LAS VEGAS In a panel discussion at the Consumer Electronics Show, a handful of content providers said they will deliver stereo 3-D services in 2010, but their paths to getting there are still diverse and uncertain.
Representatives of ESPN, Inc., BskyB and CinemaNow said they will provide stereo-3D content over cable, satellite and Internet in 2010, speaking at a CES panel. However they have yet to decide what formats they will use and prices they will set.
"This is a living, breathing science project but we are comfortable going ahead," said Chuck Pagano, executive vice president of technology at ESPN which plans to launch a stereo 3-D in June starting with broadcast of the World Cup.
The path for cable operators involves a three step process, according to David Broberg, vice president of consumer video technology at Cable Television Laboratories, Inc. In the short term they will adopt a so-called frame compatible approach for existing set-tops and networks, followed by a transition period leading eventually to upgraded set-tops and networks likely using MPEG-4's multi-view coding codec.
In the meantime he called for TV makers to work with CableLabs to work out details such as the use of 3-D signaling over the HDMI interconnect. "HDMI is very powerful but it has so many options that if people don't implement them in the same way it won't work well," he said.
In the video below both executives shared their thoughts on the next steps.
Brian Lenz, a director of product design at British Sky Broadcasting Inc. said his company will launch a 3-D service for public locations in 2010 followed by a residential service. The satellite provider will likely use a side-by-side source format similar to that used on many of the 3-D demos on the CES show floor.
Mark Ely of Sonic Solutions which runs the online CinemaNow service, said he will provide stereo 3-D content over the Web in 2010, probably using a variety of formats with content delivered as computer files.
TV chip and systems makers expressed confidence they could develop and test firmware in as little as three months to render any of the formats on existing silicon. Their main concern, they said, was that the content providers pick their formats and provide test content soon.
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