By: Ken Kerschbaumer, SVG Editorial Director
Friday, October 28, 2011 - 9:53 am
Just in case you haven’t seen them over on our US site, we’ve been running a series of reports from the annual SMPTE conference in Los Angeles. And in terms of the future of the industry, they’ve got some rather interesting things to say about 3D, Super Hi-Vision, and the foreign country that lies beyond 3Gpbs.
SMPTE looks beyond 3 Gbps
Managing video services was the topic of the day at SMPTE’s annual Tech Conference on Wednesday, as contribution networks continue to evolve from static point-to-point links to dynamic any-to-any networks and transport of signals upwards of 12 Gbps via linked 3-Gbps pipes moves closer to reality.
“I don’t know when, but they are coming, and it’s exciting times,” said Ciena’s Michael Watford in a presentation.
Ciena, a specialist in high-performance optical networks, has built out a country-wide network in Switzerland for sports-production needs, with several hundred 3G-SDI pipes as well as several Gigabit Ethernet/10GbE circuits in place at sports venues and TV studios and facilities. Most impressive, latency over the network is only 10 milliseconds, thanks to the lack of compression encoding and decoding.
“The wide area network covered the entire country of Switzerland and was basically a high-capacity network to transparently carry uncompressed video signals,” says Watford. “So we didn’t need to learn about compression and formats.”
Nigel Seth-Smith, head of strategic technical marketing for Gennum Corp., discussed how 3G and 4K can be transported via multiple 3 Gbps-SDI to provide even more bandwidth.
For example, a move to 6 Gbps would provide enough bandwidth for two 1080p 50/60 signals, ideal for 3D demands. It can also open the door to 4:4:4 1080p 50/60 transport or 4:4:4:4 10-bit quality signals. And next-generation services like 2K 50/60 for 3D or at 4:4:4 are also possible.
And 12 Gbps opens up the opportunity for 4K transport.
“There is an ad hoc group in SMPTE, TC-32NF20, that is standardizing transport mappings and multilink rules,” he explained. Among the issues being addressed: whether moving a stereo pair of 3-Gbps signals over two links or a stereo pair of 6-Gbps signals over four 3-Gbps links is possible.
Read the full report here: SMPTE Looks Beyond 3 Gbps at Annual Tech Conference
Super Hi-Vision comes into focus
Japan Broadcasting Corp.’s Kentaro Higashijima gave an overview of a Super Hi-Vision–capable eight-input switcher.
Transmission and signal transport is made possible by dividing the original 8K image across 16 1.5-Gbps SDI signals. The signals are first split in half vertically and horizontally into four channels — two green, one red, one blue — to create images of 3,840×2,160. Those images are then halved into 1,920×1,080 HD signals.
The switcher has a 21.5-in.-high mainframe and an operational panel that is the same as an HD switcher. The DVE panel is independent, and images can be adjusted using a preview panel.
The switcher has eight inputs for five cameras, playback, and a character generator as well as four Super Hi-Vision outputs, two 4K outputs, and six HD outputs. The HD outputs are crucial to allow the production team to produce the content using standard HD monitors instead of 8K monitors.
Does 3D need to adjust for different screen sizes?
When it comes to monetizing 3D sports for TV, one of the best bets is believed to be distribution in movie theaters, on laptops, and even on handheld devices to ensure as many available revenue channels as possible. But a primary issue facing that model is that, as 3D content is scaled up or down to fit a larger or smaller screen, there is an impact on the perceptual effects of 3D. At this week’s SMPTE Conference in Los Angeles, Clive Henry Gillard of Sony in the UK described the significance of that impact and whether it can cause issues for viewers.
“With 2D, scaling everything just works, but, in 3D, the problem is, of course, the third dimension,” he explained. “While the horizontal and vertical size changes, the depth is not scaled. But, if you scale the depth, the object will seem miniaturized.”
And then there is the pain factor. There are industry production professionals calling for positive parallax to be 1% of screen size. But, when the screen is larger than the one the content was originally created for, that parallax will move beyond 1%, causing the eyes to diverge and, potentially, leading to pain. And when the screen is smaller, vergence issues become the primary concern.
Read the full article here: Does 3D Need To Adjust for Different Screen Sizes?