Finally the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) has announced the finalization and release of the “Blu-ray 3D” specification, which is actually a great news and happened just as expected (by the end of this year). Now it is time to see the Hollywood movie studios, and not only them, starting to announce their upcoming releases of movies on Blu-ray 3D media in Stereoscopic 3D format as soon as possible, right?
The Blu-ray 3D specification should allow every Blu-ray 3D player (these should start appearing very soon) and movie to deliver Full HD 1080p resolution to each eye with optimum image quality. The great news is that the specification is display independent, meaning that Blu-ray 3D products will deliver stereoscopic 3D image to any compatible 3D display, regardless of the technology it is based on used (LCD, Plasma or other) and the technology used to deliver the 3D content to the viewer.
The Blu-ray 3D specification is also designed to allow PS3 game consoles to play back Blu-ray 3D content in 3D as expected, but this will require a firmware update, although it is still not clear if it will be the same one we’ll need in order to bring S3D gaming support on the console or not. Additionally, the specification supports playback of 2D discs in forthcoming 3D players and can enable 2D playback of Blu-ray 3D discs on the large installed base of Blu-ray Disc players currently in homes around the world, so the backwards compatibility is maintained.
The Blu-ray 3D specification, as expected will be using for the encoding of 3D video the Multiview Video Coding (MVC) codec, an extension to the ITU-T H.264 Advanced Video Coding (AVC) codec currently supported by all Blu-ray Disc players. MPEG4-MVC compresses both left and right eye views (side by side) with a typical 50% overhead compared to equivalent 2D content (50 percent bigger files), and can provide full 1080p resolution backward compatibility with current 2D Blu-ray Disc players. The specifications also incorporate enhanced graphic features for 3D, providing a new experience for users, enabling navigation using 3D graphic menus and displaying 3D subtitles positioned in 3D video.
The completed specification will be available shortly and provides individual manufacturers and content providers with the technical information and guidelines necessary to develop, announce and bring products to market pursuant to their own internal planning cycles and timetables.