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3D Test Transmissions To Begin 19th May, 2010


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I read in The Daily Telegraph today that TCN Channel 9 and SBS will be commencing a test transmission of 3D TV (stereoscopic video format) on or after midnight Wednesday 19th May 2010. The transmission is of a trial nature only and is scheduled to operate for a period of nine weeks. (page 23.) The transmission will carry 3D video content in H.264 (MPEG-4) format and will not necessarily be able to be received on current HDTV receivers. Only specific 3DTV receivers will be capable of decoding the signal and displaying the video content in stereoscopic format.

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sounds promising. looks like SBS's claim to transmiting some world cup games in 3D might be on the ball (pardon the pun). just an agonising wait now for the larger plasma 3d screens to be released here in aus, and the reviews for the plasma screens

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err what? Correct how, in what way? How does this two month test transmission, on spectrum that will not be available for the purpose in the future, in any way affirm any part of what alanh has said regarding MPEG-4 AVC terrestrial transmissions in this country?

Has ABC started terrestrial carriage of MPEG-4 AVC?

Has WIN started terrestrial carriage of MPEG-4 AVC?

Has PRIME started terrestrial carriage of MPEG-4 AVC?

Has terrestrial carriage of MPEG-4 AVC occurred in regional WA?

Has terrestrial carriage of MPEG-4 AVC occurred in the Mildura Sunraysia zone?

Have the existing terrestrial HD services been transformed to MPEG-4 AVC?

..... <insert any number of MPEG-4 AVC claims made here>

The blunt facts of the matter, as stated time and time again, remain*:

  • there is currently no 'live' (ie non-test) MPEG-4 AVC transmission for general reception
  • there is not likely to be any MPEG-4 AVC transmission for 'live' or general reception for some time yet**.
  • there is no RF space currently allocated for continual 'test' transmissions

*looking back I've been saying this since 2005 with a guestimate timeline for the introduction of MPEG-4 AVC in terrestrial of 10 to 15 years.

**current government documents suggest introduction 'some time' after analogue switch off

Edited by DrP
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What’s to help with? TV networks are only interested in revenue, that means more channels so they can place more adds not more quality HD programming and certainly not 3D.

There is not enough bandwidth for decent HD let alone 3D which needs more even with Mpeg 4. No point in directing precious bandwidth at less than 0.0001% of the audience, where is the profit in that?

Edited by Owen
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What’s to help with? TV networks are only interested in revenue, that means more channels so they can place more adds not more quality HD programming and certainly not 3D.

There is not enough bandwidth for decent HD let alone 3D which needs more even with Mpeg 4. No point in directing precious bandwidth at less than 0.0001% of the audience, where is the profit in that?

Hi Owen

That alone defeats the logic of your argument. You try to build a market. 3d is a quantum leap. I agree about the band width.

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Its just a shame DrP, you could use your knowledge to help the this forum instead of being a nark all the time,and as i said before please turn the lights off when you get sick of answering your own posts.

Basil, you seem to have been viewing alanh's posts over the last 12 months with rose-tinted glasses. A number of the technically inclined contributors who have remained on the forum have had to clean up a trail of continual misinformation. Do not call this 'being a nark'. It is setting the record straight.

It is extremely wearisome to have to correct almost every single post of a contributor to this forum. The past week or so has been a welcome relief from that drudgery.

... let alone 3D which needs more even with Mpeg 4.

The upcoming trials will probably use squashed side by side, and standard MPEG-4 AVC.

The permanent 3D broadcasts in Australia (whenever they eventuate) will presumably use MPEG-4 MVC, which reportedly needs only 50% extra bitrate over 2D MPEG-4 AVC, not 100% extra, as there is considerable redundancy between the Left and Right images. And we know MPEG-4 AVC is supposed to need about half the bitrate of MPEG-2 for HDTV. So MPEG-4 MVC ought to be able to carry high definition 3D, at bitrates currently used for high definition MPEG-2.

