SBS Launches 3D Pilot Channel

SBS has launched a pilot 3D channel in the Netherlands which will offer up to 20 hours of 3D programming per day, including material converted from 2D. The 2D/3D conversion strategy is in contrast with the approaches of other pioneering 3D channels including Sky 3D in the UK and Discovery in the United States.

“Some content will be up-converted, and that could be up to 12 hours a day,” explained Josbert van Rooijen, CTO, SBS Broadcasting Netherlands. “We do simulcast of the 2D channel and the 3D channel. On the 3D channel, sometimes there will be a 3D version of the same programme. In some cases there will be separately produced 2D and 3D.”

SBS is already using tools such as the JVC IF-2D3D1 Stereoscopic Image Processor, which works as a 2D-to-3D converter. “We are looking for other systems as well,” reported van Rooijen. “Conversion is a necessary element of the experiments. It is something you need to learn. I think if I look into, for example, 3D sports, I think it will always been assisting in producing 3D.”

For 3D production, SBS has acquired Panasonic’s new AG-3DA1 twin lens Full HD 3D camcorder, which will be used for instance to shoot original 3D programmes such as a talk show about astrology.

For 3D on-air graphics, SBS has installed the first VidiGo Live 3D which was launched at IBC. “We are already using their system in 2D production,” van Rooijen reported. “3D is something they embraced right away and they used their technology to get it on the road really quick.

“We have produced just one 3D on-air promo to go through the learning process,” he said. “The same with IDs and commercials.”

By Carolyn Giardina, TVB Europe