ATSC working on new standard for terrestrial 3DTV broadcasts

The Advanced Television Systems Committee Inc. (ATSC) said it has begun work on recommendations for a standard way of broadcasting 3-D content over the air to consumers’ homes and to mobile devices. Dr. Youngkwon Lim, from the Electronics and Telecommunication Research Institute (ETRI) in Daejon, South Korea, will lead the new initiative and the ATSC hopes to have an agreed upon stand in place within a year.

Currently, there are several ways to transmit 3-D signals (basically two HDTV signals) terrestrially, and some have been tested with success. A lack of 3DTV sets in the market has limited meaningful performance analysis.

Mark Richer, president of the ATSC, said the addition of 3DTV over-the-air TV broadcast transmission is part of the organization’s ongoing effort to expand the capabilities of the ATSC suite of digital television standards.

The current work on the new 3DTV broadcast standard builds on the efforts over the last year by the ATSC 3DTV Planning Team. The new standard would address several ways of delivering 3-D content. One way is to deliver stereoscopic content on a single ATSC terrestrial channel to fixed receivers, with delivery of both views (left and right eye) in real-time. Another way would be to send 3-D content over one ATSC terrestrial channel to Mobile/Handheld receivers, and delivery of both views in real-time. A third method would facilitate the delivery of 3-D content in non-real-time.

Richer added that another goal of the standard is to preserve “the integrity of legacy TV receivers by adopting a system that allows for simultaneous delivery of 2D HDTV, Mobile DTV and 3-D programs within the same channel while ensuring backwards compatibility.”