updated 08:25 am EST, Thu December 17, 2009
3D Blu-ray spec is 2D compatible, efficient
The Blu-ray Disc Association today published details of the final specification for 3D-enhanced Blu-ray video. Simply titled Blu-ray 3D, the format will send a stereoscopic 1080p image but, despite the extra data, will only use about 50 percent more data than a traditional, 2D-only image. The relatively efficient storage is helped by an efficient variant of the H.264 video code known as Multiview Video Coding (MVC) that is also backwards-compatible with 2D devices.
In addition to its relative efficiency, the format supports 3D navigation menus and subtitles. Viewers won't be attached to a particular display technology for the 3D effect and should expect it to work with OLED or other screens that are either young or yet to be released. It should be explicitly compatible with the PlayStation 3 once its firmware its updated to recognize the added depth.
Content, hardware and software producers should have access to the technical information "shortly" and should lead to a slew of new devices and software support. The release of a final specification based on H.264 should theoretically let professional video editing tools like Avid, Final Cut Studio and Premiere author 3D video for the first time.