September 16, 2005: One of the true innovations of the recent IFA Consumer Electronics Fair in Berlin was shown on the Grundig stand: three-dimensional (3D) real-time television, recorded and broadcast live, in colour and without glasses. Grundig, Newsight (formerly Opticality/X3D Technologies) and 3D Image Processing (3D IP) have succeeded in capturing live video and streaming it through an autostereoscopic 3D display system in real time whereas prior 3D content had been limited to post-production material.
To date, 3D content has had to go through a post-production process where it was specifically rendered for viewing without glasses. With this new breakthrough from Newsight/3D-IP/Grundig, subject matter can now be captured and transmitted in glasses-free 3D in real time.
This eventually introduces an entirely new way to experience everything from sporting events to reality TV. Projected timing for the in-home experience is seen within the next few years given infrastructure and other requirements. As a first milestone, the plan is to broadcast a live sporting event in 3D in a selected venue during the Soccer World Cup 2006.
The innovation is based on the ability to capture 3D with a remarkable single stereo-camera 1920x1080 (HDTV) in combination with a real-time processing operation. In the past, such 3D content was typically captured with eight or sometimes two cameras, and then it was processed for delayed off-line playback.
With this new advancement, a scene is captured live in two perspectives using a professional high-resolution stereo camera with special image processing hardware code-named Black Betty, developed by partner company 3D-IP.
These two data streams are then routed through a converter chip, which synthesizes multiple viewpoints from a 3D scene in real time. A total of eight stereo views are generated, combined and then played back on a modified Grundig Tharus 3D TV screen. "This technical and human challenge, which led to the final breakthrough, was possible thanks to our industry-leading experts." said Paul-Louis Meunier, managing director of Newsight GmbH.
The Tharus, a standard flat panel TV, is converted into a 3D display by integrating a filter, specially developed by Newsight, into the TV set. Eight pictures are shown simultaneously and projected in different directions, so that the eye of the observer perceives each of the different perspectives. 3D glasses are not needed with this system: the 3D image can be seen with the naked eye.