Skip to main content

DVB approves 3DTV broadcast spec

The Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB) consortium has announced that Phase 2a of its DVB-3DTV specification has been approved. The specification, which describes different ways to distribute 3-D signals to consumers’ set-top boxes, will now be submitted to the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) for formal standardization.

The group said an amended “DVB-3DTV BlueBook” will be published to reflect the addition to the specification.

The Phase 2a system, also known as “Service Compatible Mode,” is designed to meet the needs of those who want to provide existing HDTV receivers with a 2-D version of a 3-D program from the same broadcast channel. At the same time, it seeks to improve the quality of the 3DTV images.

Phase 2a provides a 2-D version plus an MPEG MVC encoded top-up signal. Although they are tailored to different environments, both 3-D Blu-ray and Phase 2a use MVC, which will enable receivers to include both capabilities.

The 3DTV Phase 1 specification was published in 2011 for “Frame Compatible” delivery, where the essential requirement was that existing HDTV set-top boxes would allow viewers to watch 3D (if they had a 3D display). This is currently the most commonly used 3DTV broadcast format in the world today.

DVB is an industry-led group of over 230 broadcasters, manufacturers, network operators, software developers, regulatory bodies and others committed to designing global standards for the delivery of digital television and data services. The group’s standards cover all aspects of digital television from transmission through interfacing, conditional access and interactivity for digital video, audio and data.

The consortium came together in 1993 to create unity in the move towards global standardization, interoperability and future proofing.