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04.27.2010
Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
Motorola unveils 3-D TV set-top boxes for cable

Motorola has developed a number of software enhancements for its DCX line of set-top boxes that enable 3-D content to be processed in the set-top box before delivery to 3-D-capable TVs in the home. This means consumers will not have to use remote controls and access on-screen menus to configure the set-top box and TV set every time a channel change involves switching between 2-D and 3-D video. In addition, all of this processing is done while maintaining the visual integrity of emergency broadcast messages, closed-captioning or on-screen displays while 3-D video is playing.

With many service providers having already announced their intent to broadcast select 3-D programming, there are several challenges to overcome to deliver 3-D signals to the home using currently deployed infrastructure and devices. Although frame-compatible 3-D content can be passed through deployed set-top boxes and viewed on 3-D TVs today, accessing the set-top on-screen guide and menu while watching 3-D content provides an unsettling experience for the consumer. Motorola said it is addressing these deployment challenges by integrating 3-D signal-processing software into the set-top box.

The new 3-D TV-enabled set-top boxes provide “3-D format detection,” whereby the 3-D TV processing software automatically detects the presence of 3-D content and identifies the type of 3-D format used to ensure proper delivery and display on the 3-D TV. As a result, the consumer will be able to seamlessly switch between 2-D and 3-D channels. Additionally, the set-top boxes support 3-D TV over both MPEG-4 and MPEG-2 and are capable of 1080p24/30 output.

The new software also features content reformatting. Upon detection of 3-D content, the set-top box automatically reformats all on-screen text and graphics to match the incoming 3-D format, so they can be correctly displayed by the 3-D TV set. The 3-D processing software supports all on-screen displays such as closed-captioning, emergency alerts, application graphics and text overlays, as well as existing EPGs and applications.

Motorola said it is also working with customers to add 3-D TV support to members of Motorola's set-top product family beyond the DCX line.



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