SAN JOSE, Calif. Stereoscopic 3-D content is taking a small step closer to the home TV. The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers said it will define a single mastering standard for viewing on TVs, PCs and mobile phones stereo 3-D content that could come from optical disks, broadcast networks or the Internet.
Responding to a task force report released Monday (April 13), a SMPTE executive said the group will kick off a standards effort this summer with the aim of finishing the specs within a year. Other organizations including the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) are working on their own 3DTV standards in parallel with the SMPTE effort.
"It's probably somewhere around 2012 that there will be an interoperable standard available in consumer systems to handle all the delivery mechanisms for 3DTV," said Wendy Aylsworth, vice president of engineering for SMPTE and a chief technologist for Warner Brothers studios.
In its report, the SMPTE task force, launched in August, called for the group to define a so-called 3D Home Master. Studios or game publishers would deliver the master as source material for uses ranging from DVD and Blu-ray disks to terrestrial and satellite broadcasts and Internet downloadable or streaming files.
The 3D master will essentially define "high-level image formatting requirements that could impact 3DTV designs," said Aylsworth. "There may be some key items here that will affect hardware designs, but the larger bulk of [the 3DTV standards for hardware] probably will come from other organizations such as CEA," she added.
In late October, the Consumer Electronics Association said it started efforts to define 3DTV standards, beginning with an upgrade of the HDMI spec for carrying left and right eye images.
The SMPTE task force recommended a mastering standard based on 1920x1080 pixel resolution at 60 frames/second/eye. It said the spec should support an option for falling back to a 2-D image. It also said the standard should support hybrid products, such as Blu-ray disks that can support either 2D or stereo 3-D displays.