Blu-ray 3D specification

The Blu-ray Disc Association has completed its specification for 3D video. The specification was completed just few days before Christmas. It standardises the inclusion of stereoscopic 3D content on Blue-ray Disk. According to BDA the 3D video system doesn’t depend on any specific 3D technology – active-shutter or polarised lens – or display type. The material will be presented in resolutions up to and including 1080p.

The BDA’s spec mandates encoding 3D video using the Multiview Video Coding (MVC) codec, an extension to the H.264 Advanced Video Coding (AVC) codec currently supported by all Blu-ray Disc players. This codec will need around 50% more data rate / storage space for 3D video compared to 2D video. MPEG4-MVC compresses both left and right eye views with a typical 50% overhead compared to equivalent 2D content, and can provide full 1080p resolution backward compatibility with current 2D Blu-ray Disc players.

The specification provides a way for existing Blue-ray players can take the new 3D content and display it in 2D form at 1080p. This will allow Hollywood to release 3D movies in place of 2D version without pissing off the installed base – assuming it doesn’t charge an unreasonable premium for the material, of course. Maybe just wishful thinking keeping in mind the history of Hollywood pissing off with paying customers with DRM and other artificial restrictions…

There is also some existing Blue-ray players that work with 3D system. The Blu-ray 3D specification is designed so that it allows Sony PS3 game consoles to play back Blu-ray 3D content in 3D.

This kind of 3D as used in 3D Blue-ray is not like a hologram, it is more like a viewmaster. I have seen many 3D video systems and played with 3D technologies in the 1990′s, and everything I have seen didn’t really feel like I was looking at the real world, but something “artificial”. I am still waiting to be amazed by 3D video some day.. I was really amazed by some 3D photos and computer graphics around 15 years ago when I saw then first time and had possibility to play with them. Nowadays 3D video seems to be mostly recycling the same old ideas and same limitations. 3D can be entertaining and look cool on special uses where the presented video content is designed in such way that the limitations of the technology can be hidden… My quess is that 3D will not overtake the traditional 2D video anytime soon…


  1. tomi says:

    I don’t know if this will work over long run.
    We have to see if this 3D TV gets accepted by the buyers this time…
    There has been several previous attempts to push 3D movies, 3D video and real 3D games to markets… and they have failed.
    3D movies seems to be rising now, will it stay in mainstream for few years or more is a question nobody can answer now.
    3D TVs for home use are just coming to market, and nobody know if they will be a hit or will they fail on consumer market…

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  18. tomi says:

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