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Final 3-D Blu-ray Specification Announced

Posted December 17, 2009 05:48 AM by Juan Calonge

Blu-ray DiscThe Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) today announced the finalization and release of the "Blu-ray 3Dô" specification. It leverages the technical advantages of the BD 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. The specification is also designed to allow the PS3 to play back Blu-ray 3D content in 3-D.

Notably, the specification allows every player and movie supporting it to deliver full HD 1080p resolution to each eye. Moreover, the specification is display agnostic, meaning that Blu-ray 3D products will deliver the 3-D image to any compatible 3-D display, regardless of whether that display uses LCD, plasma or other technology and regardless of what 3-D technology the display uses to deliver the image to the viewer's eyes.

Regarding compatibility, the specification supports playback of 2-D discs in forthcoming 3-D players and can enable 2-D playback of Blu-ray 3D discs on the installed base of Blu-ray Disc players currently in homes around the world.

The Blu-ray 3D specification calls for encoding 3-D 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% overhead compared to equivalent 2-D content, and can provide full 1080p resolution backward compatibility with current 2-D Blu-ray Disc players. The specification also incorporates enhanced graphic features for 3-D. These features provide a new experience for users, enabling navigation using 3-D graphic menus and displaying 3-D subtitles positioned in 3-D video.

The completed specification will be available shortly and provides individual manufacturers and content providers with the technical information and guidelines necessary to develop, announce and bring products to market pursuant to their own internal planning cycles and timetables.

"Throughout this year, movie goers have shown an overwhelming preference for 3-D when presented with the option to see a theatrical release in either 3-D or 2-D," said Victor Matsuda, chairman, BDA Global Promotions Committee. "We believe this demand for 3-D content will carry over into the home now that we have, in Blu-ray Disc, a medium that can deliver a quality Full HD 3-D experience to the living room."

"From a technological perspective, it is simply the best available platform for bringing 3D into the home," said Benn Carr, chairman, BDA 3D Task Force. "The disc capacity and bit rates Blu-ray Disc provides enable us to deliver 3D in Full HD 1080p high definition resolution."

"In 2009 we saw Blu-ray firmly establish itself as the most rapidly adopted packaged media format ever introduced," said Matsuda. "We think the broad and rapid acceptance Blu-ray Disc already enjoys with consumers will be a factor in accelerating the uptake of 3-D in the home. In the meantime, existing players and libraries can continue to be fully enjoyed as consumers consider extending into 3-D home entertainment."

A note on spelling

Earlier this year, the blu-ray.com team unanimously decided to use the spelling "3-D", with a hyphen, for everything related to stereoscopic images, and "3D", without a hyphen, for three-dimensional graphics and animation. We shall continue to do so, except when citing the name of the "Blu-ray 3D" specification, which doesn't use the hyphen.


Source: Blu-ray.com | Permalink | Australia Canada China Finland France Germany Holland Hong Kong India Italy Japan Norway Poland Portugal South Korea Spain Sweden Taiwan Turkey United Kingdom United States [Country settings]

News comments (90 comments)


Jock Blu
  Dec 17, 2009
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Cool that the PS3 will be able to play 3D!

thespindoc
  Dec 17, 2009
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Even if our PS3s can playback 3D, that's only one less peice to the entire 3D architecture you may need to purchase once it becomes mainstream. I figure you'll need a 3D capabile display and new HDMI cables for starters....ahhh...but it'll be quite awhile before we see the 2nd and 3rd gen displays. Can anyone say Avatar in 3D in your home!??! Sweeeeet!

lovgun7
  Dec 17, 2009
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you guys get together to discuss how to spell 3-D ??? hahahahahahahahaa

wallendo
  Dec 17, 2009
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Is there an actual link for this. Other than a single sentence in the first paragraph, the PS3 is not mentioned. I am interested in how Sony can add a HDMI 1.4 port via firmware? (or is an HDMI 1.4 port no longer required?)

Seretur
  Dec 17, 2009
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Love the note on spelling. Most of the Internet is illiterate, some are semi-literate, you guys are class.

This is wonderful news, and I look forward to hearing more about it!

avecha
  Dec 17, 2009
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Hdmi 1.4

aramis109
  Dec 17, 2009
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I really don't like the increased "50% overhead" bit. I suppose it's better than 100% increase, but the issue is that in order for some blockbusters to get a decent encode, they're eating up a good chunk of the 50gb currently available. What's going to happen when your 3-hour summer blockbuster suddenly needs tons of special features and audio tracks AND an additional 50% overhead? I hope the answer isn't "bit-starved".

akbungle
  Dec 17, 2009
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I'm sure they decided to go ahead without HDMI 1.4 and used something less robust but more accessible.

