There have been only four software Blu-ray 3D players for PC available allowing you to play Blu-ray 3D movies on your computer running Windows operating system – Arcsoft TotalMedia Theatre, Corel WinDVD, Cyberlink PowerDVD and Roxio CinePlayer BD. But now it seems that Roxio CinePlayer BD with 3D is gone for good and it has been “replaced” with Roxio CinePlayer with 3D as if the Blu-ray 3D-capable software never existed. If you are wondering what is the reason for that, well it is most likely due to the fact that Corel bought the Roxio product line earlier this year and they have probably decided to kill the Roxio CinePlayer with 3D software in favor of their Corel WinDVD Pro 11 solution that plays back Blu-ray 3D movies…
So a the moment you only get to choose between three different software solutions if you want to be able to play back Blu-ray 3D movies on your computer and these are: Arcsoft TotalMedia Theatre 5, Corel WinDVD 11 Pro or Cyberlink PowerDVD 12 Pro/Ultra. If I have to rate those three personally I’d go first with Cyberlink PowerDVD 12, then Arcsoft TotalMedia Theatre 5 and the third one would be Corel WinDVD 11 Pro. Which one of these are you using and is there someone still with Roxio CinePlayer BD with 3D that is not very happy with Corel practically getting rid of that product after acquiring the Roxio product line?
I’m starting with Nvidia as they are are probably going to be very active about 3D during Computex 2010. The first announcement from them is the new GeForce GTX 465 GPU and the availability of cards based on it from ASUS, EVGA, Galaxy, MSI, Palit, PNY, Zotac and others with an estimated retail price of $279 USD. Amazon is already taking pre-orders for GTX 465 from Asus and Evga, but Newegg is a bit ahead with GeForce GTX 465 available from MSI, PNY, Gigabyte, EVGA, Palit, Zotac and Asus. The new GTX 465 GPUs come with 352 CUDA cores (stream processors), 1024 MB GDDR5 video memory with 256-bit memory bus and they can be a good more affordable alternative to GTX 480 and GTX 470 for stereo 3D gaming as they still pack quite a lot of processing power.
Until now, getting the NVIDIA 3D Vision experience was mostly for the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) enthusiasts who could purchase a 120Hz, 3D Vision-Ready certified display, install a suitable GeForce graphics card, add the 3D Vision shutter glasses kit and install all of the drivers. But today at Computex during his keynote CEO of NVIDIA Jensen Huang announced the creation of the new 3D PC category, so that consumers can buy a completely configured 3D PC and get a 3D experience right out of the box. And this idea seems to be getting a broad industry support from companies like Asus, Acer, Dell, LG, Toshiba, ViewSonic and many system builders. The prices for the 3D PCs will begin at about $1,500 USD and that price will include everything that you need: 120Hz monitor, 3D shutter glasses and pre-installed drivers. This is about half the price of a new 3D HDTV, making it the least expensive way to enjoy 3D content at home, but if you do purchase a 3D TV later (or if you already have one) you’ll be able to connect your 3D PC to it via HDMI 1.4 to enjoy your stereoscopic 3D content on the big screen using the Nvidia 3DTV Play software.
Another very interesting announcement came from Microsoft who announced that their product Silverlight (an alternative to Adobe’s Flash), a web content development platform now supports streaming 3D content over the web to NVIDIA 3D Vision-equipped computers. NVIDIA and Microsoft also demonstrated a high definition stereo 3D music video (We Are The World 3D) streamed over the internet, but we are expecting to get more details about that very soon.
ASUS is demonstrating its new 15.6″ Asus ROG G53 3D gaming laptop (with 120Hz LCD panel) that has full support for 3D gaming and the new HDMI 1.4 output (does not come bundled with 3D Vision glasses), a new 17.3″ Asus ROG G73Jw 3D-ready laptop that may come with the recently announced GTX 480M GPU combined with a 1080p 120Hz LCD panel. As well as the Asus G51Jx-EE 3D-ready laptop that probably has the Nvidia IR transmitter integrated to support the 3D Vision active shutter glasses. The Asus Eee Top ET2400 All-in-One with 3D capabilities was also shown as wells the Asus CD5390 PC said to be the “world’s most powerful gaming solution,” equipped with two GeForce GTX 480 in SLI and ready for a 3D Vision Surround setup. And we’ll probably also see the 23″ Asus VG236H and 27″ Asus PG276H 3D-ready 120Hz monitors too.
MSI is introducing their 24″ Wind Top AE2420 All-in-one PC with 3D support, a built in 120Hz LCD Full HD panel and touchscreen support (with multi-touch functionality). The PC comes bundled with a pair of active shutter glasses for the 3D functionality, but the more interesting thing is that the GPU inside is ATI Mobility Radeon HD5730. And this raised the interesting question if this will be one of the first implementations with the anticipated shutter glasses from BitCauldron and ATI stereo 3D support? According to MSI their Wind Top AE2420 3D comes with MSI’s exclusive 3D Infinity shutter glasses (whatever they are) and there also seems to be a built-in function for converting 2D videos in to stereo 3D.
Cyberlink will be showcasing Blu-ray 3D Movie Playback that is expected to be available very soon (via a free update) in the PowerDVD 10 Ultra 3D software player and the 2D-to-3D DVD Video conversion technology that is already available in the product. Corel WinDVD Pro 2010 with 3D Blu-ray will also be demonstrated at Computex, as the company just announced that its DVD playback software has received Blu-ray 3D certification from the Blu-ray Disc Association. The customers who already own Corel WinDVD Pro 2010 will receive the new 3D capabilities with a free update later this year, so we are still out of luck with no Blu-ray 3D software player actually available on the market yet…
The updated version of the free Stereoscopic 3D player includes a lot of fixes, some improved and new features and the new version 1.5.2 of the player seems to be working quite well, so you should download and install it if you have 3D Vision available.
Here is complete list of what is new:
– Added support for still image files (mpo, jpg/jps, tif, gif, png/pns, bmp).
– Added folder browsing (next image/previous image commands) for stills.
– Added folder playback (plays all stills in a folder).
– Added prefetching for folder browsing.
– Added reading parallax from MPO files.
– Added support for still images in playlists.
– Added Shirt+A..Z hotkeys to directly jump to playlist items beyond 35.
– Added call stack to error log file.
– Added low resolution rendering if image resolution exceeds maximum texture size.
– Fixed incompatibilities of HDV capture devices with certain MPEG-2 decoders.
– Fixed deadlock when switching to fullscreen mode while paused.
And now comes the big question that some people have been asking today, regarding the news about the Blu-ray Disc Association announcing the final Blu-ray 3D Specs – will the 3D Vision Video Player support the new format? Unfortunately there is no such support being announced for the free player, but there are already some partners of Nvidia that have announced support for Blu-ray 3D in their future commercial video player solutions. These are Arcsoft with TotalMedia Theatre, Corel with WinDVD, Cyberlink with PowerDVD Ultra and Sonic with Roxio CinePlayer BD and all these players should have GPU-accelerated hardware decoding of the Multiview Video Coding (MVC) codec and support 3D Vision on compatible Nvidia-based video cards. But it is still to early for Blu-ray 3D movies and players at the moment, we’ll probably have to wait at least a few more months before things actually start moving, in the meantime what you can do is update the 3D Vision player…