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NHK demos Hybridcast streaming, teams up internet and cable TV for superior 3D delivery

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With all the hubbub surrounding competing 3DTV technology, it's easy to forget the all important delivery process: how is your TV getting its content, and what does it mean for the viewer? It may seem trivial, but the answer is all-too important to the folks at NHK, who are hoping to facilitate Full HD delivery for 3D content using a new hybrid broadcast system. Think you already have Full HD 3D? Think again: most broadcast 3D content is delivered via side by side transmission, forcing two images (one for each eye) into a single 1080p frame. This allows 3D content to pipe through existing HD channels, but when the separate images are reconstituted and upscaled, resolution and picture quality suffer. NHK hopes to resolve this by fusing broadcast transmission with broadband streaming, what it calls Hybridcast. In a recent dual-stream demo, NHK sent the image for one eye over standard HD TV broadcast pipes, and the other through those wondrous internet tubes, eventually reassembling the two streams into a single, Full HD image, ready for your hungry eyeballs. This prototype delivery system is little more than a demo right now, but with any luck, it'll be giving us a whole new reason to freak out about broadband bandwidth caps in the near future.

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