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Cable Technology Feature Article

September 02, 2010

CableLabs Publishes Content Encoding Profiles 3.0 Specification

By Anuradha Shukla, TMCnet Contributor

With the advancement of computer graphics in the recent years, there is rapid development of 3D digital shape information.

Recently, CableLab published a new specification as a guide for producers, programmersand aggregators of stereoscopic 3D programming. This new specification, called Content Encoding Profiles 3.0 Specification (OC-SP-CEP3.0-I01-100827), can be found on the CableLabs (News - Alert) website, www.cablelabs.com, under OpenCable' Specifications. This new specification details exact requirements for formatting or 'panelizing' the 3D content into a frame-compatible format for use by cable television systems.

Tony Werner, CTO of Comcast (News - Alert) said that this specification release marks a great step in the commercialization of 3D TV because it is the first public specification that fully describes the coding and signaling for these top-and-bottom and side-by-side 3D video formats.

Michael Kazmier, CTO of Avail-TVN, said that ensuring that content from all programming sources and cable systems is prepared in a uniform way will enable a nationwide footprint for 3D programming and enable interoperability with STBs and 3DTVs in the home.

Jim Occhiuto, vice president of Technology and Engineering, Showtime Networks said that a key part of this specification includes the definitions for signaling 3D content over existing digital video infrastructure that uses either MPEG-2 or MPEG-4 (AVC/H.264) coding and this his signaling is critical for the receiver/decoder to enable automatic format detection and simplified user experiences when going between 2D and 3D programs.

CableLabs president and CEO Paul Liao said that this new CableLabs specification was developed with support from cable operators, programmers and equipment vendors and will be publicly available for any industry to use.

The new CEP specification takes the place of the previous VOD-Content Encoding Profile 2.0 specification that was widely used within the industry. This new specification builds upon the existing 2D coding framework defined by the previous version of this document and will be used as the reference for both 2D and 3D video coding going forward. It represents the first step in a continuing process to define 3D formats for cable television that works with existing equipment and infrastructure.

Anuradha Shukla is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Anuradha’s article, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Juliana Kenny