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16 TVBEurope News & Analysis

Even better than the real 3D thing?

Everyone knows autostereoscopic viewing is a key to future success of 3DTV. Mike Clark reports on how Italian broadcaster Rai is pushing research and development boundaries in this area

Alberto Morello: “Engineers are very good at forecasting what will happen, rather less when they have to say when”

CRIT IS the Turin-based research centre run by Italy’s public service broadcaster RAI (one of the few in the world with this type of in-house facility). Director Alberto Morello gave us an insight on the facility’s work on an issue attracting increasing attention on behalf of the general public and mass media — the future of 3DTV and the possibility of domestic no-glasses viewing of 3D content, announced by some as being just around the corner. “Our centre has a staff of

approximately 60, five of whom

work full-time on 3DTV research, divided between video encoding, production formats and systems. The activity is subdivided into short-term issues, which include work such as supporting Rai’s 3D productions, medium term aspects, including studies on video encoding for MPEG standards, and long-term work on both of the international projects with European financing: 3D-Vivant (Live Immersive Video-Audio Interactive Multimedia) and Muscade (Multimedia Scalable 3D for Europe).”

CRIT’s research work on 3DTV began approximately 10 years ago on stereoscopic television (viewed with special glasses), which led to current applications. In 2010/2011, CRIT introduced an annex giving informative guidelines to provide 2D backwards compatibility to the ETSI specification ‘Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB); Frame Compatible Plano- stereoscopic 3DTV’. Such compatible modes may

enable service providers to transmit a single service

providing both frame compatible (FC) plano- stereoscopic 3DTV and reduced-resolution HDTV video concurrently, whereas, without the provisions of such technology, HDTV coverage with the same source content would be provided by a separate dedicated HDTV bit-stream. With this type of transmission, a 3D-capable receiver is able to feed out a (selectable) 3DTV or HDTV signal according to display capabilities. Morello continues, “3D

Vivant studies technologies for perfect glasses-free 3DTV and Rai is the only Italian organisation involved. Along with RBB (Germany), CERTH (Greece) and Brunel University, it is a member of two Work Packages, focussed on ‘Use cases, requirements and system architecture’. Our contribution is in effect the realisation of television productions using the project’s technologies. 3D image shootings have been made at Rai’s Turin production centre, holoscopic video editing is under way and tests will be soon be run on the video quality.” January 2013

Season’s Greetings We wish you a

Happy New Year 2013

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