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NAB: Utah Scientific, Sisvel To Demo 2D-Compatible 3D Broadcast

Utah Scientific and Sisvel Technology will be demonstrating a new form of 3D broadcasting at the 2011 NAB Show that is fully compatible with 2D television displays, allowing 3D and 2D viewing of a single broadcast stream.

"Our alliance with Sisvel Technology is giving us a unique opportunity to learn about real-world 3D broadcasting," said Tom Harmon, president and CEO of Utah Scientific in a statement. "As a result, it is allowing us to learn the process from the inside so that we can design products like master control switchers that are ideally suited to meeting the distinctive requirements of an emerging new service environment."

The transmission is made possible by the use of the 3D Tile Format, an innovative technique for formatting stereoscopic images that integrates two 720p frames within a single 1080p frame. The reconstructed right and left images maintain their original 720p spatial and temporal resolution, giving viewers of both versions the full benefit of the original picture.

The 3D/2D-compatible system is already in use at QuartaRete TV in the Piedmont region of Italy as part of its DVB-T broadcast service and is being tested for implementation by several broadcasters elsewhere in Italy.

Utah Scientific is billing the 3D Tile Format as providing better transmission quality of 3D content than current solutions and as a backward compatible technology that allows broadcasters to transmit to both 2D and 3D users without the need for increased bandwidth.

At NAB, Utah Scientific and Sisvel Technology will demo a standard UTAH-400 digital router switching multiple 3D and 2D picture sources that are then mixed by a specially configured Utah Scientific MC-2020 master control switcher. The resulting program video stream will then be encoded by the Sisvel Technology 3D encoder and transmitted to the Utah Scientific booth over an RF link to simulate actual delivery conditions.