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Digital TV group sets 3D standard

DVB-3DTV approved

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The overseers of the DVB digital TV specification have given the thumbs up to a proposed standard for broadcasting 3D footage.

DVB-3DTV was mapped out last year, but only completed a month ago. Now the proposal has the backing of the DVB organisation, it can be formally added to the DVB standard to join the likes of DVB-S for satellite broadcasting, DVB-T2 for terrestrially transmitted HD content and DVB-H, the scheme for sending telly programmes to handhelds.

The DVB organisation said it will now submit DVB-3DTV to the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) for formal standardisation.

The standard is "frame compatible": the left- and right-eye images can be included within a conventional 2D HD frame to allow broadcasters to use existing kit. Metadata is included in the transmission to help the receiver identify that the broadcast is in 3D and to extract the two sets of images from the stream.

This makes it easier to upgrade existing hardware to 3D with a simple software update.

DVB-3DTV not only includes 720p and 1080i frame-compatible formats at both 50Hz and 70Hz, plus top-and-bottom and side-by-side 3D frame formats, but also 24Hz 1080p side-by-side frames.

The spec mandates the ability to extend DVD-3DTV in the future without breaking the existing version. Features being considered include the ability to use one of the two 3D images as a 2D image, allowing the one broadcast to feed both 3D and 2D TV sets. ®

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