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*yawn*

give us some decent HDTV in full 1920x1080i with bitrates to suport it and good audio with dd5.1 to add with the audio experience. and I'll take that anyday over any cr@piola 3D to mesmerize those clamoring for the latest gimmick ! :rolleyes:

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Its just a shame DrP, you could use your knowledge to help the this forum instead of being a nark all the time,and as i said before please turn the lights off when you get sick of answering your own posts.
Yeah,looks like 3D FTA is a definite goer in 1 form or another,i hope all the keyboard experts here are big enough to admit AlanH is correct re MPEG4.

Are you big enough to admit that your statement re alanh being 'correct' is itself fundamentally flawed? Have we gained a troll here?

Edited by DrP
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*yawn*

give us some decent HDTV in full 1920x1080i with bitrates to suport it and good audio with dd5.1 to add with the audio experience. and I'll take that anyday over any cr@piola 3D to mesmerize those clamoring for the latest gimmick ! :rolleyes:

The trial 3D broadcasts will probably be (960 +960) x1080, i.e. better than DVD resolution.

In the early days of stereo audio, there are no doubt many who listened with a moderate quality stereo setup, instead of their better quality monophonic setup. It would be a matter of their personal preference as to whether they found medium quality stereo better than higher quality mono.

Edited by MLXXX
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Why don't they just get rid of all the SD channels altogether, most of it is just recycled rubbish anyway ?

C.M

Like it or not, the general public seems to want more channels to watch. I imagine that there'd be much gnashing of teeth if Australian FTA went back to one channel per network. Foxtel execs would be rubbing their hands with glee too.

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Hi Owen

That alone defeats the logic of your argument. You try to build a market. 3d is a quantum leap. I agree about the band width.

What makes you think the “market” for 3D is anywhere near as big as HD and TV networks can’t even manage that. Good HD is FAR FAR more useful than 3d and the market was very slow to adopt HD, little wonder the networks lost interest.

I can’t see how 3d will be anything more than a tiny niche market for many years, most people just aren’t interested. Hell a large proportion of the population are still watching SD CRT TV’s and those that have purchased a larger screen HD TV in the last couple of years are not going to be quick to upgrade just to get 3d.

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The permanent 3D broadcasts in Australia (whenever they eventuate) will presumably use MPEG-4 MVC, which reportedly needs only 50% extra bitrate over 2D MPEG-4 AVC, not 100% extra, as there is considerable redundancy between the Left and Right images. And we know MPEG-4 AVC is supposed to need about half the bitrate of MPEG-2 for HDTV. So MPEG-4 MVC ought to be able to carry high definition 3D, at bitrates currently used for high definition MPEG-2.

Good quality 1920x1080 in Mpeg2 needs at least 18Mbps and preferable 25Mbps plus for fast moving content like sport. Assuming Mpeg 4 can give the same quality with half the data rate (very questionable in my experience) we need around the 10-12Mbps we currently use for HD just for good quality 2d HD in Mpeg 4. If 3d needs an extra 50% we need around 15Mbps and that’s bandwidth we just don’t currently have.

6Mbps is definitely not enough for good quality 2d 1080 in Mpeg 4 so we can have heavily compromised 3d or very good quality 2d HD in Mpeg 4 at 12Mbps, seems like a no brainer to me.

People that value picture quality on free to air TV should hope 3d never becomes popular, well not unless the bandwidth freed up by the demise of the analogue channels is used and that will cost the networks big bucks. It’s hard to imagine the audience and hence revenue will be there to support such a move.

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Good quality 1920x1080 in Mpeg2 needs at least 18Mbps and preferable 25Mbps plus for fast moving content like sport. Assuming Mpeg 4 can give the same quality with half the data rate (very questionable in my experience) we need around the 10-12Mbps we currently use for HD just for good quality 2d HD in Mpeg 4. If 3d needs an extra 50% we need around 15Mbps and that’s bandwidth we just don’t currently have.

6Mbps is definitely not enough for good quality 2d 1080 in Mpeg 4 so we can have heavily compromised 3d or very good quality 2d HD in Mpeg 4 at 12Mbps, seems like a no brainer to me.

