3D Technology One Of NAB 2009’s Biggest Trends

If NAB had a trend this year it would be hard to argue against 3D being a top trend. There was definitely a plethora of 3D products on display and they were found in almost every category. You’ll find 3D in almost every category that I post about NAB 2009 and in this post I’ll cover a number of 3D specific items.

JVC’s  2D to 3D Conversion Monitor

JVCs 2D to 3D Conversion Monitor

JVC's 2D to 3D Conversion Monitor

At NAB 2009 JVC was showcasing its 46 inch GD-463D10. It’s a 3D HD LCD display that has built in 2D to 3D conversion meaning it can convert 2D broadcasts to 3D. From what I could uncover on the Internet, the set employs JVC’s unique real time 2D to 3D conversion technology that filters a 2D signal and creates left and right eye images for the monitor as part of the conversion process.

The set itself that sports three HDMI input terminals that are compatible with 1080/24p, 50p, 60p, 50i and 60i video signals. Its input signals can be displayed as 3D images 50i and 60i for side by side format. It uses the Xpol polarizing filter method that JVC claims a stable and flicker free visual 3D image and the HD 3D display will ship with two pairs of light polarizing glasses.

This process of converting from 2D to 3D is not new. Below is a video created by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University that taught a computer to recognize and transform 2D images into 3D that they posted a couple of years ago.

P+S 3DStereoRIG

P+S 3DStereoRIG

P+S 3DStereoRIG

A number of booths were showing the 3D Stereo Rig by P+S Technik that I blogged about last year. The manufacturer claims that camera’s mounted in the fashion shown here allow one to create stereoscopic films without the limitations of a side-by-side system meaning the rig can house most cameras and lenses you want from HDV to 4K.

Transvideo -CineMonitorHD 3DView

Transvideo CineMonitorHD 3DView

Transvideo CineMonitorHD 3DView

Another product I saw a lot a NAB was Transvideo’s CineMonitorHD 3DView. Its probably positioned well because its the first HD SDI monitor in the world for 3D D-Cinema field use. The CineMonitorHD 3D View includes several modes to help the operator to correlate cameras and to preview the image in anaglyph mode.

Binocle – 3D Products

Single SI-2K Mini in rig for hand held production.

Single SI-2K Mini in rig for hand held production.

I spent a little time at Silicon Imaging’s booth looking at their SI-2K (more in my post on camera’s). One company that they have partnered with is Binocle. Binocle develops and provides production and post-production tools for stereoscopic filming and they develop them because they are also a production company that specializes in the shooting and processing of stereoscopic images.

This rig (being held by Many of Nerdlogger) is holding a single SI-2K Mini for hand held shoulder mount production.

This rig (being held by Many of Nerdlogger) is holding a single SI-2K Mini for hand held shoulder mount production.

This rig is holding two SI-2K Minis on a tripod for stereoscopic (3D) production.

This rig is holding two SI-2K Mini's on a tripod for stereoscopic (3D) production.

Da-Lite 3D Screens

3D Projection Screen

3D Projection Screen

I hadn’t really thought about it all that much prior to coming across Da-Lite at NAB but 3D projection has normally required a Silver Screen. Da-Lite was showing an alternative screen designed specifically for 3D front projection systems. Their 3D Virtual Grey screen is comprised of a flexible vinyl projection fabric that retains 99 percent of polarized light and includes the ability to maintain high extinction values which helps to eliminate ghosting or crosstalk that’s common with stereoscopic 3D projection.

By delivering 99 percent polar retention the screen helps overcome the biggest obstacle in passive 3D stereoscopic projection that was the ability of the projection screen to retain or “hold” the polarization of the image on the screen.

Vizrt and STATS Holographic-effect Technology

Vizrt and STATS Holographic-effect Technology on CNN

Vizrt and STATS Holographic-effect Technology on CNN

Vizrt and STATS showed off their holographic-effect technology, used by CNN on the 2009 Presidential Election Night. The technology that enables a remotely located person to electronically appear in the studio. A live demonstration at their booth showed how the system requires that a semicircle of small cameras be positioned around the guest standing against a green screen in a remote studio, while in the main studio, a single camera is equipped with special sensors that position the virtual guest next to the live guest.  The system uses STATS’ video processing and tracking technology, in tandem with Vizrt’s real-time tracking and rendering software.

The system shown at NAB included 28 fixed cameras in a semi-circle use as the guest location. It did look significantly better than what was shown on CNN. CNN had degraded the incoming guest images on Election night so they would be accused of doctoring images.

Miranda Kaleido X16 3-D Multiviewer

Miranda X-16 Has 3D Capabilities

Miranda X-16 Has 3D Capabilities

To prepare the television sports market for 3D Miranda introduced a new 3-D multiviewer, called the Kaleido X16 targeted at  live sports applications. It was developed for a terrestrial broadcast network that was interested in distributing 3-D content.

Miranda demonstrated the system in its booth using 3D-capable professional monitors from JVC and Hyundai monitoring camera feeds in 3D form during live productions. Its target market is trucks and control rooms when 3D HD takes off.

