3D high-def movies coming to your living room on Blu-ray

By on December 21, 2009
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The Blu-ray Disc Association has approved a final spec to deliver high def 3D movies on Blu-ray discs


Hollywood has been so enthralled with the recent renaissance of 3D in the theater that the Blu-ray Disc Association has finalized a specification for delivering full 1080p high definition stereoscopic video on Blu-ray discs. The format relies on an extension to the H.264 encoding standard, and provides for a fallback to 2D output on players that can’t decode the separate stereoscopic images. It’s been a long time coming, but along with a recent update to the HDMI spec and a coming wave of 3D-capable displays, the technology is now in place to deliver the full 3D experience at home.

The specification, which will be published shortly for device manufacturers and content producers, specifies encoding two separate 1080p frames together using the Multiview Video Coding (MVC) extension to the H.264 Advanced Video Coding (AVC) codec—one of the codecs already supported for creating Blu-ray discs. This method allows the two separate views, one for each eye, to be compressed together in such a way that common elements from both views are melded together. The result is that a 3D-encoded movie should typically only take up about 50 percent more space on disc compared to a 2D version, and players that aren’t 3D-capable will be able to play back a 2D version instead, for backward compatibility.

Additionally, the specification is technology-agnostic when it comes to how to create the 3D effect. It will deliver two 1080p frames to the display, and the display will then use whatever method it can to create a 3D effect—whether it’s passive filtered glasses, active filtered switching glasses, anaglyph, etc.

Source: Ars Techinca


Abbas Jaffar Ali is the founder of tbreak.com and a blogger, geek and self-declared tech pundit who can't stop talking about technology. Find him on twitter as @ajaffarali

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