high-quality 3D content production.

Each component of Panasonic’s innovative 3D Full HD production system has unique features. The twin-lens P2 camera recorder enables the capturing of natural and high-quality live 3D images. Thanks to the non-mechanical solid-state construction of the P2 system, the camera recorder will be compact enough to allow more flexible 3D shooting, thereby maximizing the creativity of the filmmakers by eliminating the stress factor from the use of the equipment.

3D Full HD Camera Recorder (Conceptual Model)

3D Full HD recording using Panasonic’s proprietary P2 system also enables recording of two channels of Full HD images on the P2 card. P2’s non-mechanical construction and compactness will also be incorporated into the company’s 3D image recording and editing equipment to make production in the field highly flexible and efficient.

Panasonic’s 3D Drive System enables the display of Full HD moving pictures for the left and the right eyes, so large screen 3D viewing will become possible. The excellent moving picture performance and accurate color reproduction characteristics achieved by Plasma’s self-illuminating technology enables the realization of high-quality 3D image evaluation capabilities required in the professional content production field.

Source: Panasonic

3-D Home Market Blurred by Competing Formats

Now that 3-D movies are making a comeback, Hollywood and TV makers hope to take them to the living room, but competing technologies and the U.S. recession could blur the outlook. A format war like the HD-DVD/Blu-ray battle that slowed adoption of high-definition home entertainment is the last thing anyone in Hollywood or the consumer electronics industry wants. But efforts to arrive at a common solution by 2010, when a lot of 3-D TVs are expected to hit store shelves, have grown contentious behind the scenes, various industry members said.

Panasonic is among several manufacturers that have developed three-dimensional, high-definition (HD) televisions. It is one of several industry members working on a standards proposal to enable Hollywood studios to provide 3-D on discs uniformly -- providing everyone agrees.

"Our proposal is to provide a full high-definition 3-D experience as soon as next year if all the parts and players can advance together around a standard so that we can avoid a format war," said Peter Fannon, vice president of technology policy for Panasonic. "We're working with major Hollywood studios. Many are very interested in advancing 3-D technology and experimenting with 3-D," he said.

But it is no simple task since others like Mitsubishi, Samsung, and Sharp have also developed advanced 3-D TVs. Fannon said Panasonic hoped to push for a 3-D standard through the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA).

Various industry sources said the Blu-ray group was expected to make an announcement about some kind of 3-D framework as soon as May, although Blu-ray spokesman Andy Parsons sounded a cautious note.

"There are a lot of companies out there with a lot of technologies and a lot of 3-D solutions are being thrown around," he said. "There are no proposals yet in front of the BDA."

"I think everyone would love to see something happen, but it has to be done right," he said when asked how soon it would be before a Blu-ray 3-D film would arrive. "Nobody wants a format war and until we get something going, it's impossible to say."

Industry sources said tension brewed a few months ago between some manufacturers over differing 3-D technologies. Philips, which had developed a no-glasses 3-D TV, recently abandoned the venture.

"We believe that over time, no-glasses based 3-D TVs will bring the ultimate 3-D experience to the home, but the point in time where mass adoption of no-glasses based 3-D TV will occur has shifted significantly because of current market developments," said a Philips spokesman.

"We will continue to evaluate the options to develop 3-D consumer televisions in the future, based on consumer demand and the latest consumer insights," he said.

Panasonic's 3-D system mirrors the system now in theaters, including the glasses that must be worn, and works by capturing two separate images from two different angles.

Aside from competing technologies that could confuse consumers, TV makers must convince Hollywood studios which way to go so they can have enough content to support the hardware.

Others also wonder if recession-strapped consumers who have just bought new flat-screen TVs will jump on the 3-D bandwagon. Nevertheless, 3-D is expected to be a hot topic at the upcoming National Association of Broadcasters conference and Fannon expects possible news on the broadcasting front.

Rick Doherty, analyst with Envisioneering, said Hollywood should move quickly on the film side. "3-D on disc can easily happen, so there is no reason to hold off, although it gets difficult when various committees are trying to define standards and electronics giants are posturing," he said.

David Wertheimer, executive director University of Southern California's Entertainment and Technology Center, said getting a home 3-D market up and running will be advantageous for studios, consumer electronics giants and even theaters.

"A lot of people are anxious to figure out how to get 3-D into the homes. The studios are spending 10 percent to 15 percent more on their production budgets to make these films and consumers are going to the theaters in droves," he said.

"More studios will make more 3-D films if they believe there's a home 3-D market, which is good for theaters too."

By Sue Zeidler, Reuters

Software from Fraunhofer IIS Creates Digital Cinema Packages

In digital cinema, films are turned into digital data packages, so-called DCPs (Digital Cinema Packages). With the easyDCP software from the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS, this can be done quickly and easily without any in-depth, expert knowledge. With just a few clicks, high-resolution HD, 2k, and 4k contents can be packaged into finished, SMPTE (Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers) standards-compliant DCPs and prepared for digital screening in movie theaters. This is especially advantageous for small productions and postproduction companies. The Fraunhofer software supports creation of DCPs in JPEG2000- Interop, besides SMPTE standards-compliant, format.

What appears to be difficult in conversion to digital formats is easily handled by the easyDCP software: Color space transformation, e.g., from TIFF images to JPEG2000 image material is done automatically in compliance with recognized DCI (Digital Cinema Initiatives) standards. The software also wraps the various DCP components (audio and image files, subtitles, etc.) into MXF files and then delivers a DCP ready for playback.

Fraunhofer IIS will also be showcasing the extended version of this software during NAB2009: With easyDCP+, 3D DCPs can be created in HD and 2k resolutions. This version supports content encryption according to valid DCI specifications, allowing contents to be sent to theaters in either secure or non-secure form. The individual DCP key can also be generated with easyDCP+.

Another highlight of the NAB presentation is the new Fraunhofer DCPplayer. Extremely fast JPEG2000 decoding software enables, e.g., real-time playback of 2k DCPs and J2k image sequences. This is a big plus for postproduction: The Fraunhofer DCPplayer allows individual DCP playback systems to be developed with just a standard PC and a special graphic card. Processing of JPEG2000 files for compositing or color grading can be accelerated. Testing the DCPs for delivery or testing audio-video synchronization during conforming can be done quickly and easily on-site.

Source: MarketWatch