European Space Agency supports 3-D TV project

The European Space Agency (ESA) is providing support to OpenSky and SkyLogic in the provision of a complete service offering for consumer 3-D TV broadcast.

The assistance is being provided through ESA’s Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems (ARTES) program and the “Stereoscopic Broadcasting” project.

Standard reception equipment and 3-D televisions are currently being deployed across Europe. Transmission of a 24/7 3-D channel began in March via the EUROBIRD 9A satellite. The content catalog for the channel includes a range of program lengths and material including sports, a short film and trailers. The 3-D TV channel will include not only prerecorded 3-D content, but also events shot live in 3-D.

The aims of the project include:

• Setting up a complete end-to-end chain for satellite 3-D TV broadcasting;
• Targeting viable solutions for consumer 3-D TV;
• Producing 3-D content and delivering 3-D events for an on-air pilot trial; and
• Setting up reception sites that will be used to gather end-user feedback.

Two types of reception sites are being created. One will mimic a home environment using longer content, and the other will be a public venue with shorter content. One of the home sites has been deployed at ESTEC, ESA’s research and technology center in Noordwijk, the Netherlands.