Miranda feels that the interest in some broadcasters building 3-gig plants is based on growing interest in 3D HD. Technically the 1RU Kaleido-X16 has 16 video inputs, two multi-viewer outputs, an integrated 16×2 router, and can be used with 3Gbps/HD/SD and analog video. One other bonus (and trust me this is important from experience), it has an ultra-quiet design appropriate for use in mobile environments, allowing it to be installed next to an operator. For those who have existing Kaleido-X models, they can be upgraded to 3D operation by inserting a new processing card.

Cooke’s /i Intelligent Technology For Lenses

Cooke’s /i Intelligent Technology for lenses can be used to match each other in 3D. It enables film and digital cameras to automatically record key lens and camera data for every frame shot and provides it to post-production teams.

NICT Display Emerging Technologies from Japan’s National Institute of Information and Communications Technology

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Normally I would have started this post with this notation but the range of technologies shown at Japan’s National Institute of Information and Communications Technology booth (NICT) was a show highlight. Rather than describe it all in great detail the video (above) shows –as best it can– the range of displays found within the display.

NICT’s Electronic Holography

NICT’s electronic holography was only one of 11 technologies they demonstrated at NAB 2009. The picture quality on some of the demonstrations, such as their 4K and 8K demonstrations, is far superior to that of HDTV.

Live Electronic Holography

In terms of their live electronic colour holography (shown in video) the reproduction end appeared to be true wavefront reconstruction. Laser beams were used for the three primary colors and the resulting tiny hologram and a limited angle but did appear to float .  Being a very early developmental prototype it showed some laser speckle and suffered other noise artifacts. The demonstration was neat and was reminiscent of John Logie Bairds early televisor demonstrations.

NICT’s Holographic Camera

However on the capture end the system was not holographic. It used an “integral camera.” which in this case was  an ultra-high-definition camera (8K) shooting a planar array of small lenses. The images from those lenese are processed by a computer into an “interference-pattern type” hologram. These patterns are sent electronically to three small liquid-crystal displays, which are illuminated by the reproduction lasers.

NHK’s Integral 3D Camera

NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corp.) also showed a very similar 8K integral camera in the booth. The image was projected directly onto an integral screen. Viewers needed no 3D glasses with integral and could move their heads to see around objects. This technology is shown in the video above.

Even thougu NICT’s and NHK’s integral-camera demonstrations resulted in very crude images and like Jhn Logie Bairds “televisor” there is no technological reason preventing future improvements that will pave the way for “glassses free” 3DTV.

NICT’s Other Wonders….

NICT also showed a PC capable of 4K playback that could be scaled to 8K playback, a multi-sensory 3D interaction system, an infra-red interaction system that require no surface to touch, gCubik technology that actually alows one to grasp a “glasses free” 3D image, their 8K video technology downconverted to 4K and HDTV plus the ability to Electronically Zoom an 8K camera. All are shown in the video above.

Other 3D Items

Digital Mobile Broadcasting 3D Receiver

Digital Mobile Broadcasting 3D Receiver

CGS3 Virtual Camera Control

CGS3 Virtual Camera Control

CGS3 Virtual Camera Control

CGS3 Virtual Camera Control

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Red Will Reveal SCARLET! Will SONY Release the F35 4K Camera? Cooke Has Packaged RED Lenses. But What is Panasonic Going To Do? Will All Be Revealed At NAB 2008????

CINE ALTAI’ve been spend time over the last two weeks preparing my annual trip to the National Association of Broadcasters Conference (NAB). For those who have never been to the show it’s where all the latest and greatest technology surfaces related to the various aspects of broadcasting. Over the past few years the show has become much more production oriented from a content creation perspective. With the emergence of 4K digital Cinema camera’s (aka RED Digital One, DALSA etc.) over the past year and a growing interest from the broadcast community on mobile media these will be the two area’s I’ll be focusing on at NAB. Don’t be surprised if you see a deluge of postings on this blog about NAB over the next week as I prepare for my annual sojourn.

Since Digital Cinema (4K) is on my list I’ve discovered that last November SONY announced an agreement with OMNIBUS JAPAN Inc. to supply Sony’s high-end “F23” line of “CineAlta” digital cinema cameras, as well as the “F35” newly launched in Japan. I’ve found a number of obscure references to it on the Internet and it appears that this new member of SONY’s CineAlta family will shoot on an imager that matches a 35mm film frame….

On another front the Red Digital Cinema Camera Company, another Digital Cinema camera manufacturer, has posted that it plans to reveal details about “Scarlet”, a pocket professional digital cinema camera.

Red continues to garner a lot of “community” interest around their technology. Since the technology hit the street some months ago in Toronto everybody has been talking about the camera. I see that Cooke Optics has joined the revolution as it now offers The Cooke RED Set which is a special package of four S4/i lenses that offers a range of focal lengths from 15 to 100mm.

In reviewing the list of 2 and 4K camera manufacturers I don’t see Panasonic! I expect NAB will reveal more of the Digital Cinema story….

….brad….