3D Vision Blog

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

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Is the Realtek RTD 1186 3D Media Processor Facing Competition

February 13th, 2013 · 1 Comment · General 3D News


The Realtek RTD 1186 media processor is currently the most popular solution for use in standalone media players with support for playback of 3D videos. It is nice and affordable solution with HDMI v1.4 supporting 3D output and MVC decoding and Blu-ray 3D ISO support, so it is no wonder that there are so many devices out there that are using this chipset. Before the users started demanding that the standalone multimedia players also support 3D video playback there was another company that was very popular and widely used and that was Sigma Designs. However the’ve had their share of issues with bringing 3D video support into their media processors range, they have announced the SMP8910 with 3D video including Blu-ray 3D support, but it was not welcomed by the manufacturers who decided not to adopt it. And it took quite some time before a media player manufacturer finally decided to use a variation of this chip, namely the SMP8911 found in the Popcorn Hour A-400 media player. The SMP8910/SMP8911 media processor is looking very promising specification wise, but apparently it is not problem free and not that easy to implement as the Realtek alternative, so no wonder there is still no other player based on that chip.

Sigma Designs also have a bit lower range media processor, the SMP8672, a more lower-end solution that uses HDMI 1.4 and has 3D support, however does not support Blu-ray 3D ISO images, even though the chip is capable of decoding MVC. The SMP8672 is newer chip and is still not widely adopted, but it shows more promise that its predecessor the SMP8910. Not long ago Dune HD has announced and started shipping the first media players with 3D capabilities based on the Sigma Designs SMP8672, the Dune HD TV-303D and Dune HD Base 3D. And while the SMP8672-based devices may turn out to be more of a competition for the users in need of 3D video playback capabilities, though the lack of Blu-ray 3D support may be a bit of a setback. Also the fact that these SMP8672-based players are more expensive than the alternatives based on Realtek 1186 could be a big advantage for the Taiwanese company that currently has the advantage on the market for standalone multimedia players. With H.265 coming and 4K HDTVs starting to appear we are soon going to need a faster and more powerful media processors to power the next generation of media players for the new compression methods and high resolution displays.

For more information about the Dune HD 3D-capable media players…

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The Popcorn Hour C-200 Video Player Gets HDMI 1.4 3D Video Support

March 17th, 2011 · 5 Comments · Other S3D Tech

Syabas Technology, the maker of the popular brand of standalone multimedia players Popcorn Hour, announced that they have already released a free firmware update for their Popcorn Hour C-200 player that supports the new Matroska 3D format as well as adds playback of 3D video files in Side by Side and Top and Bottom format on HDMI 1.4 capable 3D HDTVs. The actual firmware for the C-200 player with 3D support has been released on March 11th and is version 02-04-110308-21-POP-408-000 and you can already download it, and Syabas are also promising to bring 3D support in an upcoming firmware update for their Popcorn Hour A-200/A-210 and PopBox players soon. The actual anouncement for the upcoming 3D support we got back in May last year, so this is not something unexpected, it just took a bit more time to happen than we expected it to. It is also to be expected that other similar devices based on the platform provided by Syabas Technology may soon start getting 3D capabilities as well…

Syabas Technology has been a strong early adopter of the Matroska technology, and it is no wonder that the company is the first to offer hardware/software support of the Stereoscopic 3D Matroska files. Besides the .mk3d (.mkv with 3D video) format support, the C-200 player should be able to provide 3D output to HDMI 1.4 3D HDTVs for the playback of stereoscopic 3D videos in side-by-side and top-and-bottom formats and the files must contain in their names either “.3DSBS.*” or “.3DTAB.*” to be automatically recognized as a type of input. The new firmware is tested and confirmed working with 3D video files in MKV, AVI and TS (MPEG) file containers, again only Side-by-Side and Top-and-Bottom input formats are being supported at the moment, but others may be added in the future as well. The new 3D-capable firmware also has supports a 3D indicator in the NMJ UI, so you will have an indicator for the playback 3D files.

To download the latest firmware for Popcorn Hour C-200 with 3D support…

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PopBox to be the First Consumer HD Player with Stereo 3D Support

May 28th, 2010 · No Comments · General 3D News

Last month Sigma Designs and RealD jointly announced their partnership in order to introduce the upcoming availability of support for the stereoscopic RealD Format in Sigma Designs’ Media Processors. This integration should enable manufacturers of set-top boxes, televisions and other consumer electronics such as Full HD multimedia players to play high definition stereo 3D content with no additional hardware required. This was very important announcement as the media processors produced by Sigma Designs are quite well spread and used in most of the standalone Full HD multimedia players like Popcorn Hour, NMT Media Tank, Western Digital TV (WDTV), Dvico TviX and a lot more. I still haven’t seen that promised stereo 3D support available anywhere, but it will soon start appearing in new devices and firmware updates for the already available models. Sigma Designs’ media processors are lately getting serious competition from Realtek who also introduced their own similar products that are already available in some devices, but Realtek still hasn’t said anything about upcoming S3D suppot…

And while we still don’t have the stereo 3D support in any of the mentioned above devices, we got an announcement from PopBox who are saying that they will ship their PopBox devices 3D-ready at launch (they are based on Sigma Designs media processors), so consumers will be able to enjoy 3D content on all 3D-ready HDTVs. The PopBox devices make it simple and affordable to play all the movies, music, home videos, and photos from your home PC, network-connected devices, and content streamed from the Internet, on your High Definition TV. PopBox is expected to be available very soon, and is currently available to pre-order at Amazon.com. PopBox has retail price of $129.99 for the normal version, without WiFi, and the PopBox Wireless model is available for $149.99.

Considering that the PopBox builds on the success of Syabas’ Popcorn Hour lineup of Network Media Tanks, the Popcorn Hour A-200 and C-200, all Popcorn Hour A and C series devices will also have access to the RealD 3D Format to enable the support for stereo 3D video playback on compatible 3D-ready displays, but they will need a free firmware upgrade to get that additional functionality. And we are most likely not going to have to wait much longer after PopBox hits the market and we get an update for PopCorn Hour in order to see other manufacturers of similar products based on Sigma Designs’ media processors to start adding stereo 3D support.

To visit the official website of PopBox device made by Syabas Tehcnology…

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