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CableLabs Publishes 3D Content Encoding Specification

CableLabs announced that it has published a new specification as a guide for producers, programmers and aggregators of stereoscopic 3D programming.

According to the statement, this new specification, called Content Encoding Profiles 3.0 Specification (OC-SP-CEP3.0-I01-100827), details exact requirements for formatting (panelizing) the 3D content into a frame-compatible format for use by cable television systems.

“This spec release marks a great step in the commercialization of 3D TV because it is the first public specification that fully describes the coding and signaling for these top-and-bottom and side-by-side 3D video formats,” said Tony Werner, CTO of Comcast.

Michael Kazmier, CTO of Avail-TVN, said: “Ensuring that content from all programming sources and cable systems is prepared in a uniform way will enable a nationwide footprint for 3D programming and enable interoperability with STBs and 3DTVs in the home.”

“A key part of this specification includes the definitions for signaling 3D content over existing digital video infrastructure that uses either MPEG-2 or MPEG-4 (AVC/H.264) coding,” said Jim Occhiuto, Vice President of Technology and Engineering, Showtime Networks. “This signaling is critical for the receiver/decoder to enable automatic format detection and simplified user experiences when going between 2D and 3D programs,” he added.

“This new CableLabs specification was developed with support from cable operators, programmers and equipment vendors and will be publicly available for any industry to use,” said CableLabs President and CEO Paul Liao.

The new CEP specification replaces the previous VOD-Content Encoding Profile 2.0 specification that was widely used within the industry. This new specification builds upon the existing 2D coding framework defined by the previous version of this document and will be used as the reference for both 2D and 3D video coding going forward. It represents the first step in a continuing process to define 3D formats for cable television that works with existing equipment and infrastructure. Work continues at CableLabs on the development of standards for the delivery of future 3D delivery systems that will expand the resolution and the quality as new equipment becomes available.

The specification is now available for download.

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