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3D Demo Upgrade in the Motorola Booth

Motorola active passive 3D TV 3DTV SCTE Cable-Tec Expo 2009

Back in the spring, Motorola brought its 3D TV demo to The Cable Show, along with information on set-top and encoding requirements. Here at SCTE Cable-Tec Expo, the demo’s gotten an upgrade. While before Motorola only showed 3D with active shutter glass technology, today it’s got active and passive 3D side by side. What’s the difference? Active 3D uses a transmitter on top of the TV to communicate with a viewer’s 3D glasses, alternately darkening one eye and then the other according to the screen refresh rate. Passive 3D uses half the image resolution for one eye and half for the other along with polarizing filters to create the 3D effect. The glasses are simpler and require no additional information from a separate transmitter.

In the photo from the Motorola demo above, you see active 3D on the left using an IP set-top, and passive 3D on the right using the QAM-based DCX3400. I tested out both, and my highly technical conclusion was that they both look good. The image from the passive 3D display seemed to delineate pretty clearly between foreground and background, which is something I remember from watching “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” in the movie theater. The image from the active 3D display appeared to make the transition between foreground and background a little more gradual. On the other hand, since the content wasn’t the same on both screens, it’s hard to tell how accurate that perception was.

On the bandwidth side of  things, I learned for the first time about the role of Multiview Video Coding (MVC) in bitrate requirements. Without going into detail on how MVC works at the moment, when it’s used, 3D TV only requires about 30% more throughput than traditional 2D. That can easily be made up by moving to MPEG-4 compression. Without MVC, 3D apparently takes up about twice the bandwidth of 2D.

More pics from the demo below – glasses and set-tops galore.

36 Responses

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  10. i Just cannot see these 3d tv’s making a big impact on the consumer market. the problem is nobody will be able to remember where they put the 3d glasses

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  29. [...] more and more video at trade conferences, and this is a nice one covering bandwidth trends, 3D TV, and more. Best of all, the talking heads are not just the fabulous Motorola execs, but also [...]

  30. [...] if you think you’ve gotten a handle on HD, just wait, 3D and Ultra HD are on their way. The 3D concept is well-known, but if you’re curious about Ultra HD (not the Mark Cuban kind), it refers to [...]

  31. [...] on the 3DTV front, the MPEG Industry Forum (MPEGIF) has announced it will be holding its first meeting of the brand [...]

  32. [...] as much or more in private back rooms as out on the show floor. Publicly Motorola showed off more 3D TV updates (including fantastically layered 3D graphics), and Blur-based social applications on the [...]

  33. [...] It’s also worth noting that CableLabs recently announced that many existing digital set-tops are capable of processing 3DTV signals in frame-compatible formats – something Motorola has demonstrated at trade shows over the last year. [...]

  34. [...] and extending bandwidth through techniques like switched digital video. Initially, 3D television won’t take up any more bandwidth than HD, but once we get to 3D delivery with full resolution for each eye, there’s a 70% bandwidth [...]

  35. [...] the organization this week announced its first 3D spec with requirements for encoding content in a frame-compatible format for cable TV systems. Critically, the spec includes definitions for pushing 3D content out over [...]

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