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Frame-Compatible 3D Just Fine for Now

By May 31, 2010Newswires

Frame-Compatible 3D Just Fine for Now

Broadcast format designed to work within existing HD infrastructure

By Glen Dickson

One of the reasons stereoscopic 3D TV is becoming reality this year is that networks and pay-TV operators plan to transmit their 3D video in “frame-compatible” broadcast formats designed to work within the existing infrastructure used for HD transmission.

Such frame-compatible formats use spatial compression to reduce the horizontal or vertical resolution of the left- and right-eye images. That is a compromise early 3D programmers can live with, as adopting “full 3D”-delivering full resolution to each eye-would require doubling the current bandwidth used to deliver two-dimensional HD to the home. Another issue is that frame-compatible formats are supported by existing set-tops in the field, including MPEG-2-only cable set-tops, while going full 3D would require many operators to roll out new hardware.

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