CyberLink has officially released their new PowerDVD 10 player that is supposedly first to offer Blu-ray 3D playback support and 2D to 3D real-time conversion of all kind of movies, but don’t be too happy yet. The currently available version of PowerDVD 10 still has quite limited stereoscopic 3D support with an update that will be called PowerDVD 10 Mark II coming this summer that is supposed to actually add support for Blu-ray 3D playback and the realtime 2D to 3D video conversions for all media files. Still the currently available version is not left alone with no stereo 3D features, but they are kind of quite limited and not that impressive after I checked them out with the free tiral version available to test the new video player. In the first version of PowerDVD 10 you only get 2D to 3D realtime video conversion of DVD Video content, which might be considered Ok by some people, but it is not worth buying the player now just because of that S3D feature. Unless of course if you buy the top version of PowerDVD 10 that is called Ultra 3D (will cost you $99.95 USD), because if you do so when Mark II update is out you’ll begetting it for free.
The good thing is that the stereoscopic 3D technologies supported are not limited to 3D Vision only (update to the latest drivers is recommended), there is also support available fore passive polarized displays (Zalman Trimon, Acer Aspire 3D etc.) and even 3D-ready HDTVs. The last one however currently refers only to 3D-ready DLP television sets and not the new equipped with HDMI 1.4 HDTVs with 3D capabilities. Although I suppose that in the Mark II version of PowerDVD 10 the 3D HDTV support will be upgraded in order to also work with the new 3D-ready hardware that uses the HDMI 1.4 stereoscopic 3D specs.
I’ve tried the 2D to 3D video conversion in real-time DVD Video that is currently the only stereoscopic 3D feature available in PowerDVD 10, including in the free trial version I’ve used for checking the feature out. It has turned out to be a bit of disappointment as Cyberlink seems to be taking the easy road by using the most basic conversion methods. I’m talking about the Pulfrich-like effect achieved by creating one frame offset and further enhancing it by additional frame deformation, so in the end what you can expect is nothing more than what is achieved by the freely available on this blog – 2D to 3D Realtime Video Conversion Script for Avisynth v0.3. And with the Avisynth script you can convert to pseudo stereo 3D just about any video file for free, unlike the currently limited to DVD Video functionality present in PowerDVD 10, so I’d suggest to wait for the competition or the Mark II version of PowerDVD before making a decision what to buy for Blu-ray 3D playback and real-time conversion of 2D video into pseudo 3D.