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Sisvel Technology shows 2-D-compatible 3D Tile Format

Italian company Sisvel Technology, with the technical support of Utah Scientific, demonstrated a new method for 3-D broadcasting that’s compatible with existing 2-D TV displays, enabling 3-D and 2-D viewing from a single broadcast stream. The company said its 3D Tile Format avoids the drawbacks of current frame-packing techniques, including reduced image quality and incompatibility with 2-D sets.

The demonstration, using a UTAH-400 digital router switching multiple 3-D and 2-D picture sources, was based on Sisvel Technology’s 3D Tile Format, a new frame-slicing technique for formatting stereoscopic images that transmits two 720p frames within a single 1080p frame. The reconstructed right and left images maintain full 720p spatial and temporal resolution, giving viewers of both versions the full benefit of the original picture.

Sisvel Technology said its 3D Tile Format also enables broadcasters to transmit to both 2-D and 3-D viewers without the need for increased bandwidth. The 3-D/2-D-compatible system is already in use at QuartaRete TV, a broadcaster in the Piedmont region of Italy, as part of its DVB-T broadcast service, and is also being tested for implementation by several broadcasters elsewhere in Italy.

At the show, the UTAH-400 digital router switched multiple 2-D (HD) and 3-D picture sources, which were then mixed by a specially configured Utah Scientific MC-2020 master control switcher. The resulting program video stream was encoded by a Sisvel Technology 3-D encoder and transmitted to the Utah Scientific booth over an RF link to simulate real-world delivery conditions. The picture quality and 3-D effect was stunning.

Paolo D’Amato, CEO of Sisvel Technology, said several standards bodies are now considering adoption of the tile framing system and that the 3D Tile Format can be implemented into existing generations of HD set-top boxes and TV sets with a simple software update.