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This page was published on 23/10/2006
Published: 23/10/2006


Published: 23 October 2006  
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3D TV could be a reality ‘in a few years'

The coordinator of an EU-funded research team recently stated that 3D images will be commonplace in mass communication in the near future, but that we'll have to wait nearly a decade for holographic three dimensional television. Levent Onural, coordinator of the 3DTV project, claims that the timing of his project is perfect in terms of bringing together current technology, research and consumer demand.

New research will make 3-D glasses a quaint reminder of past technology. © Matt+
New research will make 3-D glasses a quaint reminder of past technology.
“Stereoscopy-based 3DTV and 3D cinema are expected to be a common form of mass communications in a few years. However, high-end performance and technologies based on holographic techniques probably need another ten years of intensive and extensive research,” he adds.

“Dynamic holographic displays for satisfactory holographic motion pictures are still far away,” stresses Mr Onural. “Another decade might be needed before they become a commercial reality. However, basic research to investigate these high-end 3D displays is moving forward with considerable momentum.”

Stereoscopic technology creates the type of 3D images most of us are used to, where two different images are displayed to produce the illusion of depth. The research team has already developed the technology for several different auto-stereoscopic displays. Auto-stereoscopic images are based on traditional 3D technology but require no glasses produce the illusion.

The 3DTV project, with a consortium of 19 partners from seven countries and over 200 researchers, is the largest of its kind working to bring the futuristic technology into our living rooms in the not so distant future. The project is mid-way through its four-year long mandate, and stirring interest among TV producers and consumers alike.

“We have working lab prototypes of 3D video capture using multiple cameras. We can process and represent 3D scenes from the captured multi-video sequences, and our proposal for compression of multi-view 3D video data is leading the related ISO-MPEG4 standardisation activities. Furthermore, we can stream stereo-video through the internet, and we have various types of 3D display device prototypes in place,” Mr Onural.

The project aims not only to develop the technology needed for 3DTV, but lay the foundations for infrastructure to ensure the success of the technology.

“One of our targets was to achieve a durable integration of researchers. We therefore expect to continue our collective efforts well beyond the lifetime of this project. We expect many spin-off projects, using the current collaboration as a platform, after the 3DTV project ends,” he says.

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3DTV homepage
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