DefTechPioElite
  Dec 17, 2009
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Thank god it will enable 2-d playback. I'm blind in one eye(100% cyclops style) and can't see 3-d

DefTechPioElite
  Dec 17, 2009
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@aramis919 hopefully they start to use some of the larger capacity discs that are compatible with all current/future players, as not to sacrifice bit rate; especially for people like me who can't see 3-D. I don't want what I consider to be a novelty to sacrifice my 2-D picture quality

photograph17
  Dec 17, 2009
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So is this "specification" a download, or do you have to buy a new blu ray player? I just bought my player last year; not interested in buying another one already.

akbungle
  Dec 17, 2009
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@photograph17
Unless the player you bought was a PS3 then in most likelihood (95% certain) you would need a new player to achieve the 3-D described above.
Twile
  Dec 17, 2009
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Excellent news. As someone who owns a pair of stereoscopic shutter glasses and a 120 Hz display for 3-D gaming, I can personally attest to the awesomeness that is the modern home 3-D experience. I've really been hoping that this would take off, not just because I want to enjoy movies in 3-D, but I'm hoping that it will generate renewed interest in 3-D for games. Games have some of their own quirks (drawing text and special effects at the wrong depth sometimes, for example) that interrupt the experience but movies rendered/recorded for 3-D viewing should have none of these. The only issue my shutter glasses have is ghosting--they don't go completely black so when you have a high-contrast scene you can see a tiny bit of the right frame in the left eye, and a hint of the left frame in the right eye. As the glasses are $150 a pop I'm assuming they're some of the better ones and that this is a general problem with the technology; hopefully over the next year or two they'll be able to work on eliminate ghosting.

Bitrate does concern me somewhat, because I don't think anyone wants a decrease in quality for the 2-D or 3-D viewing experience. I would've felt more at ease if they said 4X read speed would be required for the 3-D functionality (with existing 2X players only being able to read back the 2-D video) and promised that 75 or 100 GB discs would allow for longer movies to be stored, but that would cut the PS3 out of the 3-D equation and Sony wouldn't stand for that. If they say they can get it to work on 2X BD-ROMs, who am I to argue?

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mr.hidef
  Dec 17, 2009
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I wonder if the color in 3-D will improve?.......not holding my breath though.

Bluyoda
  Dec 17, 2009
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I have seen Christmas Carol and the trailer of Alice in Wonderland in 3-D, but it's too gimmicky for me. I am very happy with 2D movies. This is just an attempt to lure people into spending more money. I don't feel comfortable wearing those glasses. What if u cry?
95% of all movies are in 2D, so I am definitely not going to upgrade just for a couple of flicks such as Avator or so. In the theater it's ok, but at home? Not for me.

fettastic
  Dec 17, 2009
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"What if u cry"???? What the hell? What kind of criticism is that? I am TOTALLY onboard for 3D Blu-ray and it is thanks to the unprecidented adoption of BD that we are finally getting this technology in the home.

I have to say I'm frankly surprised the studios were in such a hurry to do it since 3D is the biggest factor getting people into theaters now that home setups are so advanced. For example, why would a family of 4 spend all that money and hastle to go see Avatar in the theater when they can have the exact same experience (frankly a much BETTER experience) at home 4 months later?

I'm not saying tumbleweeds will be rolling through theaters anytime soon, but it is puzzling.

SellmeyourDVD
  Dec 17, 2009
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I wonder what the digital download crowd thinks of this? Isn't this sort of a nail in the coffin for that technology to even compete with blu ray?

REPLAY
  Dec 17, 2009
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NO INTEREST IN 3-D AT ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!! When you can view it with out glasses, then I would be interested.

tricky
  Dec 17, 2009
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I'm so excited as I love 3D, but I'm really anxious to find out what the glasses are like and what additional equipment will be necessary. I really hope it's not the two different colored lenses; those suck! If it's the ones that look like shades, I'll be impressed. That's what I wore when I saw The Nightmare Before Christmas in 3D, and it was quite the experience. I want more information now! When will this be launched ...2010?
Hale-Bopp
  Dec 17, 2009
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Woohoo!!

I'm excited for 3-D at home! I'm totally pleased to hear that this new tech will be compatible with all existing and future 3-D displays. That's incredibly encouraging to me, because I wanna see 3-D thrive. Mad props to the BDA for working this out so quickly and adamantly.

Avatar 3-D & Disney's UP 3-D at home?? YES PLEASE!!

Grifter02
  Dec 17, 2009
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@tricky:

You really think they would have all this fuss over the red and blue 3-D glasses? That technology has been in the home for decades. This is the new technology you currently see in theaters with the polarized glasses.
Wolfie
  Dec 17, 2009
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I plan to add wireless connection to my system basically because I would hate to have to change out cables everytime the regs change.

Wolfie

Grifter02
  Dec 17, 2009
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@Wolfie:

So you'd rather replace whole pieces of hardware?

thdeanmachine
  Dec 17, 2009
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I really dont know how I feel about the new 3D stuff. The polarized glasses kind of give me a headache. Also not too keen on having to buy a new TV to be able to do this. Especially since it will not be affordable for at least a couple years.

RIKANA
  Dec 17, 2009
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sounds cool! that spelling thing seams far

RI
Twile
  Dec 17, 2009
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I don't really understand why this would be "the nail in the coffin" for digital downloads. Seriously, the amount of spin on news here can just get out of hand. I've watched 3-D downloaded videos on my computer. Have you watched 3-D Blu-ray discs on your player? No, you have not. The fact that people are able to pirate Blu-ray rips would, I think, show that there aren't technical problems with digital downloads.

