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3D HDTV

3DTV Over-the-air Broadcasting in a Bind

By Rodolfo La Maestra • Mar 26 2011, 5:25pm

The 3DTV frame-compatible structures of “Side-by-side” and “Top-bottom” fit the left and right images within a shared video frame and could be employed by over-the-air broadcasting using the existing MPEG-2 transport and bandwidth that are currently used for DTV, similarly to how cable, satellite and IPTV implemented their 3DTV services over the past months using their existing MPEG-2/MPEG-4 transmission infrastructure. The difference: broadcasters do not have the luxury of using a separate channel for 3DTV as they did.

Is there any other format that would perform the double function without impacting the image quality of either 2D or 3D and still fit in the allotted channel space?

The answer is...

3D HDTV

Is 3DTV a Replacement of Digital Television? Would 2D Viewing be affected?

By Rodolfo La Maestra • Mar 11 2011, 3:44pm

I would like to start with a statement that I customarily make about 3DTV. 3DTV should not be regarded as a new TV system intended to replace the current digital H/DTV system, but should rather be considered as just one more advanced feature to occasionally view 3D content on an HDTV.

The amount of 3D content is expected to improve with time. The effects of prolonged 3D viewing may soon be confirmed by appropriate research. The existing over-the-air, cable, satellite, and IPTV transmission infrastructure, bandwidth, and equipment are being adapted to distribute 3DTV, although with certain limitations compared to the 3D quality of Blu-ray, such as half resolution per eye using frame compatible 3D formats (such as side-by-side or top-bottom 3D structures for the left/right images to share the same video frame), relatively high digital compression, lower transfer speed rate, and reduced audio quality using lossy codecs rather than the high quality lossless codecs of Blu-ray (such as D ...

3D HDTV

3DTV Technologies – Which one for you?

By Rodolfo La Maestra • Mar 9 2011, 3:05pm

As mentioned on the previous article, 3DTV is being implemented by different technologies. According to some the approach causes unnecessary confusion, asserting that the various technologies may eliminate themselves if consumers decide they’d rather not spend on 3D when not knowing what to buy.

I see the choices of technologies as solutions to various issues and preferences people naturally have. A consumer may not...

3D HDTV

3DTV - Are Competing Technologies Necessary? Including Auto-stereoscopic?

By Rodolfo La Maestra • Mar 7 2011, 3:27pm

At the beginning of any new technology the first products are usually immature and expensive. A complex technology such as auto-stereoscopic glasses-free 3D cannot be expected to be at its best when introduced, and so far we have seen just prototypes of the large screen TVs.

On the other hand, the 3D technologies that require glasses, such as the active-shutter type or the theater like polarized glasses, got introduced to consumers at retail just recently and while they are expected to continue improving as new models are introduced, the technologies for the home are at their first stages.

Those that may have witnessed the HDTV introduction in 1998 may remember...

3D HDTV

Glasses-Free (Auto-stereoscopic) 3DTV - When?

By Rodolfo La Maestra • Mar 3 2011, 4:02pm

The auto-stereoscopic (glasses-free) 3DTV technology is usually criticized by many in the press, especially those that have only seen the first generations of prototypes. The negative comments are mainly about the limited number of viewing positions, the low resolution of the image on each viewing zone (eye) and the disruption of the 3D effect when changing positions.

Auto-stereoscopic panels of today are...

3D HDTV

Glasses-Free 3D at CES 2011 - Improving, but no Cigar, Except for the Queen of CES

By Rodolfo La Maestra • Jan 14 2011, 4:37am

Most journalists covered CES’s Smart TV announcements, new panel sizes and models, with backlight LEDs here, there, and everywhere, dozens of tablets, etc. but provide no coverage on the technical detail and depth of what is really difficult to create in the 3D world, and most say will not be ready for many years: auto-stereoscopic (glasses-free) 3D.

So which was the best looking glasses-free large screen 3DTV? Who was the 3D-glasses-free queen of CES? Not Sony’s 56” 4K, or 46” 2K LCD panel prototypes shown with floor platforms that wisely limited the viewing area/angles. Not the 65” and 56” LCD models from Toshiba shown with fixed feet marks on the floor (so you better not move) in a tunnel-type booth that also precluded angled views other than straight to the set. Not even LG. The best looking large screen 3D image without using 3D glasses to my eyes was...

3D HDTV

Avatar - Why not a CinemaScope Option on Blu-ray?

By Rodolfo La Maestra • Dec 23 2010, 3:49pm

This is a follow up article to the previous 3D World 2010 Conference in NYC article, in which I highlighted the subject of the CinemaScope presentation for Avatar. I will cover the subject in more detail here.

