Blu-ray 3D disc specification finalised

Lucas Mearian
18 December, 2009
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The Blu-ray Disc Association announced Thursday that it has finalised the 3D Disc Specification, which includes support for the PlayStation 3. The format will be display agnostic, supporting any 3D television, including LCD and Plasma models.

The news comes less than a week after LG Electronics announced it expects to ship 400,000 3D-enabled televisions next year, and 3.4 million in 2011. The market for 3D television is expected to be worth $US1.1 billion ($A1.25b) in 2010. By 2015, it’s expected to skyrocket to $US15.8 billion ($A17.5b), according to market research firm DisplaySearch.

3D Blu-ray players will project a 1080p image for each eye. Special glasses required for viewing 3D brings the two images together to create the additional effect of depth.

“From a technological perspective, it is simply the best available platform for bringing 3D into the home,” Benn Carr, chairman of the Blu-ray Disk Association 3D Task Force said in a statement.

The Blu-ray 3D specification allows PS3 game consoles to play back Blu-ray 3D content in 3D. The specification also supports 2D discs in upcoming 3D players and allows 2D playback of Blu-ray 3D discs on the large installed base of Blu-ray Disc players.

The Blu-ray 3D specification calls for encoding 3D video using the Multiview Video Coding (MVC) codec, an extension to the ITU-T H.264 Advanced Video Coding (AVC) codec currently supported by all Blu-ray Disc players.

MPEG4-MVC compresses both left and right eye views with a typical 50 percent overhead compared to equivalent 2D content, and can provide full 1080p resolution backward compatibility with current 2D Blu-ray Disc players. The specification also incorporates enhanced graphic features for 3D. These features provide a new experience for users, enabling navigation using 3D graphic menus and displaying 3D subtitles positioned in 3D video.

Victor Matsuda, chairman of the Blu-ray Disc Association Global Promotions Committee, said that in 2009 movie goers showed an overwhelming preference for 3D when presented with the option of 3D or 2D.

“We believe this demand for 3D content will carry over into the home now that we have, in Blu-ray Disc, a medium that can deliver a quality Full HD 3D experience to the living room,” Matsuda said in a statement.

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