Navigating 3DTV

Nagravision and 3Ality Digital have been demoing the answer to one of the more interesting unanswered questions from IBC: namely, how does the viewer navigate through all this 3D content. The companies are previewing a prototype of version 2 of the Nagra Media Guide, a 3D user interface for electronic programme guides that accommodates 3D as well as 2D. It can be used for 3D content, whether distributed via broadcast TV or the internet.

With many 3D-ready TV sets expected to enter the consumer market within the year, this demonstration focuses on one of the very steps that will need to be addressed in offering a 3DTV service. The demo shows programme guide information as a 3D graphic over a 3D programme, including settings, channel selection and the metadata associated with the content such as description and length of a programme.

Nagravision's Frank Dreyer said that 3Ality provided its optimisation tools for how to calibrate graphics over the video, as well as expertise for testing at 3Ality's facility and demo material. "Companies doing 3D in the cinema are the first wave for 3D for the home," he said.

Dreyer added that Nagravision is further experimenting with 3Ality's 3Play image optimisation technology, developed to enable live transmission of quality 3D images over a standard 2D infrastructure in order to optimise the 3D viewing experience. Part of the system aims to automatically compensate for irregularities that might cause viewer discomfort, as well as address variables such as screen size.

"The long term goal is to enable mass market 3D entertainment," 3Ality Digital CTO, Howard Postley said.

By Carolyn Giardina, IBC e-Daily