Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Argentine TV in 3D HD over DTT Breakthrough

A team of scientists and engineers in Argentina have carried out the world's first successful experimental transmission of a 3D Full HD video signal over a digital terrestrial television (DTT) channel.

According to technology website RedUSERS, at 17:31 local time on Friday engineers Francisco Carrá and Oscar Nuncio (technical manager and technical sub-manager of Argentine public broadcaster Channel 7) were able to verify the reception of the 3D signals. These had been broadcast via one of the new antennas being erected in the country, and transmitted through a regular ISDB-T channel.

A video compression catalyser designed and developed by Mario Mastriani, head of the Images and Signals Laboratory at the National University of Tres de Febrero (UNTREF), was at the heart of the system.

The device boosts the video compression level of H.264/MPEG-4 Part 10 (or AVC) codecs by a factor of four. With the help of this component, the team was able to broadcast the 3D signals in 1080p (Full HD) quality, but critically using the same bitrate currently utilised to transmit a 2D HD channel (in 1080i) via DTT. No additional latency to that typically seen in H.264 transmissions was observed during the tests.

The images were captured with a Panasonic 1080p-3D camera, while a NEC encoder was also used. The arriving signal was decoded with an ISDB-T USB device connected to a PC fitted with Nvidia SDI and Nvidia Quadro 6000 input/output video cards. The obtained signal was routed into a 3D HDTV video activity monitor, while the output signal was routed into a standard 3D screen.

According to RedUSERS, the same receiving setting could be easily replicated in a conventional set-top box, whose only additional requirement would be the incorporation of a 3D image processing chip.

Back in January 2011, British firm Motive Television had announced the development of set-top box software able to deal with 3D TV content broadcast via DTT. The Motive technology, branded as 3VOD, was first deployed in Italy by Silvio Berlusconi's broadcaster Mediaset.

By Juan Pablo Conti, RapidTVNews

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