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HPA demos tech to take broadcast 3D to full HD

The California-based Hollywood Post Alliance (HPA) last week demonstrated a so-called top-up system to upgrade frame-compatible 3D broadcast to full HD 3D, according to a post on the European Broadcasting Union’s (EBU) website.

Pay-TV broadcasters are currently planning to use a frame-compatible approach to 3D, which squeezes left and right eye HD images into a single HD channel. The resulting signal can be viewed via a current HD set-top box and takes less bandwidth than a full HD 3D signal, but the squeezing of the left and right eye signals into a single channel leads to some loss of resolution.

Blu-ray 3D, by contrast, plans to use a ‘service compatible’ approach that reproduces the left and right eye signals without loss of resolution.

The HPA demo is based on its claim to have developed a new compression technology that can provide an enhancement signal to top up the quality to full resolution, according to the EBU’s technical arm. With the enhancement signal taking up less than 1Mbps of bandwidth, this could provide an upgrade approach for frame-compatible broadcasts. However, more testing will be required before the approach can be developed further, according to the EBU.