ATSC calls for new data on 3-D TV

The Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) has published an interim report on 3-D TV asking for additional data on emerging technologies and health issues that have been reported involving the new medium.

“To ensure that the final version of the report provides a complete analysis of all available broadcast delivery options, the ATSC issued a formal request for input from the industry on additional technologies, including those that are still under development,” the ATSC said.

At the moment, most of the ATSC’s observations about 3-D technology are that it shows promise for a variety of applications.

“There is no doubt that creating and displaying 3-D content offers many benefits to increasing the viewer experience and enhancing revenue,” the group said. “There appears to be viable options for 3-D broadcasts.”

On the technology side, the ATSC addressed the need for more bandwidth to handle the added amount of 3-D TV data in the signal, but that, the group said, could be solved with advanced codecs that provide better compression. The ATSC noted that using MPEG-4 compression would require some major changes in the MPEG-2 broadcast infrastructure currently used by broadcasters.

The ATSC said that “improperly” produced 3-D broadcasts “can result in a negative and potentially painful experience for their viewers. Clearly, technology can solve many of the issues, but given the subjective nature of the impact of many of the factors, more information is needed to better understand and implement the services.”

As to the technology’s effect on children, the interim report emphasized the importance of additional studies to assess the long-term impact on the development of binocular visual functions.

“So far, it is known that at three months of age, infants are able to dynamically change their accommodation and vergence required by natural targets in binocular viewing conditions,” the report said. “On the cautious side, how to incorporate the delivery of 3-D signals to the homes of families with young children and how to ensure that they are safeguarded are issues to consider.”