ASTRA supports 3D for Europe

SES ASTRA has announced a new initiative to support the introduction of 3D television in Europe. With the backing of the major European broadcasters, including public and private TV channels, and the consumer electronics industry, the initiative agrees the minimum technical specifications required for broadcasting and receiving 3D television.

In particular the agreement concerns the delivery of two different images (for the left and right eye) required to create a 3D stereoscopic experience. Initial 3D satellite transmissions will use either the side-by-side (for 1080i resolution) or top-bottom (for 720p resolution) formats, in which the two pictures are arranged either horizontally or vertically in one frame, to make the broadcasts compatible with HD receivers already in use in viewers’ homes.

Free-to-air 3D services will be signalled using mechanisms defined under an updated Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB) standard which will allow automatic switching of the display from 2D to 3D broadcasts and vice versa.

Ferdinand Kayser, President and CEO of SES ASTRA, said “As the leading satellite operator in Europe, we are very proud to be part of this development which will become the next driver for the consumer electronics market and ensure that broadcast TV will continue to be the main entertainment media."