DVB 3D Standards by Year-End

The DVB Project has announced that the first phase of a group of standards for 3DTV will be submitted to ETSI and the ITU before the end of the year. The Geneva-based organisation has established two groups of specialists: the first is currently preparing the commercial requirements for 3DTV, the second will respond with a technology that will meet the requirements.

The Phase 1 system will allow viewers to keep and use their current set-top box, in line with plans put forward by broadcasters including BSkyB and Canal+, though requiring them to purchase a new 3D compatible television display.

Graham Mills (BT), Chair of the Commercial Module said, “DVB has been very successful in the past because its technical specifications are based upon, and are checked against, genuine commercial needs rather than engineers’ wish lists. We are following this pattern here with 3DTV”.

Ulrich Reimers (Technische Universit├Ąt Braunschweig), Chair of the Technical Module added, “This is fascinating new territory for broadcasting and our work is bringing worldwide interest”.

The DVB says that a critical component of set-top box-delivered 3DTV will be the connection between the set-top box and the 3DTV display, and here the DVB Project will be matching the provisions of the HDMI connector for the 3DTV environment.

DVB commercial experts are currently discussing a Phase 2 system that may be needed to meet other broadcast requirements, such as having a 2D version of the same programme available as part of the 3D channel. There may also be a need for viewers to be able to adjust picture depth for maximum ‘eye comfort’ According to the DVB. older people seem to prefer less depth in the picture than the young.

The specialist groups are led by David Wood (EBU) and David Daniels (BSkyB).

By Julian Clover, Broadband TV News