Thursday, April 16, 2009

How To Get 3D Into The Home: 200 Experts Met For Six Months - Report Now Available

Jim here. I have had the privilege of viewing one of the initial copies of "REPORT OF SMPTE TASK FORCE ON 3D TO THE HOME" prepared by the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE).

We are finally getting some clarity on how to accomplish this! For so long now we have been waiting for direction because for a truly elegant and pragmatic 3D motion picture industry we need to complete the cycle from theater screen to home theater screen to portable devices.

Here is what they set out to do (excerpt from report): The effort was initiated on Aug 19, 2008. At the initiation of the effort, the task force was chartered with defining “what standards would be needed to establish rapid adoption of stereoscopic A/V content from content mastering to consumption in the home via multiple types of distribution channels (e.g., packaged, broadcast, satellite, cable, internet) with consideration for downward scalability (e.g., portable/mobile).”

First of all let me tell you that they include a comprehensive glossary of terms that is certainly needed to ensure everyone is talking the same concepts as this 3D technology is booming.

Secondly they break out use cases! They examine various real life scenarios that a typical end user may encounter and they address it in their study. For example, a user wants to view 3D media on his glasses-required bedroom 3DTV, but also wants to view that same media later on his no-glasses 3DTV in his living room. Not only that but the sets are different sizes. The report sets priorities on all these use cases and their relevance to the 3D in the home standard.

Finally they expose the requirements needed for the 3D in the home standard INCLUDING resolution and frame rate. I can tell you that they set out image file requirements up to and including 1920x1080 with frame rates up to and including 60p per eye. Backward compatibility is addressed as well with 2D.

Their biggest concept is the notion of a single standard 3D Home Master which coexists with other masters after post-production and for theatrical screening. A lot of detail has gone into defining how this 3D Home Master should look and behave.

Of course they had to touch on display technologies as well - interesting read!

So I encourage you to purchase this resource from the SMPTE if you have any interest in the journey we are taking to get 3D movies and content from the big screen and into our homes. The 75 page report in PDF format sells for $20 at the SMPTE store right here. Hard copies of the report will also be on sale at the SMPTE booth at NAB.

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Jim Dorey
jim (at) marketsaw (dot) com

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