3D and the future of television
Rob de Vogel
(Version 1: June 1 st , 2010)
This whitepaper discusses developments in 3D - technology, markets, standards, content and more and investigates the possible impact on the future of television.
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Introduction _________________________________________________________________ 2 3D around us_________________________________________________________________ 2 Why 3D now _________________________________________________________________ 4 Some basics in 3D_____________________________________________________________ 4 Standards for 3D content ______________________________________________________ 7 Standards for 3D TV distribution _______________________________________________ 11 3D content creation approaches _______________________________________________ 15 Current 3D Live production tools _______________________________________________ 20 Early 3D TV experiments and showcases ________________________________________ 21
10. 3D and television rights _______________________________________________________ 22 11. The future __________________________________________________________________ 23 12. References __________________________________________________________________ 26
3D and the future of television
This whitepaper discusses developments in 3D (technology, standards, markets, content and more) and investigates the possible impact of all this on the future of television. Starting point in the paper is the recent phenomenal success of 3D in the cinema, but also the emergence of 3D elsewhere – from advertisements in shopping malls to content on mobile phones. This is followed by two short sections on the fact that 3D in the living room has become feasible as a result of technological progress (HD, signal processing power, etc.) and some basics on perceiving 3D, with a focus on stereoscopic and autostereoscopic displays and their differences. Next sections form the core of the paper and cover standards for 3D content and the two main routes there (stereo versus depth-based representation of content), a review of investigated standards for distributing 3D content (including the ad-hoc solution as proposed by Sensio) and an overview of content creation work, ranging from stereo acquisition to computer graphics and ultimately various forms of content conversion (either by hand, computer-supported tooling and fully automated). The paper continues with some background on early 3D TV experiments and showcases and 3D and television rights and the paper ends with a number of statements on the routes along which 3D TV may 2D = 3D- , which hopefully makes sense further develop, one of which says 3D = 2D+ at the end of the paper.
2. 3D around us
3D in the cinema: feature films and live events It is an understatement to say that “3D really is in the picture now”. With many new releases in the cinemas, with articles in newspapers and magazines, important thematic events at major industry tradeshows and conferences such as NAB, IBC, InfoComm, SID, CES and many, many more, the interest in 3D has developed explosively over the last year. Part of the interest is the result of the phenomenal success of Avatar (James Cameron’s epic worldwide grossed revenues of US $ 2.718.483.000 until the second weekend of May 2010)1, but it certainly is not the only explanation and in some sense it can be argued that Avatar accelerated and made more visible a development that started a few years back, with films like Beowulf or Journey to the Center of the Earth or with the documentary U23D by Steve Schklair. Of course there had been 3D releases before – there was a temporary wave already in the 1950’s with movies like Man in the Dark, House of Wax, It Came from Outer Space, etc .– but the technical limitations in those days, requiring the use of anaglyph glasses (the...