People that value picture quality on free to air TV should hope 3d never becomes popular, well not unless the bandwidth freed up by the demise of the analogue channels is used and that will cost the networks big bucks. It’s hard to imagine the audience and hence revenue will be there to support such a move.

I was querying your suggestion that 3D with MPEG-4 needs more bitrate than 2D with MPEG-2. It would in fact appear to require slightly less, for similar PQ.

The other points you have made in what I've quoted above, I follow.

I can’t see how 3d will be anything more than a tiny niche market for many years, most people just aren’t interested. Hell a large proportion of the population are still watching SD CRT TV’s and those that have purchased a larger screen HD TV in the last couple of years are not going to be quick to upgrade just to get 3d.

Sports coverage has been suggested as the big draw card for 3D. I'd agree that people who've recently bought a 50" Plasma wouldn't be likely to upgrade. They'd make do with their recent purchase.

But new buyers over the next few months will be able to get 3D at only a small premium. By next year, new 50" Plasmas on sale without 3D may be in the minority. We'll have to see what the manufacturers release in 2011.

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But if the SD channels just time-shift what's presented on the HD channels, what's the point ?

I can understand the ABC having 2 SD channels to cater for youngsters and other interest groups but the rest would do better with improved HD image quality and better programming.

'One HD' is of little interest unless you are heavily into sports and drag racing, for most women it is a complete waste of FTA space and really has little appeal for them.

DTV muti-channel has brought nothing but junk programming and saturated advertising, no wonder the FTA channels are losing audiences to cable TV and internet browsing.

3D hasn't proven itself to be a viable medium on Blu-ray yet, let alone have plans to introduce it to DTV in a decade from now.

C.M

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3D hasn't proven itself to be a viable medium on Blu-ray yet, let alone have plans to introduce it to DTV in a decade from now.

With 1440x1080 and 1920x1080, broadcasting on DTV preceded HD-DVD and Blu-ray high definition discs by a number of years.

With 3D, 3D Blu-ray discs are starting to emerge at around the same time as broadcasting of test DTV 3D broadcasts of sport.

If 3D sport proves popular, we will surely not be waiting 10 years for non-trial FTA 3D.

I'm not much of a sports fan myself but I've noticed the improvements in video sports coverage techniques in recent years, and if there were 3D into the bargain, I'd certainly be more inclined to watch.

Edited by MLXXX
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I was querying your suggestion that 3D with MPEG-4 needs more bitrate than 2D with MPEG-2. It would in fact appear to require slightly less, for similar PQ.

Do you consider sports telecasts in 1440x1080i at around 12Mbps Mpeg2 are good quality? 1080 3d is in Mpeg 4 not going to be a whole lot better for sport because of the hard limited peak bandwidth in broadcasts. Video compression systems can do a good job of compressing slow moving content and Mpeg 4 can deliver good quality for such content at low AVERAGE bit rates, but fast motion needs dramatically higher PEAK bandwidth as each frame is very different to the last. Disk storage systems like Bluray have a very high available peak bandwidth up to 40Mbps and can use variable bit rate to save on average data rate in slow moving scenes, however broadcasters don’t have that latitude as the low peak bandwidth can’t be exceeded, even when fast motion requires it and that’s a problem.

The high AVERAGE compression afforded by Mpeg 4 does not tell the whole story.

3d will always result in lower image quality for any given bandwidth and image quality is much more important than 3d.

Why should the vast majority of TV viewers with 2d sets have to suffer reduced quality so that a tiny minority can have second rate 3d? I believe TV networks won’t see the logic it that either unless there is significant revenue in it for them.

Edited by Owen
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The high AVERAGE compression afforded by Mpeg 4 does not tell the whole story.

Yes, and the BBC in the UK have run foul of viewers' complaints as a result I think of too much optimism in the efficiency of Mpeg 4. However, it would be sufficient for Mpeg 4 to provide a 33 1/3 % drop in bit rate, to accommodate a 50% greater demand of 3D over 2D.

I don't think DTV aims for anywhere near Blu-ray quality. And I note that digital free to air radio in Australia rarely approaches a bitrate to compare with CD quality.

