AMD, nVIDIA, and Your PS3 are Ready to Go!
Blu-ray Disc Association released major news this morning, approving the rules for stereoscopic 3D (S3D) onto optical media.
The “Blu-ray 3D” specification fully leverages the technical advantages of the Blu-ray Disc format to deliver unmatched picture quality as well as uniformity and compatibility across the full range of Blu-ray 3D products, both hardware and software. Notably, the specification allows every Blu-ray 3D player and movie to deliver Full HD 1080p resolution to each eye, thereby maintaining the industry leading image quality to which Blu-ray Disc viewers are accustomed. Moreover, the specification is display agnostic, meaning that Blu-ray 3D products will deliver the 3D image to any compatible 3D display, regardless of whether that display uses LCD, Plasma or other technology and regardless of what 3D technology the display uses to deliver the image to the viewer’s eyes.
Better than backwards compatibility, the PlayStation 3 will be forwards compatible with the new discs — a new HDTV setup (the spec promises to work with plasmas, LCDs or projectors equally well) with IR emitters and glasses will still be necessary. According to the PR (after the break) we can expect Blu-ray 3D-stickered products in 2010, our only advice is to keep those responsible for the Cowboys Stadium abomination far, far away from it.
While all specifications are subject to interpretation, Engadget reports that IR will be required, implying active shutter glasses. If you read the press release, the BD 3D specification is display agnostic. That may mean "IR-free" polarized glasses will be just as good a solution. And if you have read this blog before you know there are already some S3D ready displays out there from Mitsubishi and JVC. S3D HDTV displays have been announced and demonstrated by Sony and Panasonic. Some require active shutter glasses, others polarized glasses. It would seem the BDA is trying to keep everyone happy.
The big push will be next month at CES 2010. In keeping with the notion that gaming will drive adoption, the two major graphics card vendors have already announced their plans to demonstrate S3D products, along with software partners delivering BD solutions for S3D movies.
Over the last few weeks, NVIDIA has successfully demonstrated playback of 3D content encoded with the AVC Multi-View Codec (or AVC-MVC), the codec that is expected to become the foundation for how 3D content is encoded onto Blu-ray discs. 3D Blu-ray content encoded in AVC –MVC can be decoded in real time on select NVIDIA GPUs— resulting in a home 3D experience that is equal to or better to what is offered in movie theaters today. NVIDIA GPUs that can decode 3D Blu-ray content include the GeForce GT 240 ($99 U.S. MSRP), as well as upcoming next-generation GF100 GPUs based on the NVIDIA “Fermi” architecture. This will allow consumers to build desktop PCs powered by GeForce GPUs and NVIDIA 3D Vision active shutter glasses for under $1000 in total, making them the ideal platform for watching 3D Blu-ray movies, viewing 3D photographs, browsing 3D Web sites, or playing more than 400 PC game titles in 3D.
Not to be outdone
AMD (NYSE: AMD) today announced that it will demonstrate the forthcoming Blu-ray stereoscopic 3D standard at the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show, showcasing how consumers will soon get to enjoy high-fidelity 3D entertainment once reserved only for theaters.
NVIDIA and AMD will most likely bundle S3D software with their products. From the releases above, there will be plenty of Independent Software Vendors (ISV) competing for those spots. But Sony has set the bar for BD players with its PS3 game console. Will other manufacturer’s BD players be forward compatible or will they lose out to HTPC solutions built with off-the-shelf video cards and software?
If you make it to CES, watch the video below to make sure you know your way around and Happy Viewing.