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3D tech-agnostic set-top box designed

Displays 3D on any type of 3D TV, claim manufacturers

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The method currently requires you to sit in just the right place to see a 3D image, though. But that hasn’t stopped Philips from building displays based on the technology.

“Our STB can work with all types of 3D display, allowing the broadcaster to broadcast just one signal”, claimed the Sagem spokesman.

So how does the STB work?

The broadcaster starts by encoding their 3D signal, compressing it for transmission and then broadcasting it in MPEG-2 or MPEG-4 format, Sagem told us.

A Sensio-manufactured chip then decodes the signal using a “predictive algorithm” and prepares it for output – over HDMI –to the viewer’s 3D-capable TV. It’s this final preparation stage that Sagem claimed enables the STB to work with any 3D TV.

Sky_3D_about_03

Click for an explanation of how Sky 3D works

Sagem stressed that its STB is still at the proof-of-concept stage, but claimed that it recently demonstrated a working model at the International Broadcasting Convention (IBC) in Amsterdam.

However, during IBC the STB took its 3D content from a server because of a lack of broadcasters currently transmitting 3D programmes.

And here lies the major stumbling block, because very few broadcasters currently have 3D channels up and running. Sky, for example, has promised to launch one next year.

Sagem admitted that a “good amount” of 3D content will probably become widely available until 2011.

So although the STB won’t help put 50 3D channels onto your living room TV by next week, the unit does - Sagem claimed - add confidence to the 3D market for both broadcasters and consumers. ®

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