Blasting 3DTV in 'Full HD' to Your PC

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Here’s an IBC demo that hits a hat trick of hype: 3D, HD and over-the-top video all rolled into one.

Elemental Technologies, which develops massively parallel video processing systems using off-the-shelf hardware, is showing off what it claims is the world’s first live streaming 3D video in 1080p high-definition format at the IBC conference in Amsterdam. (The 1080p format is considered “full HD” or Blu-ray quality.)

Elemental is working with Microsoft, Level 3 Communications and TVN Group to deliver live 3D content using Microsoft Internet Information Services Smooth Streaming server. Portland, Ore.-based Elemental uses programmable graphics processing units (GPUs) to provide rapid transcoding and support for adaptive bit-rate distribution.

In the demo, an Elemental system is performing multi-bit-rate video encoding for the Microsoft IIS Smooth Streaming architecture on a live 3D TV signal originating from a TVN Group television studio in Hamburg, Germany. The feed going to IBC is not traversing the public Internet: Level 3 is providing content delivery to Amsterdam, where the feed will be delivered to the show floor. Attendees will then view the live streaming 3D video content on a PC-based Silverlight player powered by an Nvidia 3D active-shutter display.

If you’re rigged up with a compatible Nvidia PC, you can try to check out the demo yourself: http://smooth.level3.com/live/ibc2010/msft

According to Elemental, a single system is handling the encoding for HTTP streaming of live 1920-by-1080 3D content and performs simultaneous encoding of five output streams for multiscreen delivery.

Elemental, founded in 2006, is backed by investors including Walt Disney Co.’s Steamboat Ventures, General Catalyst and Voyager Capital. Customers include ABC News, CBS Interactive and Time Warner Cable’s Oceanic division in Hawaii.

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