3D innovation continues at Roland Garros – updated

France: Panasonic has been highlighting its central role in the mammoth amount of 3D coverage from Roland Garros, while Orange is demonstrating 3D coverage on three screens – television, PC and mobile.

Panasonic tech is being used extensively in the production at Roland Garros, which is being mounted with Eurosport. It marks the first live outing in anger of the AG-3DP1 camcorder, which the company says comes with a newly developed 17×2 twin lens zoom lens system and an expanded range for both wide-angle and telephoto settings to provide an angle of view for diverse shooting situations.

Other kit being used from the company includes a side-by-side rig with two AK-HC1800 box cameras, six AV-HS450 multiformat live switchers, a P2 mobile-memory card portable recorder / player, BT-3DL2550 3D production monitors and BT-LH910 3D production monitors.

Arqiva, meanwhile, is distributing the live broadcast to up to 650 retail stores in the UK and Ireland. Working on behalf of Panasonic and Freesat, Arqiva is providing teleport, multiplexing and distribution services to downlink the live 3D feed from Eurosport and turn it around onto Freesat’s satellite capacity giving a number of stores access to the live feed. This is enabling live demonstrations of Panasonic’s Full HD 3DTVs in participating stores.

Panasonic is also unveiling the first ever demonstration of 3D hybrid broadcast broadband TV (HbbTV). “3D HbbTV is an important step forward for the 3D revolution, as it allows people to watch streamed 3D content just as you would 2D TV content using catch-up services through connected TVs and set-top boxes,” says a statement.

Orange takes 3D three-ways

Orange, meanwhile, has been demonstrating 3D content on the holy trinity of screens: TV, PC and mobile.

The company’s Manuel Lesaicherre explains. “We start with a HD signal side-by-side. Every image of the video is divided in two: the left view and the right view. This signal is then sent to encoders which transform the video so that it can be decoded by terminals and adapt the bitrate and the resolution to the size of the client screen. Then, customers can access the coded signal thanks to a service platform. Within the framework of the demonstration, for the IPTV, given that the stream is available for every customer, we’re using the IPTV Orange France production platfor, while for the PC and mobile, it is a web server.

“Side by side streams are received by a set-top box (TV), PCs with 3D display card running Silverlight, and 3D mobile, which requires a player to mix the left and right view to create the 3D effect.”

Lesaicherre acknowledges that there are compromises inherent in the process, as 3D shooting parameters should ideally be adjusted to the target display size (“When two different target display sizes are defined, it is not possible to optimize the depth rendering on both services,” he comments). However, he and Orange are bullish about the prospects of 3D, especially via the sort of VoD service being demonstrated on mobile from Roland Garros.

“At Orange, we consider 3D to be a key application for our high-speed broadband network, in which we invest heavily,” he says. “There isn’t enough content to set up fully fledged 24/7 TV channels. In terms of delivering premium 3D programming, we believe that VoD will play a central role on the market.

“We will continue to enrich our catch-up TV and VoD line up as well as broadcast major live events. And for sure we will also study the possibility of delivering 3D to alternative platforms such as mobile phones, tablets and computers.”

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