3D Vision Blog

A normal user's look into the world of 3D Stereo Technologies

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Blu-ray Disc Association Has Announced the Final 3D Specifications

December 17th, 2009 · 1 Comment · General 3D News

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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.

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3D Blu-Ray with GPU-Acceleration for Nvidia and 3D Vision Owners

December 9th, 2009 · 4 Comments · GeForce 3D Vision

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Some good news for the owner of 3D Vision stereoscopic setups that just came form NVIDIA. It seem that NVIDIA has been working closely with the leading movie playback software developers, including Arcsoft (TotalMedia Theatre), Corel (WinDVD), Cyberlink (PowerDVD Ultra) and Sonic (Roxio CinePlayer BD), to ensure seamless support for 3D Blu-ray titles when they are ready to ship in 2010. These software players for PC should be compatible with 3D Vision for watching 3D Blu-ray movies when they become available – first half of 2010 positively thinking or the second half negatively thinking. There should also be a GPU-acceleration in the decoding of the AVC-MVC compression that is going to be used by the 3D Blu-ray discs by compatible GeForce-based video cards. And this is to be expected as in order to achieve stereoscopic 3D at Full HD resolution you’ll have to increase the video data up to doubling the information, which in turn will be making it harder to decompress in real time without additional acceleration. The good thing is that the 3D Blu-ray specifications should be able to take advantage of different 3D display technologies, such as frame-sequential with active shutter glasses like 3D Vision and line-sequential or side-by-side with passive polarized glasses. We are all expecting for the 3D Blu-ray specifications to be finalized by the end of December, but there is still a possibility for delays…

Over the last few weeks, NVIDIA has successfully demonstrated playback of 3D content encoded with the AVC Multi-View Codec (or AVC-MVC), the codec that is expected to become the foundation for how 3D content is encoded onto Blu-ray discs. 3D Blu-ray content encoded in AVC–MVC can be decoded in real time on select NVIDIA GPUs — resulting in a home 3D experience that is equal to or better to what is offered in movie theaters today. NVIDIA GPUs that can decode 3D Blu-ray content include the GeForce GT 240 ($99 U.S. MSRP), as well as upcoming next-generation GF100 GPUs based on the NVIDIA “Fermi” architecture. This will allow consumers to build desktop PCs powered by GeForce GPUs and NVIDIA 3D Vision active shutter glasses for under $1000 in total, making them the ideal platform for watching 3D Blu-ray movies, viewing 3D photographs, browsing 3D Web sites, or playing more than 400 PC game titles in 3D.

NVIDIA will be demonstrating 3D Blu-ray playback running on NVIDIA GPUs and NVIDIA 3D Vision technology at the CES trade show in Las Vegas from January 7 to 11, 2010. If you are visiting CES, you shoudl be able to see 3D blu-ray demo on Nvidia’s booth #35912 in the South Hall 4.

Few days ago AMD also announced that it plans to demonstrate the new Blu-ray 3D standard that is “due to arrive on commercial discs in the second half of 2010”. It seems that AMD has partnered with CyberLink to do a preview of the Blu-ray stereoscopic 3D technology during the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show. But unlike NVIDIA’s 3D Vision, AMD hasn’t got its own stereoscopic 3D hardware to present with and there is no information regarding the availability of GPU-acceleration of the AVC-MVC decoding process on ATI GPUs. AMD will be located in the Grand Lobby (GL-8 and GL-10) of the Las Vegas Convention Center, so you better go and take a look if you are visiting CES for more information.

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