Nine Network 3D Olympic Trial
The Nine Network, TX Australia, and Broadcast Australia have joined together to provide transmission of Nine Network’s free-to-air 3DTV 2012 Olympics trial service.
The service will operate for the entire duration of the Olympics, from 27 July to 13 August 2012 in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and the Gold Coast, Perth and Adelaide.
The trial will be broadcast on digital channel ‘95’ within the coverage areas; with transmission operated through a combination of TX Australia and Broadcast Australia facilities.
Download the full FAQs here.
Where is the trial being broadcast?
The 3D trial broadcast will be available in Sydney Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth and on the Gold Coast. Please note that the trial is being operated with reduced transmission power and with no in-fill translators, so some viewers may be unable to receive the signal.
What programs will be available?
The Nine Network has announced live 3D and highlights coverage of the Olympic telecast, as follows:
* Daily from 11am until 3.30pm/4pm beginning on the 29th of July
In between this coverage, a mix of 3D demonstration material will be provided.
How can I watch it?
To watch the 3D trial broadcast, “you must have a 3D digital television”, and be located in an area where the 3D transmission is being provided. You must have a UHF or combination antenna, directed towards the transmitter site. Enter the tuning menu of your digital receiver and ensure that the television channel being used in your area (see table below) is scanned in.
The digital channel number 95 has been allocated for this trial, and should appear in your channel list after the tuning procedure has been completed successfully. The channel is labelled “Nine Network 3D Olympic Trial”. This same channel number will be used for daily Olympic 3D Broadcasts.
Finally, select the 3D mode and choose “side-by-side” to decode the image. Put on your special 3D glasses and you can enjoy the increased depth and realism of the 3D television broadcast.
Australian Postcode Ranges Predicted to Recieve 3D
Can I watch the digital channel 95 “Nine Network Olympic 3D Trial” through my Foxtel or Foxtel IQ box?
No. This is a free to air trial and has no connection to Foxtel.
How many 3D sets are there in use around the country?
Latest information suggests that 5% of private dwellings have used a 3D capable digital set. This translates to approximately 426 300 homes that have at least one set in use. (Source: Ninelab/Nielsen Olympic Research Program, Mar, 2012).
Will the Nine Network be able to track audience measurement and report the results?
Yes, OzTAM will capture the ratings and create a report on the 3D Broadcast.
Can I watch it if I don’t have a 3D TV?
Many existing digital television receivers may pick up the new signal, and show the 3D Trial on channel 95. However, because it is being broadcast in MPEG-4 format, many older sets will not display a video signal, resulting in just sound with a black screen. Some newer digital receivers that are “Freeview certified” will be able to receive the full signal. This will look like two video signals arranged “side-by-side” with an almost identical image in both halves. Unless you have a 3D television, you cannot decode this signal into the proper stereoscopic 3D format.
You are advised to watch the live event on your regular Nine channel (9 SD, 90 HD).
What is 3D television?
3D Television is more correctly known as Stereoscopic Television. It is the process of capturing and then reproducing two discrete images – one destined for your left eye and one for your right eye. It recreates the depth and spatial positioning that the human eye / brain combination normally resolves. This is what happens when you look at a scene through binoculars or children’s toys like the View-Master.
When we observe objects in real life, we can also move our heads and change our angle of view slightly – enabling us to look behind one object to see another. With 3D TV, each viewer does not have that ability so we must rely on the camera operator and camera position to resolve the locations of objects relative to one another.
How does 3D TV work?
Producing 3D television starts with the ability to capture a dual-image stereoscopic view. Typically this consists of two identical cameras mounted together in a precise rig. The specialized 3D camera rig usually also contains mechanisms to allow adjustment of the cameras relative to each other. Depending on how far away the camera is from the scene being captured, the inter-ocular distance and the focal point must be determined. Often this changes dynamically during a live event, as the camera is repositioned to capture events far away or up close. A stereographic engineer makes careful adjustments to ensure all cameras are calibrated to the same reference – otherwise viewers might be confused when the director cuts from one 3D camera to another.
The stereoscopic images from each camera are cut together in a similar process to regular TV, and then the stereoscopic signal passes through a special 3D encoder. The encoder packages the stereoscopic video into a single HD video signal – typically using the side-by-side method which best suits the Australian HD standard of 1920x1080i.
How is 3D TV being broadcast during the trial?
The 3D content is being broadcast on a special TV channel which has been allocated just for the trial period. The more advanced compression standard MPEG-4 is being used to maximize the quality. We can use this format, because we know that all new 3D TVs can receive MPEG-4 signals. Many of the older HD TV receivers can only receive MPEG-2 signals, so it will be some time before Australian broadcasters can switch exclusively to MPEG-4.
What 3D mode is it broadcast in?
The 3D Trial is being run in side-by-side mode. Select this on your 3D Mode menu option to convert it back into a full-screen 3D image.
You will then need your 3D glasses to convert the “blurry” image to a clear 3D display.
Can I use my PVR to record the 3D signal?
In many cases, yes, but only if your PVR supports MPEG-4 video. Please check your manual or consult your manufacturer or equipment retailer. Even if you don’t have a 3D TV, but are planning to get one later, if you record the live 3D events you will be able to watch them subsequently in full 3D format.
Are there other 3d broadcast events being planned by nine?
This broadcast is a continuation of the first series of trial events, which Nine is undertaking to assess market interest and learn the technical and production techniques required to produce successful 3D TV. This knowledge gained from the trial and the market response will assist Nine to evaluate what other events may be conducted in 3D in the future.
Why is this being done now?
Developments in the professional and consumer manufacturing industries have advanced to the extent that 3D television is now a realistic consumer option. The worldwide interest generated in 3D viewing is growing after box-office smash movies like “Avatar”. Australia still has sufficient broadcast spectrum to allow this trial to be conducted, which the Government has been keen to support to allow Australian consumers to sample this new technology option.
Do I need to wear those silly 3d glasses?
Yes you do! 3D works by delivering a different image to the left and right eye. Whilst some “glasses free” display technologies have been demonstrated, it is an immature and expensive option not yet on the mass market.
Most domestic consumer 3D TVs use the active shutter glasses, which synchronise with the TV display and deliver a full image 3D signal to each alternative eye. The other common technology uses polarised glasses similar to what you use at the movies. These will only work if you have a 3D TV screen with a polarising filter or a 3D home projector.
Where can I get more info?
Many manufacturers have helpful information on their websites, or you can go to a Harvey Norman retail outlet in regions where the 3D Trial is being conducted for a live demonstration of the products available.
Download the full FAQs here.
About TX Australia Pty Limited (TXA)
TXA is Australia’s leading broadcast transmission facilities and service provider in the five major mainland metropolitan capital cities of Australia. TXA’s infrastructure caters for the analogue and digital television transmission of the commercial metropolitan television networks, the national television broadcasters, FM radio and Digital Audio Broadcasting.
TXA infrastructure is also available for telecommunication / data services, point to point microwave, Internet Service Providers, community broadcasters, emergency services and emerging technology applications. TXA’s highly qualified and experienced technical staff are available for maintenance, installation and project management to support client’s requirements.
About Broadcast Australia
A leading provider of critical communications solutions, Broadcast Australia connects its clients with their audiences and users across multiple platforms. The company’s digital television and radio transmission expertise is founded on over 80 years experience as the owner and operator of one of the most extensive terrestrial broadcast transmission networks in the world.
Broadcast Australia also develops world-class solutions and applications for new and emerging technologies—such as Infocasting, Digital Radio and Mobile TV.