Info ‘3-D to the Home’ taskforce reports -
‘3-D to the Home’ taskforce reports
International TV standards body SMPTE says it hopes that its stereoscopic 3-D taskforce, which has just published an interim report, will have formulated a full set of standards for 3-D television by later next year. But already there’s criticism.
The full report, snappily entitled: ‘A 3D Home Master that would be distributed, after post-production, to the ingest points of distribution channels’ is designed for TV (as well as cable and satellite) but deliberately ignores cinema. Wendy Aylsworth, SMPTE’s SVP/technology and Warner Brothers' VP of engineering, says: "We could have the new generation capabilities in the home within three years.”
The problem is that others are ready to go now with 3D broadcasting. On April 17 we reported on plans by AMG-TV to start 3D broadcasts to the US via some 200 terrestrial towers spread around most major TV markets. NHK in Japan is already beaming out evening 3D transmissions on a satellite service, and UK broadcasting giant BSkyB is involved in some very aggressive experiments to see what it can do with an end-to-end (and possibly proprietary) 3D transmission system.
Chris Johns, BSkyB’s chief engineer, told TVB Europe that SMPTE’s work, while valuable, might not be speedy enough. “It's about here and now, not in three years' time," he said. "However, the big question is: what will be the catalyst to make it happen?"
Aylsworth states that other non-standard 3D transmissions might well happen in the interim, but questions whether they will stand the test of time in terms of flexibility and functionality.