I have off-air recordings of HDTV that beat DVDs for picture quality. [Pity the movie is at 25fps, but then so would be the PAL DVD.] For premium (legal) video quality in the home, it is necessary to purchase a Blu-ray disc, or -- if available -- download a high-definition file, for a significant fee.

Free to air is not intended as a substitute for buying a licensed copy of a premium quality video of a movie.

I guess with sport there may be little publishing competition for the FTA broadcaster, for routine matches. So no nose to put out of joint if the FTA quality did improve to the quality of a Blu-ray disc. Apart from perhaps the sports venues. But there will probably always be people who want to be physically present at a sporting event, no matter how good the television coverage becomes.

Edited by MLXXX
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Still the undeniable fact remains, transmitting 3d will result in significantly lower picture quality for any given data rate and compression system than 2d at the same data rate.

Why should the vast majority suffer so a few geeks can have 3d?

I should add that I don’t personally give a rats what happens to free to air TV, I don’t watch it and haven’t for 10 years.

Edited by Owen
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Why should the vast majority suffer so a few geeks can have 3d?

With FTA on 10, non-sports lovers suffer as the HD stream is given over to sport.

With FTA on all channels, bit rates have tumbled to accommodate extra streams (GO!, 7TWO, etc), so lovers of good PQ have suffered.

3D may appear to appeal to geeks only, but Avatar is the highest grossing movie of all time, and sport in 3D shows signs of becoming very popular.

Ask a person to go into a room and report whether the 50" Full HD plasma is tuned to a High Definition stream (say 1440x1080i) or a Standard Definition (720x576i) stream and chances are they will come back to you not all that sure.

Ask them to put on 3D glasses and report whether the TV is showing sport in 3D and it is likely they will come back with a definite yes or no answer, and be right.

3D looks very different to 2D. Colour looks very different to black and white. There are people with degrees of colour blindness; many people with good sight in only one eye; and a very small percentage of people with good sight in both eyes but no stereopsis (sensation of depth based on the disparity between the image stimulating the retina of the left eye, and the image stimulating the retina of the right eye).

Edited by MLXXX
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What makes you think the “market” for 3D is anywhere near as big as HD and TV networks can’t even manage that. Good HD is FAR FAR more useful than 3d and the market was very slow to adopt HD, little wonder the networks lost interest.

I can’t see how 3d will be anything more than a tiny niche market for many years, most people just aren’t interested. Hell a large proportion of the population are still watching SD CRT TV’s and those that have purchased a larger screen HD TV in the last couple of years are not going to be quick to upgrade just to get 3d.

The truth of the matter is that 3d is going to have the same impact on the market as colour TV did when it was introduced into this country in the early 70's.

You mention that

"Hell a large proportion of the population are still watching SD CRT TV’s "

This is one large group of people who will more than likely make the move. They will see it as a total new experience.

Burying your head in the sand and wishing it will go away isn't going to happen.

I was also one of the biggest critics but now admit this is the way the future is heading.

Get on board the 3d bus :D

Edited by CC Rider
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With FTA on 10, non-sports lovers suffer as the HD stream is given over to sport.

With FTA on all channels, bit rates have tumbled to accommodate extra streams (GO!, 7TWO, etc), so lovers of good PQ have suffered.

3D may appear to appeal to geeks only, but Avatar is the highest grossing movie of all time, and sport in 3D shows signs of becoming very popular.

Ask a person to go into a room and report whether the 50" Full HD plasma is tuned to a High Definition stream (say 1440x1080i) or a Standard Definition (720x576i) stream and chances are they will come back to you not all that sure.

Ask them to put on 3D glasses and report whether the TV is showing sport in 3D and it is likely they will come back with a definite yes or no answer and be right.

3D looks very different to 2D. Colour looks very different to black and white. There are people with degrees of colour blindness; many people with good sight in only one eye; and a very small percentage of people with good sight in both eyes but no sensation of depth (stereopsis).

a big plus 1,

QUOTE (Owen @ May 15 2010, 11:48 PM) *

Why should the vast majority suffer so a few geeks can have 3d?

Geeks? Owen please....you have got to be kidding.....

Edited by CC Rider
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