DVB approves next step for 3DTV

The DVB announced that its Steering Board approved the Commercial Requirements for a second 3DTV delivery system. Termed ‘Service Compatible’, the second system is a solution required by content deliverers that enables the 2D and 3D versions of a programme to be broadcast within the same video signal, so that new 3D televisions and next-generation STBs can receive 3D programmes, while consumers with existing 2D HDTV receivers and set-top boxes can watch the 2D version. This 2D picture will probably be either the left or right image of the ‘stereo pair’.

In February 2011, the DVB Steering Board approved the specification for a first phase 3DTV delivery system. This system was developed for broadcasters and content deliverers needing a system that works with existing HDTV receivers, provided they are used with a 3D display. This approach, termed ‘Frame Compatible’, is now a principal system in use for 3DTV delivery throughout the world.

“Since 2009, the DVB leads the world in working on 3DTV delivery formats. The Frame Compatible system works very well and delivers good quality 3DTV, but there are DVB Members who have other requirements for 3DTV delivery. The DVB exists to serve all its members, and it has therefore examined the options for meeting these extra needs” commented David Wood, Chairman of the DVB Commercial Module for 3DTV.

For convenience, this second approach is termed DVB-3DTV ‘Phase 2a’. The Commercial Requirements will shortly be available as a ‘BlueBook’ on the DVB website. The DVB
Technical Module has been asked to complete the preparation of the specification for Phase 2a before the end of summer 2012. Phase 2a will provide additional opportunities for 3DTV services, complementing the first specification, which is referred to now for convenience as 3DTV Phase 1.

The DVB is also taking into account the requirements of content deliverers wanting to continue the use of a Phase 1 signal, but wish to provide additional information to improve the image quality for those with ‘new’ receivers. This may result is a Phase 2b specification in due time.

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