Integral 3D TV system projects a promising future (w/ Video)

Aug 27, 2010 By Lisa Zyga feature
This reconstructed 3D image was created using the integral 3D TV imaging system. Image credit: Arai, et al. (c)2010 IEEE.

(PhysOrg.com) -- Critics of 3D viewing may call the technology a passing fad, but if engineers can overcome some of the challenges of today's 3D systems, 3D TV could work its way into becoming a common household product. There are several different ways to create 3D images on a display, and each has its own advantages and disadvantages. In one of the latest approaches, researchers from Japan have developed an integral 3D TV system based on the 100-year-old technique of integral photography that uses large numbers of lenses and pixels to transform ordinary photographs into 3D video.

The engineers, from NHK (the Japan Broadcasting Corporation) in Tokyo and JVC Kenwood Holdings, Inc., in Kanagawa, have been developing and improving their integral system for the last several years. Their most recent system will be published in an upcoming issue of The Journal of .

One advantage of the integral 3D method is that, since it relies on a large (400 lenses in the horizontal direction and 250 in the vertical direction), it doesn’t require viewers to wear glasses and offers more viewing flexibility.

“The greatest advantage of our system is its suitability for the broadcasting system, i.e., glasses-free display, full-parallax (viewers can enjoy 3D images from any posture) and real-time motion imaging,” Jun Arai of NHK told PhysOrg.com.

The experimental setup for (a) capturing video and (b) displaying video. Both steps involve a large array of convex lenses to generate a 3D effect. Image credit: Arai, et al. (c)2010 IEEE.

To record images, a large array of many convex lenses is placed in front of a Super Hi-Vision camera, which records the direction and intensity of light as viewed from slightly different directions. To display the images to a viewer, a Super Hi-Vision projector projects the images onto a diffusion screen, in front of which is an identical convex lens array. This set-up can recreate the direction and intensity of the light that was originally recorded. Since each lens looks slightly different at different viewing angles, the images look slightly different from different directions, giving a 3D impression.

In terms of the image characteristics, there is a trade-off in the system in which an increase in the viewing angle results in a decrease in the . To maximize both characteristics, the researchers explain that it is necessary to shorten the distance between the lens array and the display device, and also narrow the pitch of the lenses, which requires a large number of pixels. Overall, the system uses a total of 7,680 pixels in the horizontal direction and 4,320 pixels in the vertical direction. With these adjustments, the researchers could ensure a viewing angle of 24 degrees and a spatial frequency that is 2.4 times higher than that of their previous system. Arai added that it should be possible to further improve both the viewing angle and image resolution with future research.

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A demonstration of an integral 3D TV video. Credit: Jun Arai.

“The greatest challenges in improving this system are capturing and displaying a huge amount of information,” Arai said. “To maximize both [viewing angle and image resolution], in principle, a large number of pixels is required. Today, the large number of pixels and lenses required make this system complex and expensive to manufacture. This is a problem for manufacturing a consumer product. In the future, I predict the progress in mass production technology will solve this problem.”

Explore further: Squink personal factory aims to make circuit prototyping easy

More information: Jun Arai, et al. “Integral Three-Dimensional Television Using a 33-Megapixel Imaging System.” Journal of Display Technology. To be published. DOI:10.1109/JDT.2010.2050192

3.2 /5 (13 votes)

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User comments : 15

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Eezyville
5 / 5 (4) Aug 27, 2010
What's the point of this video if I can't see it in 3D?
Kedas
4.3 / 5 (3) Aug 27, 2010
It's so you can see how bad the quality is.
Bob_Kob
1 / 5 (2) Aug 27, 2010
All 3d tv is good for is the old 'something coming out the screen at you' gag..
trekgeek1
2.8 / 5 (4) Aug 27, 2010
Stupid flash player, the video was still 2D.
HealingMindN
2.3 / 5 (3) Aug 27, 2010
Considering the viewing angle and that the technology will probably give us headaches anyway, what about just 3D TV glasses? then we can just watch 3D TV anywhere. If it still needs a projector, then build everything into a hat. What about a 3D TV shirt?
Parsec
5 / 5 (3) Aug 27, 2010
Actually, using 3D would be enormously helpful to medical researchers exploring the shape of active reaction sites, examining tumors or parts of the body in 3D would assist surgery, etc. This is far far beyond the 'something coming out of the screen at you' gag.

