Video software

Moto Set-Tops Get Some 3D Smarts

5:20 PM -- The Masters is over, but the 3DTV hype rages on. (See Photos: Comcast Tees Up 3DTV Masters and Masters 3DTV Coverage Exclusive to Cable .)

Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT), the biggest US set-top supplier, has given its CableCARD-based DCX set-top line some 3DTV smarts in the form of a software upgrade -- and will be showing off its new handiwork at this week's National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) show in Las Vegas. (See Moto Boxes Up 3DTV Software.)

The new "enhancements" enable the DCX boxes to automatically detect the presence of 3D content so consumers don't have to switch the TV from 2D to 3D mode manually -- so that'll save a few remote control button presses and a few seconds of precious time.

Moto's new software is taking things a step further by automatically reformatting all on-screen text and graphics -- including closed captioning, emergency alerts, and electronic program guides -- so they are properly displayed by the 3DTV set.

For now, Moto's newly integrated 3D signal processing software is limited to DCX boxes. Earlier-generation DCT-class digital boxes are perfectly capable of passing through so-called "frame-compatible" 3D content to 3DTV sets, but customers who use those boxes will still have to set up their TVs manually and won't have the benefit of Moto's 3D content reformatting technique. However, Moto says it's working with customers to add 3DTV support to set-top models "beyond the DCX."

And it's still not entirely clear how soon consumers with DCX boxes will see the difference. Moto's demonstrating the new software at this week's show, but did not indicate when (or which) MSOs intend to install the new software on their DCX models.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

Jeff Baumgartner 12/5/2012 | 4:39:53 PM
re: Moto Set-Tops Get Some 3D Smarts

Moto tells us that it's already supplied MSOs with an "early release" of this new set-top software for their evaluation, but didn't offer up when it expects operators to start rolling out these new enhancements on a commercial basis…

So don't hold your breath if you happen to be one of the few people out there with a DCX model and a 3D-capable TV set and get services from an operator that intends to offer this new breed of stereoscopic 3D content. JB

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