**update** Embed a Live 3DTV signal into a 2D Tv programme? read :here:

3DTV : Where is the Content?

This was the topic of my talk recently at the MediaLive! Conference in AbuDhabi. The biggest stumbling block to 3DTV taking off  is that 3DTV is being equated to the old linear model of Broadcast Television, where a whole block of content programming was needed to justify investments in the platform.

3DTV manufacturers need to “Think in 3D”:

There should be a dis-connect from the traditional linear broadcast model of day long programming slots for content consumption, and 3DTV should be positioned as a new medium for home entertainment.

Manufacturers unfortunately are not doing much in the department of correctly positioning 3DTV. To help them along in realizing the potential and perhaps the proper way to market 3DTV, here are a few points worth thinking about:

3D in measured doses = 3DTV success:

How we go about that, is explained at the end of the article. Getting back…

  • 3DTV content does not have to be WHOLE programmes recorded in 3D – The news for instance could be spiced up with select short snippets in 3D. This would make people reach out for their glasses for that section of the programme
  • Sports highlights – A formula 1 car race could have a POV of the driver’s view from the cockpit that allows users to see the action in 3D
  • Fashion Show, Life Style TV and Home Shopping TV – Again, select sections of closeups/in-situ scenes featuring the product and merchandise can make for compelling and entertaining viewing in full Stereoscopic 3D

User Driven Content is Key:

One of the biggest reasons that 3DTV will succeed is that a lot of “content” will be user generated. Today television as it stands is rapidly losing it’s center stage position around which the family living room is designed. Television is just another “screen”, be it an Ipad, an Android smart phone or the iPhone.

So to think that 3DTV is not a good investment because of the lack of 3DTV broadcast content is quite an outdated approach to begin with. Today full HD consumer 3D Camcorders that are backwards compatible with 2D recordings are on the shelves of most electronics stores.

Those who have recorded a vacation video or child’s birthday party in 3D and viewed it on a 3DTV would never want to record and preserve memorable moments in anything less than full stereosopic 3D. After all, digital Photo frames do not rely on posters or snapshots taken by professional photographers to fill their frames. User created content will be a big reason for 3DTV adoption.

Once we disconnect from the notion that 3DTV needs content in the traditional way that 2D television needs an EPG, then we start to realize that 3DTV is not just a hardware device for consumption of linear TV content… but a whole new entertainment and information consumption medium.

For more ideas on content for 3DTV, here is the outline of my talk used at the MediaLive Conference.

How to Embed S3D content in a normal TV programme:

For a method that is compatible with both LIVE as well as Pre-recorded programmes, read about the process :Here:

Alternative method using Smart TV’s and Broadcasters OTT channels:

a) A News programme is presented in 2D

b) If there is any related segment of video that has been captured in 3D, such as short snippets of the aftermath of an earthquake or even joyous occasions such as firework displays (3D news does not have to be sad)…this part of the video can then allow users to “trigger” a connection to a streaming 3D version of the short clip hosted on platforms such as Youtube or the TV manufacturers own SMART TV channels

CNN already has something called iReport… how about iReport 3D? to fill the content gap now that 3D enabled cellphones and camcorders are in the market?

c) The “trigger” idea is from an ingenious trick that I first came across back a few years ago in Philips WowVX Autostreoscopic 3DTVs. They used the first line of the image to embed a distinct pixel pattern that got recognized by the processor chip in their auto-stereo 3DTVs to then automatically switch the TV to 3Dmode.

d) Using that same trick, the moment the 3DTV detects this pixel pattern in the video (can be the actual ID for a particular segment of 3d video) it can pop up an icon or bug notifying viewers that the next segment is also available in full stereoscopic 3D. Users then have the option of clicking a button to go directly to the 3D version.

e) This trick could work with All Smart TVs that are internet enabled. Of course the icon and bug would only show up if the TV detects that an internet broadband connection is active. At the end of the 3D clip the TV can then return to the regular programme being watched.

f) A firmware update (usually done transparently via the internet) could enable detection of such functionality.

This scenario can be implemented for a variety of regular 2D programming such as Extreme Sports, Home Shopping channel etc.

3DTV does not have to be a long boring experience with glasses on all the time. The viewer should be given a choice and stereoscopic 3D visuals enjoyed and savored in small bites. What’s important to remember is that a 3DTV is a device that is backward compatible with 2D yet allows the viewer the best of both worlds.

While I believe that in 3D, bigger is better, there is no reason that 3DTVs cannot also provide an entertaining experience in the living room.

What is a Knowledge-Base versus a Blog?

Answer: Actual IP sharing. As illustrated by the ideas outlined above for non-disruptive display of stereoscopic 3d content in a normal 2D TV programme.

  • John A. Rupkalvis

    Normal human vision is in stereoscopic 3-D. Flat 2-D is an abstraction. All images, not just short snippets, should be in true stereoscopic 3-D. We see the real world in 3-D, therefore why would anyone want to see reproductions of it in the extremely distorted 2-D form, where everything from a few centimeters to infinity are squashed down to a single flat plane?