I personally don't think we will have really achieved true 3D until we get pixel density to the point of hologram reproduction (in color) which requires 10K-50K pixels per inch, along with the appropriate camera's required (think multi gigapixel motion picture speeds).

Since I still remember the day when it took heroic efforts to save the 2 or 3 gigabytes per day incoming stream from the first Landsat satellites, I have no doubt that this capability will dawn sooner than anyone thinks.

We are still at the baby step stages.
JMDragonWake
not rated yet Aug 27, 2010
If these 3D TVs are ever going to reach shelves, they will have to have to processing power to up-convert stereoscopic video in real-time, according to the current standards that exist for video games and Blu-ray movies. Of course the conversion can't be perfect because stereoscopy encodes no vertical parallax information, but a sophisticated computer vision algorithm could go a long way toward restoring the full scene in 3D. It's also important because then the video stream doesn't need to have the throughput to support full holographic resolution; the video can be standard 1080p 3D until it gets upscaled on a chip inside the display.
Paradox
1 / 5 (1) Aug 28, 2010
All 3d tv is good for is the old 'something coming out the screen at you' gag..


Although most 3D movies do just that, if done correctly it adds a sense of realism that 2D movies do not. Did you not see Avatar? Regardless what people think of the storyline, the 3D was tastefully done, and it showed what could be possible with the 3D if not just thrown in for the shock value.
All the others I have seen would have been just as good without the 3D.
MarkyMark
1 / 5 (1) Aug 28, 2010
If done right a film with 3D can be pretty immersive [Take Avatar as an example].

Of course it can be done badly as well.
ppnlppnl
not rated yet Aug 28, 2010
Would someone please find the person spamming this site with shoe adds and dwark them in a vlendish manner?
Husky
not rated yet Aug 28, 2010
yeh, somebody give that shoeadder the boot
stealthc
5 / 5 (1) Aug 29, 2010
3d tv is horrible. It is just a scam to get people to pay double the price for their product. Most modern day tv's can do the same thing but manufacturer's explicitly wish to use this to coax people into replacing things that already work. Any 120hz tv will do.
ScientistAmauterEnthusiast
1 / 5 (1) Aug 29, 2010
3d tv is horrible. It is just a scam to get people to pay double the price for their product. Most modern day tv's can do the same thing but manufacturer's explicitly wish to use this to coax people into replacing things that already work. Any 120hz tv will do.


Paranoid much?

It's not a scam, it is a choice, one that requires new hardware you are not being forced to buy. Even if you get a 3D ready television, you can just turn the feature off ( or on assuming on default settings ).

Only someone with no imagination/ a closed mind would be negative about such progress.
Egnite
not rated yet Aug 30, 2010
Lol, paranoid that corporations may sell you something you don't need? Wow, how could that ever happen? Naive much??

When did 3d come out anyway? 80s or something? I was too young to notice but why anyone calls this progression in 2010 I can't understand. I can only assume they are easily pleased by slight adaptions to products they already have and possibly enjoy resurrecting past fads.

When I buy 3d I expect to get off my sofa, walk to the side of my 3dtv and see sideboob!! That's what 3d is afterall, not just some 2d image with a couple millimetres of perceived depth.
ScientistAmauterEnthusiast
5 / 5 (1) Aug 31, 2010
Lol, paranoid that corporations may sell you something you don't need? Wow, how could that ever happen? Naive much??

When did 3d come out anyway? 80s or something? I was too young to notice but why anyone calls this progression in 2010 I can't understand. I can only assume they are easily pleased by slight adaptions to products they already have and possibly enjoy resurrecting past fads.

When I buy 3d I expect to get off my sofa, walk to the side of my 3dtv and see sideboob!! That's what 3d is afterall, not just some 2d image with a couple millimetres of perceived depth.


3D came out way before the 80's, it is progression in 2010 because the technology is becoming mainstream and much more advanced. Comparing old 3D techniques ( the blue and red glasses ) to current and developing ones is completely unfair.

lol @ sideboob though.