Current State of 3D Technology and its Future Prospects Forum

Korea is putting the pieces together to complete a puzzle on 3D TV. Current State of 3D Technology and its Future Prospects forum was held in celebration of the 55 Information Communication Day. President Kim Eun-soo of Korea Information and Communications Society (Professor of Department of Electronics Kwangwoon University) opened this forum at the Plaza Hotel in Korea and said, "Samsung Electronics, SK Telecom, LG Telecom, TTA, ETRI, Korea Cable Television and Telecommunications Association, and KT are garnered here today to seek the best ways to commercialize 3D TV by studying together the 3D TV core technology and policies."

The first presentation was kindled by the President Kim Eun-soo on the note of "Current State of 3D Technology and its Future Prospects", and Professor Chang Suk-kwon lit the passion of the subject, "3D TV Policy Issues and Assignments".

Oh Nam-suk, Chief Director in Broadcasting Operation Bureau of Korea Communication Commission (KCC)
The government has been trying to promote the 3D industry and the role of KCC is to deliver 3D broadcasting to consumers by creating more services and values for the related businesses at the same time. Our first goal is to make people aware of 3D products and contents to raise their interest level. However, there are huge risks involved. We are currently testing the 3D broadcasting technology for major terrestrial network, but currently it is impossible. For satellite and cable network, 3D broadcasting is easier to implement because it has a wide bandwidth frequency, but it is not applicable for terrestrial networks. We are supporting to commercialize 3D broadcasting technology for major networks without assigning an additional broadcasting bandwidth. The major plan is to finish the testing before the G20 Summit and introduce the technology to global leaders. Also, we want to broadcast the IAAF World Championships Daegu 2011, and the international track and field competition, in 3D. Also, Sony is planning to record the World Cup 2010 in 3D and temporary broadcasting is under consideration.

Kim Hyun-ju, President of Korea Association for Broadcasting & Telecommunication Studies (KABS)
After the global economic crisis, 3D is one the most influential industries, which will lead the trend for the next 10 years. The global content market is at the beginning stage, but we are behind the competition. If we miss this lucrative opportunity, we will end up working for foreign companies instead of making our own contents. The content development has to go along with development of technology. Korea has a very fast changing society always looking for new trends, so I believe we have a huge potential. We do not know when the 3D transition will actually happen, but the development of technology and bandwidth will bring 3D technology to our living room and various areas. The total governance is needed to improve the 3D industry.

Lee Sang-kil, Chief of KBS Broadcasting Research Center
3D TV has a long history. Since 2002, we have been researching 3D technology, developing prototype cameras and making a 3D experience booth. However, the demand for 3D was not great enough to promote the business until last year. Currently, the 3D experience booth has reopened and people have a lot of interests in 3D cameras and the broadcasting system. Under the government's support, KBS is planning to broadcast in 3D, but the content production has some difficulties. Also, the movie and TV broadcasting are very different. 3D movies can be serviced through satellites or cable networks, but terrestrial TV broadcasting needs a standardization. The total digital TV broadcasting is scheduled to be completed by 2012, which requires a lot of investment. We have to consider about the investment for 3D transition. The guidelines and policies are needed to be made with the government.

Kim Yong-jae, Director of Samsung Electronics
The demand for 3D LED TV is better than previously launched 3D DTV or PDP. Samsung Electronics have been developing 3D TVs for more than 10 years, but most of our products failed. The reason for its failure was lack of contents. Since we do not know how the content market will form in the future, we have the converting technology from 2D to 3D. We still need to solve eye fatigue problems and other technical issues. When the display gets bigger with higher resolution, the depth of image also gets bigger. New technology like UHD broadcasting is currently being studied. BBC and NHK are already in talk to make standardization for UHD broadcasting. The 3D industry has many applications and we need to see it from a wider perspective other than TV and movies.

Lee Ho-jin, Director of the Telecommunications and Broadcasting Research Laboratory of Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI)
Currently, 3D technology is not perfect. The government and industry has to work together to bring a total solution. People are debating whether 3D is just for events or is it a new paradigm. UHD is another technology on the horizon. UHD gives some 3D effects because of its size and high resolution display. We are moving toward UHD, and 3D technology needs to merge with it. The biggest problem is the terrestrial broadcasting. The standardization and codec technology will improve the condition of broadcasting. The 3D contents are serviced due to its demand, but eventually, it will move to a major TV network. Korea is heavily focused on hardware. We need to develop more contents. Sony has advanced cameras, 3D video production and editing, and more, which raise their competitiveness. We cannot compete in those areas. Instead, we need to develop new technologies like IPTV, UCC, mobile platform, and so on. A 3D DMB could be a good option, because it is small and is easy to create contents. Korea's mobile technology is one of the best in the world. Various services though different displays and platforms will create more business models.

Kim Eun-soo, President of Korea Information and Communication Society
The current 3D technology still has some problems like dizziness after watching movies for a long period of time; therefore safety guidelines are needed. The complete solution is expected around 2015. Consumers will not have problems watching 3D images for 24 hours a day or 365 days a year. But, it is not just a hardware problem; content creators also have to be aware of these problems. The solution is more about how to create contents, not a technical solution. Avatar's success did not come from its 3D creation, but its story. The real 3D images use hologram technology, which is under research and expected to come out after 2015 or later. The other issue is to produce more 3D experts in the field of psychology, optics, and computing.

Chang Suk-kwon, President of Korea Association for Telecommunication Policies
3D still has problems and a lot to accomplish. It is about how to control the free mechanism of the 3D market. However, there is always exists some kind of risks. But at this stage, we need to make a success story to promote 3D businesses. The market will expand based on a success story.

By Chun Go-Eun and Song Kyu-Yeol, The Korea IT Times