As mentioned in the previous article, the Avatar 3D trailer was shown in the same CinemaScope widescreen aspect ratio as the original 3D movie in the local theater. IMAX cinemas showed the movie at a more squarish aspect ratio. The demo at 3D World was done with a Sony 4K projector with polarizing filters and a 16:9 screen showing a CinemaScope 3D image that was cropped with top/bottom black bars and displayed as dual 1080p interleaved images viewed with RealD polarized glasses.

As usual for 3D, the 3D image was low in luminance, but the image quality was acceptable considering that the projector was very far away from the screen. Although James Cameron likes the CinemaScope aspect ratio...

3D HDTV

3D World 2010 Conference in NYC

By Rodolfo La Maestra • Nov 26 2010, 4:50am

The 3D World 2010 Conference took place on October 13-14, 2010 in New York City as part of the Content and Communications World Conference (CCW). I attended this conference also last year when it was an HD conference with 3D tracks and 3D exhibitors within CCW. I decided to return this year to see the growth of the 3D industry within the event, and to have the opportunity of meeting again with 3D content producers, video editors, and professional 3D equipment manufacturers that make 3D possible at the local theater and now in the home.

Last year...

3D HDTV

Auto-stereoscopic 3DTV (3D Without Glasses) - What else to lose for Stereoscopic 3D? (Part 3)

By Rodolfo La Maestra • Oct 11 2010, 2:58pm

As mentioned in part 2, the glasses-required 3DTVs show an image that has a significant loss of resolution/luminance compared to the original 3D image recorded by the 3D camera-pair, and compared to its 2D version, but many viewers still like the 3D experience, and for many that is all that counts when deciding for a TV with a 3D feature, and if you are one of those it may be better for you to skip this part of the series, as the Spanish culture says: “Ojos que no ven corazon que no siente”.

Although auto-stereoscopic 3DTV removes the glasses from the equation, the technology has its own set of issues...

Digital (DTV) Transition

DTV Around the World - Argentina’s DTV System – Technical Aspects (Part 4)

By Rodolfo La Maestra • Sep 23 2010, 4:35pm

In part 1, I offered an overall view. Part 2 covered an interview with a colleague TV engineer that is currently testing the new DTV system in Argentina (ISDB-T), with whom I collaborated over the past few years regarding how the standard was selected. Part 3 covered how the system is being implemented. This part 4 covers the technical aspects of that system, a better choice for Argentina and several other countries than the US system, although the selection was not technically guided.

Digital (DTV) Transition

DTV Around the World - How ISDB-T is being Implemented as DTV in Argentina (Part 3)

By Rodolfo La Maestra • Sep 16 2010, 2:53pm

Part 1 offered an overall view. Part 2 covered an interview with a colleague TV engineer that is currently testing the new DTV system in Argentina (ISDB-T), with whom I collaborated over the past few years, regarding how the standard was selected. This Part 3 covers how the system is being implemented, and Part 4 will cover the technical aspects of the system, a better choice for Argentina and several other countries than the US system, although the selection was not technically guided.

Mr. Victor Acuña...

Digital (DTV) Transition

DTV Around the World - Why Argentina Selected ISDB-T after Testing US’s ATSC (Part 2)

By Rodolfo La Maestra • Sep 9 2010, 3:07pm

This series of articles is about how terrestrial broadcast digital TV is being implemented around the world.

Part 1 offered an overall view. This part 2 covers an interview with a colleague TV engineer that is currently testing the new DTV system in Argentina (ISDB-T), with whom I collaborated over the past few years regarding how the standard was selected. Parts 3 and 4 will cover the technical aspects of that system, a better choice for Argentina and several other countries that use systems that differ from the US system, although the selection was not technically guided.

Mr. Victor Acuña...

3D HDTV

Auto-stereoscopic 3DTV (3D Without Glasses) - Going Backwards in Image Quality for the sake of Depth? (Part 2)

By Rodolfo La Maestra • Sep 7 2010, 3:05pm

The HDTV industry currently has consumer 3D panels and projectors that require 3D active shutter or passive glasses. 3D depth may be attractive but in one way or another they all sacrifice original resolution, luminance or image quality with new artifacts for the sake of displaying a 3D image.

Even 3D Blu-ray displayed with active shutter glasses looses luminance because only one eye is seeing the corresponding image at the time, in addition to the darkness created by the 3D glasses.

One recent review of a Panasonic plasma 3DTV...

