Broadcast transmission specialist Broadcast Australia has today become the first to broadcast three-dimensional television (3D TV) signals terrestrially over the air.
The trial 3D TV service was switched-on in Sydney by Broadcast Australia and in Brisbane by TX Australia at 00:00 this morning.
This 3D broadcast service launches a two-month trial undertaken by Nine Network Australia and SBS Corporation. The service will be turned-on progressively in seven major Australian cities over the next few weeks. As transmission partners in these cities, Broadcast Australia and TX Australia will deliver to Australian fans up to 15 matches from the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, plus three rugby league matches from the 2010 State of Origin Series between NSW and Queensland, live in 3D.
"Broadcast Australia is thrilled to be involved in this trial and to broadcast the first-ever 3D TV content via terrestrial means," said Broadcast Australia?s Managing Director Graeme Barclay. "We applaud the ACMA?s decision to grant the temporary license to Nine and SBS jointly, allowing Australia to help demonstrate the future possibilities for new broadcast technology platforms. It is this sort of innovation that highlights the need to reserve new broadcast spectrum for new broadcast services in the Government?s forthcoming spectrum plan."
Broadcast Australia has modified several of its broadcast transmission systems to support the 3D TV signal, which is encoded using the latest MPEG-4 compression standard and utilises a side-by-side 'frame compatible' 3D transmission technique. These systems have been integrated into Broadcast Australia?s Network Operations Centre (NOC) in Sydney, for 24-hour monitoring and control of the 3D signal. The spectrum used for the trial is one of the 'unassigned' UHF channels in each city?in Sydney, it is the same channel vacated on 30 April 2010 by Broadcast Australia?s 'niche TV' trial service.
The first live 3D free to air TV broadcast will take place on 26 May, when the first State of Origin match is scheduled to be played in Sydney. This will be followed by two more State of Origin matches and up to 15 World Cup soccer matches until the trial ends in mid July. In the meantime, demonstration 3D content will be broadcast from Broadcast Australia?s Gore Hill site and TX Australia?s Mt Coot-tha site.