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Blu-ray 3D video spec finalized

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.

by MacNN Staff



  1. TomSawyer

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Nice, but

    how about viewers that don't have stereoscopic vision? Can the format be viewed with the 3D disabled? Will EVERYTHING be encoded with this marvelous new technology in the future and leave people without stereoscopic vision to look at ultra-high resolution blurs?

  1. cmoney

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: Nice, but

    They'd probably just need to put on the same glasses as everyone else.

    The most popular 3d tech right now is polarization, whereby the left eye image is polarized in one direction and the right eye image is polarized in another direction. The glasses have polarized lenses which cancel out one image so you only see the one meant for that eye. So putting one the glasses will solve the issue.

    This is the same principle as you get with current 3D DVDs like Coraline except they use a color shift to cancel out the other image.

  1. TomSawyer

    Joined: Dec 1969


    To cmoney

    The 3d glasses don't work for folks without stereoscopic vision.

  1. OtisWild

    Joined: Dec 1969


    X-bit color ?

    I wonder if additional color bits can be used for polarization? IIRC HDMI 1.3 devices spec to handle 30-bit color, presumably those bits over 24 could be used as a polarizing channel?

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Being that Blu-Ray can hold so much data, I would assume the disc would come with both versions of the film, so you can see the craptastic movie in 3D or in normal 2D.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    And do we think Jobs will announce next year that 2010 is the year of 3D!

  1. designr

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Will It Blend?

    @ Tom

    "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."

    What this seems to mean is that the same stream will be interpreted as 2D or 3D depending on the capability of the device. Presumably, any new 3D TV can be switched back to 2D mode.

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