It’s a “which comes first” situation: Viewers might watch 3-D if there were 3-D channels being transmitted; broadcasters might air 3-D channels if viewers watched them. Regardless, one of the first steps for any broadcaster wanting to trial a 3-D channel is to find a facility that offers 3-D playout services.
Technicolor launched its service offering some months ago, and at IBC2010, several companies will be showing 3-D services and products for master control operations. For example, Chellomedia’s Digital Media Center (DMC), just a few kilometers from where the IBC conference is held in Amsterdam, will showcase demonstrations of the playout of 3-D content at its stand.
For a broadcasters airing 3-D, the other big issue in playout is commercials. A 3-D program demands 3-D spots, just as a 4:3 spot looks cheap in a 16:9 presentation. Gearing up the whole commercial production workflow for 3-D is not going to be easy, but you have to start somewhere, and that somewhere involves standards and formats. It has already been proposed that each spot should start and end with zero convergence to avoid sudden jumps in the Z-axis.
In addition, Miranda, Pixel Power and Vector 3 have released products for 3-D branding. Slowly, but surely, all the pieces in the stereo delivery chain are coming together. Only time will tell as to how long it is before stereo viewing in the home becomes commonplace.
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