Sisvel 3D channel tests on Astra
Published: 21.03 Europe/London, May 24, 2011 by Robert Briel

Test transmissions of the Sisvel 3D channel have appeared on the Astra position at 19.2 degrees East. The broadcasts use Sisvel Technology’s 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 full 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.

The Sisvel 3D broadcasts are art of a shared transponder that now also houses the Astra 3D Demo channel as well as the AB Channel, RTS Sat and Radio Beograd.

Sisvel’s 3D tile format offers consumers with 3D TV equipment a full 3D viewing experience, while consumers with traditional 2D TV sets will appreciate the service in 2D. The technology behind 3D video is the transmission of two separate images (left and right), to reproduce human stereoscopic vision, packed in a single stream.

Traditional systems squeeze the left and right images into a single HD frame, and service providers reuse part of the existing production and the entire distribution infrastructure. This approach not only causes a loss in the video quality, halving the vertical or horizontal resolution of the source image, but also makes the 3D transmission unsuitable for viewing on 2D TV receivers. The challenge was to avoid the drawbacks of the current frame packing techniques, which Sisvel claims it has solved.