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Verizon and Panasonic demo broadcast Full HD 3D at CES

Ben Drawbaugh

Currently the only way to feed your 3DTV full HD 3D (1080p per eye) is to watch a Blu-ray disc, which is great and all unless you're a sports fan, than not so much. Motorola and others have been working on ways to deliver Full HD 3D via typical broadcast delivery avenues -- yes, we also want to know what happened to 1080p60 2D -- but at the CES Bloggers Lounge Verizon and Panasonic were demoing said 3D format over a Verizon FiOS TV lab setup. The press release and embedded video (after the break) were short on details, but Verizon did tell us that it takes twice the throughput of 1080p 2D -- which isn't actually the case, but what do you expect when you don't get to talk to the engineers? We assume the demo is using H.264 Multiview Video Coding like Blu-ray uses -- especially since the demo was on a Panasonic Blu-ray player -- but many in the industry question this codec's application in the broadcast world since ESPN claims that its backwards compatibility with 2D isn't as valuable as Dolby and Sensio's way of encoding full HD 3D, which are more efficient. We're very skeptical that this demo will actually amount to any foreseeable measurable benefits to consumers, but are reassured that both companies like 3D enough to spend the time to get together and make a demo happen.

Update: Verizon PR responded and confirmed that the demo is using the same format as 3D Blu-ray; H.264 Multiview Video Coding.

Show full PR text
Panasonic and Verizon Demonstrate an Industry-First at the International Consumer Electronics Show: Full HD 3D Video Over Verizon's FiOS All-Fiber-Optic Network

NEW YORK – Full-resolution high-definition 3D transmission via a premium TV service provider became a reality at this year's 2011 International Consumer Electronics Show. Verizon and Panasonic, a leader in Full HD 3D technology, are streaming Full HD 3D, currently the highest-possible resolution of 3D video, via Verizon's 100 percent fiber-optic FiOS TV service.

The first-of-its-kind demonstration (in the South Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center Room S228) was made possible through a technical collaboration between the two companies, with content streaming over Verizon's future-proof network to a Panasonic Blu-ray 3D player. Engineers from both companies worked closely to co-develop the required network, software and user-interface enhancements that make Full HD 3D possible over the bandwidth-rich FiOS service.

"We're proud of our work with Verizon to develop this Full HD 3D streaming capability," said EisukeTsuyuzaki, chief technology officer, Panasonic Corporation of North America. "Panasonic has always believed that the best way to view 3D is via a Full HD, 1080p resolution image, but until now the only option available has been on Blu-ray DiscTM media. Over Verizon's high-bandwidth FiOS network, we've now shown that this kind of innovation can be accomplished by a premium television service like FiOS as well."

Unlike some competing technologies, Full HD 3D transmissions preserve the complete 1080p picture resolution that consumers have come to expect from their HDTVs. Other solutions degrade the 3D image, typically reducing resolution by half. In a demonstration at the Verizon-sponsored Blogger Lounge, FiOS engineers showed a selection of 3D content streaming to a Panasonic Full HD Blu-ray 3D DiscTM player at a bit rate of up to 18 Mbps (megabits per second) -- double the bit rate currently used by most cable providers.

Tony Melone, chief technology officer for Verizon, said, "Delivering full-resolution 3D content is a natural fit for Verizon's FiOS network. Built with the future in mind, FiOS was designed with the bandwidth headroom to grow along with consumer demand for the latest technologies. Verizon continues to deliver the future of TV and is once again redefining the consumer's at home-entertainment experience."

Last year, Verizon televised the first National Football League game in 3D, the New York Giants versus the New England Patriots, as well as the first Major League Baseball games in 3D, between the New York Yankees and the Seattle Mariners.

Verizon continues to drive the future of TV, with more than 140 HD channels and next-generation interactive services like social networking, DVR management via broadband or mobile phone, and an interactive media guide.

Verizon owns Engadget's parent company, Oath (formerly AOL). Rest assured, Verizon has no control over our coverage. Engadget remains editorially independent.

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