After doing some extensive studies, the Advanced Television Systems Committee has announced the development of a new 3D standard for broadcast television that will allow for delivery to both televisions and mobile devices over the air. Each eye will be delivered via its own subchannel.
“The addition of 3D-TV capability to the DTV broadcast standard will foster new broadcast services while preserving the integrity of legacy TV receivers by adopting a system that allows for simultaneous delivery of 2D HDTV, Mobile DTV, and 3D programs within the same channel while ensuring backwards compatibility,” Richer said.
The international team hopes to have the standard ready for implementation by next year. Like with Blu-ray 3D, the decoders in existing receivers should just be able to ignore a second stream of data they are unfamiliar with. As long as the main channel is within the original ATSC spec, then they should be able to exceed the existing 19.2mbps data cap on a broadcast TV channel, or use MPEG-4 for more efficient compression on the subchannel. It remains to be seen what avenue will be taken, but it’s pretty obvious that broadcasters are looking at reaching out to the cell phone market. TV reception is a fairly standard feature of Japanese cell phones, and with more and more people viewing their TV exclusively on computers, tablets, and phones, it’s a natural evolution. What makes the final spec remains to be seen, but as the first major revision to the nearly 20 year old spec, we may be getting a lot of bang for the buck for those who choose to upgrade.