3D Vision Blog

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

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The H.265/HEVC Standard is Probably Coming Sooner than Later

January 30th, 2013 · No Comments · Other S3D Tech


High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) or H.265 is a new video compression standard that is being developed by a Joint Collaborative Team of ISO/IEC MPEG and ITU-T VCEG (JCT-VC) for a while already as the successor of the currently very widely adopted H.264 (AVC) standard. The H.265/HEVC has now entered in its final standardization stage and is probably going to be fully approved as a standard very soon, though it will take a while before it becomes widely available in all kinds of devices as the H.264 already is. The final Draft 10 has been presented a few days ago and had received first stage approval (consent) in the ITU-T Alternative Approval Process, so it can be just a month away from getting approved, and a the same time MPEG also announced that HEVC is entering their Final Draft International Standard (FDIS) status which can take two months to have it approved as an International Standard. And if you are wondering why it is important to have the successor of the H.264 standard approved and getting implemented in both software and hardware sooner than later, then you need to think about things such as 4K HDTVs (the standard supports up to 8K), HFR 3D (HEVC will support higher framerates) and other new technologies and products that are going to have more demands in terms of video resolution and storage/bandwidth requirements.

The original idea behind the HEVC is to improve the compression efficiency by a factor of at least two compared to the H.264/AVC compression standard for the same content retaining the same quality and though that goal might not be achieved in all conditions, the results demonstrated from the not yet fully finalized new HEVC compression standard are very promising. Of course the reduction of the bitrate requirements while retaining the same level of quality can only be achieved by increasing the complexity of the algorithms used for the compression and decompression of the video. This means slight increase in the time needed to compress HEVC/H.265 video as compared to H.264, but the decoding process is what will be more performance demanding, especially when going for higher resolutions than 1080p. Of course we are probably going to be getting hardware acceleration for encoding/decoding as well as dedicated hardware made to handle the extra load in devices such as HDTVs.

Now, you may be wondering how is H.265/HEVC going to be important for you in regards to stereoscopic 3D video support. Unfortunately the current Draft 10 does not cover stereoscopic 3D support, though such is going to be available via extensions of HEVC in order for it so also fully support stereoscopic 3D as well as multiview video and other more advanced features such as 12-bit video as well as 4:2:2 and 4:4:4 chroma formats, but we may have to wait until January next year for these extensions to become available. That should not worry you as you are not going to see H.265 available everywhere overnight, it is a process that will take a few years and meanwhile H.264 will most likely remain as the standard, the speed of adoption depends a lot on the industry and how soon H.264 will start hitting its limits a lot, so that the adoption of the successor may be speeded up. But for now we are still at least a month or two before the H.265/HEVC gets its final approval.

Now you can find a lot of similarities here between the H.264 and the upcoming H.265 standard and that is normal as the new one builds on top of the old one and further improves on some features as well as adds new ones. And similar to how the Multiview Video Coding (MVC) extension of the H.264/AVC standard was added as a means to ensure high-quality and resolution 3D video over a medium such as Blu-ray 3D, the upcoming H.265/HEVC will have a similar extension using the Multiview Video plus Depth (MVD) format. The new MVD format is going to be addressing one of the drawbacks that MVC has and that is to be able to provide multiview data for display on autostereoscopic 3D displays in a standardized way without having to increase that much the bit rate required for encoding the additional views. The 3D HEVC extension has been proposed to MPEG and VCEG and was chosen as the starting point for the development of an HEVC-based 3D video coding standard, but as already mentioned this will take some more time. The idea behind the H.265/HEVC and the 3D HEVC extensions relying on MVD is to ensure that the new video compression standard will be future-proof, so it will not only provide features that we are starting to get the need for at the moment, but also support for features that might be required in a few years from now.

More information and resources about the High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) or H.265…

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MVC to AVI 3D Video Converter Software by Peter Wimmer

May 31st, 2011 · 7 Comments · Other S3D Tech

Peter Wimmer, the author of the Stereoscopic Player, has released another interesting and useful 3D tool, namely the MVC to AVI Converter that can convert MPEG Transport Stream files (*.mts and *.ssif) as well as MP4 files (*.mp4) that use the new H.264 MVC codec used in Blu-ray 3D discs as well as some consumer 3D camcorders into AVI files with different compression. The idea of the converter is that it can easily convert the still hardly supported by any editors H.264 MVC 3D video files into a format that is widely accepted and can be easily used. Have in mind that this tool is not a Blu-ray 3D ripper and it will not remove any content protection that might be applied to a Blu-ray 3D media, the software is targeted more for users of 3D cameras that record in the MVC 3D format.

The Multi-view-coding (MVC) H.264 encoding format is slowly starting to get adopted by more devices and software, but still working with 3D video files in it can be a real pain. So with the help of the MVC to AVI Converter you can get two separate AVI files, one for the left and one for the right eye as well as the original or PCM decompressed audio in the left video file that you can easily import in your favorite video editor or further process to make them in Side by Side format for example. The tool supports different codecs that you have installed on your system for the video compression, so you have some flexibility.

Have in mind that the MVC to AVI Converter is a commercial software, but you can download a free trial version to try, it however places a watermark on the outputted video, so it is just for testing, before deciding if you need it. A private non-commercial license will cost you 19 Euro (~27 USD) and for a commercial license for the software you will have to pay 49 Euro (~70 USD).

To download and try the MVC to AVI Converter 0.2.0 software…
And here you can download a short test MVC H.264 compressed video…

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Nvidia has Released 3D Vision Video Player v1.5.2

December 18th, 2009 · 7 Comments · GeForce 3D Vision


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…

Download 3D Vision Video Player v1.5.2 (Windows 7/Vista, 32/64-bit)

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