Production & Exchange Formats for 3DTV Programmes

General Guidance for the Production of 3D programmes

This recommendation gives technical aid to broadcasters who intend to use 2D HDTV infrastructures to produce 3DTV programmes. Another EBU document on 3DTV production guidelines will be published that will deal with issues such as the grammar of 3DTV scene production (depth range, permissible parallax, convergence etc.).


The EBU, considering that:
1. Members that produce, archive and distribute Plano-Stereoscopic television (3DTV) have a responsibility to ensure their 3D quality meets a standard that satisfies their audiences and that they are able to exchange these programmes internationally whilst maintaining the 3D quality and the long term viability of their archives.
2. Stereoscopic 3DTV presently requires two separate views of the same subject (Left and Right Eye) that, once captured, must be processed, carried and stored in such a way that no errors are introduced that might affect one signal more than, or differently from the other, including the relative timing of the two signals.
3. Some Members may be required to distribute content for public viewings or to cinemas equipped with digital projection systems (‘theatrical distribution of 3DTV’).

Recommends that:
1. Both images (Left and Right eye) have the full resolution of the HDTV system being employed1.

2. Although System 4 (1080p/50) is the target for 3DTV production and exchange, Systems 1, 2 and 3 are acceptable for current 3DTV production.

3. No emission style sub-sampling shall be applied to the signals for production and exchange of 3DTV programme.

4. The left eye image signal shall be designated as the A-Signal and the right eye image signal shall be designated as the B-Signal.

5. The timing difference between the A-Signal and B-Signal SDI streams shall not exceed ±330ps2.


6. The A-Signal may be used for an alternative 2D transmission.

7. Where required, twin (dual link) 3 Gbit/s HD-SDI links according to SMPTE ST 424 (2006) and SMPTE ST 425-1 (2011) are used to carry both images at full resolution.

8. The international sound is carried as discrete PCM audio signals embedded in the A-Signal.

9. 3D programming is accompanied by multi-channel audio (5.1 surround sound).


1. General Guidance for the Production of 3D programmes
1.1 Acquisition
1.2 Contribution Links
1.3 Standards Conversion
1.4 Distribution formats


2. Recommendations based on EBU Tech 3299
2.1 System 4
2.1.1 3G HD-SDI
2.1.2 Recording and archive
2.1.3 Cameras and Camera codecs

2.2 Systems 2 & 3
2.2.1 HD-SDI
2.2.2 Recording and archive
2.2.3 Cameras and Camera Codecs

2.3 System 1
2.3.1 HD-SDI
2.3.2 Recording and archive
2.3.3 Cameras and Camera Codecs
2.3.4 Format conversion

3. Bibliography

Download the PDF Docunment here