3D HDTV

Auto-stereoscopic 3DTV (3D Without Glasses) - Display Taiwan 2010 Hinted: Sooner than you think; (Part 1)

By Rodolfo La Maestra • Sep 1 2010, 3:40pm

Display Taiwan 2010 took place recently in Taipei, China. The event entailed a very busy couple of days for me. The reason why I traveled so far from Washington D.C. was because I wanted to witness firsthand what Taiwan was actually doing in the area of large screens 3D auto-stereoscopic (no-glasses 3D). I saw prototypes, commercially available displays, and new developments of advanced technology that made the trip and effort worthwhile.

Digital (DTV) Transition

DTV Around the World - The US DTV System, Not so Popular Around the World (Part 1)

By Rodolfo La Maestra • May 26 2010, 3:34pm

This is a series of articles about how terrestrial broadcast digital TV is being implemented around the world. In this first part in the series, I offer an overall view. Part 2 will cover an interview with a colleague TV engineer that is currently testing the new DTV system in Argentina (ISDB-T), with whom I collaborated over the past few years. Parts 3 and 4 will cover the technical aspects of that system, which is a better choice for Argentina and several other countries than the US system, although the selection was not technically guided.

Most of the rest of the world is not adopting DTV’s ATSC standard...

HDTV History

From the Archives - The Next Generation of Television

By Dale Cripps • Mar 24 2010, 3:34pm

Those of you who have been long-time readers of HDTV Magazine, know that we've been around since the beginning of the movement, quite literally. I began working with HDTV back in the 80's. We had the first newsletter on HDTV (The HDTV Newsletter) and the first website devoted to HDTV (HDTV Magazine, of course). I have penned many articles in the last 25 years on the subject, many of them "lost" in our archives. Well, it's time to bring them back and give them a permanent home.

The article below was written in 1994. It's quite a trip to read again now. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

3D HDTV

3D TV at CES 2010 - Was it Actually Like HD a Decade Ago? (Part 4)

By Rodolfo La Maestra • Feb 25 2010, 5:04pm

My previous articles in this series have mentioned a few factors by which the 3D implementation effort is different from HD a decade ago, rather than similar, as some industry experts have expressed.

In this fourth installment, I analyze how consumers could embrace the 3D effort, and I provide some ideas to help them evaluate the adoption of 3D for their particular application: Either as a replacement of HDTV, or as a value added feature for 3D content, whether it is sourced from satellite, cable, or Blu-ray.

3D HDTV

3D TV at CES 2010 - Was it Actually Like HD a Decade Ago? (Part 3)

By Rodolfo La Maestra • Feb 24 2010, 5:11pm

As mentioned in part 2: In addition to the DTV type of conversions, such as digital compression, resolution and frame rate, 3D will subject the signal to conversions of structures/formats to match source devices with display devices capabilities.

From the world of digital audio/video, although many mistakenly generalize that bits are bits, we know that original signal quality suffers with conversions, which is what we will discuss in this part 3 of this series.

As mentioned earlier, 3D for the home is been implemented either with...

3D HDTV

3D TV at CES 2010 - Was it Actually Like HD a Decade Ago? (Part 2)

By Rodolfo La Maestra • Feb 16 2010, 2:05pm

As I mentioned in part one, many experts in the HD industry, such as Mr. Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association, compared the 3D CES movement of 2010 to when HD was introduced in 1998.

Several factors make the two efforts similar: they are both based on digital technology, use the same digital distribution channels as 2D HDTV, use similar digital displays (with upgraded features for 3D), and both are as complex regarding having multiple formats, standards, conversions, compressions, connectivity requirements, etc.

Unfortunately, due to that complexity, consumer confusion is also as high, if not higher. If local consumer electronics stores for years had difficulty learning HD right and to explain it correctly to consumers (and many have not reached that point yet even after a decade), I anticipate that 3D will be worse, and misinformation will fill consumers heads again.

One could say that standards and compatibility should help … keep reading.

3D HDTV

3D TV at CES 2010 - Was it Actually Like HD a Decade Ago? (Part 1)

By Rodolfo La Maestra • Feb 12 2010, 7:30pm

The 2010 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) took place in Las Vegas between January 5 and 10 (the first two days were for the press). The show received approximately 120,000 attendees and 2500 exhibitors, according to preliminary estimates.

I visited all the exhibits relevant to audio and video, including the high-end audio exhibits at the Venetian and THE Show, and the usual non-CES high-end audio event, this year held at the Flamingo, in addition to 62 meetings I planned with companies, 90% related to 3D this year. If you wonder why, you might be the only one who did not see Avatar.

Although it was an exhausting effort, it was worth every minute of it. CES was a great opportunity to see ...