The movie Monsters vs Aliens has been available on Blu-ray 3D for some time as a bundle with different products for Samsung’s 3D HDTVs and not sold separately. And next month we’ll probably see the Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs as the first available with and without any bundles from Sony. If you do own a Blu-ray 3D hardware player then you should be quite Ok, but then again if you also have a 3D Vision equipped PC or any other stereo 3D setup on your computer you are still out of luck. We’ve got a promise that all of the major DVD Video/Blu-ray Video software players for the PC will support Blu-ray 3D and 3D Vision, probably along with other solutions, but we still don’t have any of these released with the promised support as of this time. And the four major players with expected Blu-ray 3D support are as follows: Arcsoft TotalMedia Theatre, Corel WinDVD, Cyberlink PowerDVD Ultra and Sonic Roxio CinePlayer BD.
So desperate times call for desperate measures to have a solution that will enable you to view a Blu-ray 3D movie on your 3D Vision equipped PC even right at this moment and it did not take too much time to have that available when more people started to work on it and share information about it. The credits go to a user called alexpk over at the Biohemmet Forum that not only found a solution to the problem (link at the end of the post), but also shared a guide for other users to try it out and maybe even further improve it. The currently available solution is not the easiest to do and has some specific requirements like a lot of free space on the HDDs and quite some time for processing even on fast PC, but it does work and that is the most important. Have in mind that in order to view the guide you’ll have to do a free registration over at the linked forum.
As you know the Blu-ray 3D format is a somewhat specific development over the normal Blu-ray video discs and this is to be expected in order for the backwards compatibility to be retained, so that when you play Blu-ray 3D disc on a normal Blu-ray video player you will still be able to watch the normal 2D version fo the movie without any issues. Thus the Blu-ray 3D format uses one stream with the full frame for the left eye (the so called 2D version of the movie) and additional information for the right frame that is needed to build the stereoscopic 3D view with the help of a capable Blu-ray 3D software or a hardware player that will understand the new format. and in order not to double the video information needed for both left and right frames on the Blu-ray disc (it is still limited in space available) the video data for the right eye frame is not complete as for the left frame, but just the delta (difference) between the left and right frames. Thus the additional space needed for the full Blu-ray 3D content is not doubled as it would’ve been with the full visual data for the left and right frames, but is instead increased with just about 30-40% that is needed for the difference information. Then when the video is being played back the delta information is used to reconstruct the full frame from the left eye view and the viewer sees the end result in great stereo 3D.
But without having a dedicated Blu-ray 3D software video players yet we have no way of playing back the videos from such discs with the help of what video players are currently available. So instead we need to rip the Blu-ray 3D movie and then reconstruct the right frame from the delta (frame difference) information and then recompress the left/right views again into a video format that the 3D Vision Video Player or the Stereoscopic Player for example will understand and playback on a 3D Vision equipped computer. So this is basically what the guide provided by the user called alexpk is all about, although as I said you need to use some specific software programs in the process and they do require you to have a bit of knowledge about working in a console mode and video compression to achieve a good result. Then again you also need to have a lot of free space, and I mean really a lot, as the reconstructed video information is being saved as raw video data and that practically takes a few gigabytes of space per minute. Then you should also be ready for quite some time in waiting for your PC to recompress the raw video data so it will again take much less space and will be easier to store and archive. And not to mention that this will also require you to have some patience and time to experiment a bit and try different things until you find the best solution that works for you. But then again the most important thing is that we now have a solution, although not the easiest to do, to actually enjoy Blu-ray 3D movies on our PCs that are stereo 3D-ready too until we see some of the promised commercial solutions that will allow us to play the Blu-ray 3D video without all the additional hassle.