In an effort to aid producers, programmers and aggregators of stereoscopic 3D programming, CableLabs has published its first 3D content encoding specification.

The new spec, which is called Content Encoding Profiles 3.0 Specification,  is available on CableLabs' Website under the OpenCable specification.

CableLabs said the new specification detailed the exact requirements for formatting or "panelizing" the 3D content into a frame-compatible format for use by cable television systems.

"This spec release marks a great step in the commercialization of 3D TV because it is the first public specification that fully describes the coding and signaling for these top-and-bottom and side-by-side 3D video formats," said Tony Werner, CTO of Comcast. 

The new CEP specification replaced the previous VOD-Content Encoding Profile 2.0 specification that was widely used within the industry. CableLabs said the new specification expand upon the existing 2D coding framework defined by the previous version of this document and would be used as the reference for both 2D and 3D video coding going forward.

CableLabs said the new spec was the first step in a continuing process to define 3D formats for cable television that works with existing equipment and infrastructure.

"This new CableLabs specification was developed with support from cable operators, programmers and equipment vendors and will be publicly available for any industry to use," said CableLabs President and CEO Paul Liao.