Hybridcast "Dual Stream" promises broadcast Full HD 3D

While there are an increasing number of broadcast TV channels offering 3D HD content, so far the limitations of side-by-side transmission means that resolution tops out at 720p, rather than Full HD 1080p. The engineers at the Japanese NHK Science & Technology Research Laboratories reckon they've got the solution, TechOn reports, with their Hybridcast "Dual Stream" 3D system, pairing broadcast with a sync'd IPTV feed.

Current broadcast 3D systems basically squash the left and right eye image into a single frame, which are then expanded out and upscaled by the TV itself. That means the broadcasters can use the same HD pipes to send over 3D, but at the cost of picture quality.

The new Japanese Hybridcast system, however, uses digital broadcast paired with IPTV or internet-based video, with the Full HD picture for one eye going over the former and the Full HD picture for the other eye going over the latter. Since IPTV can lag behind broadcast TV, "time stamp signals that are embedded in airwaves for synchronizing video and called PTS also in video data to be transmitted via a communication line" are used to make sure the two feeds are matched up correctly when they reach the HDTV, the NHK Science & Technology Research Laboratories said. "And we synchronize images for the right and left eyes based on PTS on the side of TV."

3D sync is just one of the uses envisaged for the timestamping, which the NHK team rely on for their new Hybridcast system. That promises to deliver content to tablets and other companion devices that's linked with what's playing on the TV at that point in time, mixing together internet- and broadcast-based content with no difference between the two visible to the end-user.