The 3-D spec had a number of challenges it had to overcome. It has to fit within a certain bitrate so that existing 2X BD-ROMs can read the data in real time, and the bitrate can be further limited if the movie is long because you're working with a 50 GB cap for at least the next few years. And there's the issue of backwards compatibility--some older players aren't flexible enough to support the new codecs and requirements.

None of these are issues with digital downloads. Bitrates can easily be several hundred Mbps before they run the risk of being too fast for slower parts of slower hard drives. Movies can be, gasp, 51 GB in length, or 500 GB in length if need be. And computers are where compatibility shines in comparison; it's trivial to download a new codec or piece of software which you need to play the 3-D video, all you need is a standard 120 Hz display and the shutter glasses, which have been available for purchase since last year or before.

I know this isn't really the place to be pushing digital download stuff because this is Blu-ray.com, I just think that trying to twist the creation of a new Blu-ray spec which will generally require new players and seriously push the capacity limits of the disc into a "nail in the coffin" of a format which neither requires new investments nor has capacity limits is just silly. How about we all just delight in the adoption of a new spec which will a) improve the home theater experience, b) motivate the development of higher-capacity discs, c) improve quality/selection and decrease price of 120 Hz displays, and d) provide yet another selling point to upgrade from DVD?

nycomet
  Dec 17, 2009
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I look forward to 3D at home (using my PS3 for playback). However, I would like to know if I will need a different LCD. I have a 52-inch 120 hz Sharp Aquos which I do not plan to replace anytime soon.

fdm
  Dec 17, 2009
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yawn...
Jimmy Smith
  Dec 17, 2009
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Those concerned about bit rates have nothing to fear. BD-50s should be enough for any movie under 3 hours in 3D without sacraficing any quality. This 3D spec only requires 50% higher bit rates then 2D content. Reference high definition content can be delivered at lower bits very easily. Troy the Directers Cut was 194 minutes with an hour of SD extras and was fit at only 30 gigs. Yet Troy looked and shouldn't very good. Not reference but was still a fine example of HD video. King Kong on Blu-Ray was absolutley reference quality and even at 200 minutes in length the movie used 36 gigs of information. It would mean that any 3D movie over 3 hours would require to be spread over two discs for quality but at the moment there are zero 3D movies that do so this should be little a problem. It would also a mean a second disc for extras will be required more often but so often two disc sets have been given even when its not required so this also should be little a problem.

The Playstation 3 being able to play Blu-Ray 3D content is alittle deceptive. Only HDMI 1.4 chipset and inputs can deliver 1080p content to each eye. The Playstation 3 is limited to HDMI 1.3 so minus a hardware upgrade on future model it can't do this. Its that simple. For 3D content to be delivered via the Playstation 3 the resolution would have to be halfed to 960 x 1080 as the Avatar video game currently does. You will need a new player to get Full HD 3D content

jaws3dfan
  Dec 17, 2009
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I hope the studios plan on releasing classic 3-D movies under this new format as well. To see JAWS 3-D and FRIDAY the 13th part 3 in perfect 3-D would be amazing.

Top contributor
Grubert
  Dec 17, 2009
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Twile,

If size "isn't an issue" with digital downloads, then why are all downloads vastly smaller in size than the puniest BD?

The answer is - because size IS an issue with digital downloads.
Top reviewer
Semp1
  Dec 17, 2009
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Hdmi 1.4 has nothing to do with watching 3D ot adds internet into the cable that's all t does. Just another feature into the spec. And again cables don't mean anything it's the electornics that are the spec not the cable

alphadec
  Dec 17, 2009
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why does BDA even bother with 3D. ?

all I am waiting for is to get higher resolution to bd, more storage for bd discs. I will never buy a bd 3d player, I do not care about it.

give med 1 TB BD discs thats what I want with a 4x resolution.
Russell22
  Dec 17, 2009
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I really don't think the whole 3-d thing will catch on in a major way for consumers. This will be a niche market for a long time. Most people will not want to sit and wear glasses in their living rooms all night watching movies. Personally 3D gives me a headache after about 30 mins of watching a film. Blu ray is still a minority product however you look at it and with 3D out too this will ony weaken blu rays position and further alienate the average joe consumer to switching to HD. Too many new products too soon. Its nice to watch the odd 3-d movie in the theatres but i really cant see this catchng on.

Top contributor
jtwise
  Dec 17, 2009
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I can't wait, I have been waiting to buy a bigger TV!

steve1971
  Dec 17, 2009
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I'm with Bluyoda on this. I have no use for 3-D at home and I am not going to spend more money on another HDTV and Blu ray player just to see movies in 3-D. And to me there is nothing more anoying then wearing those 3-D glasses. But hey if others like it and want it cool but its just not for me.
Jimmy Smith
  Dec 17, 2009
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Hopefully CES we will get prices and timeframe for 3D televisions, players, and movies. Heres hoping Avatar will be the first title to use this format. Is it just a cowincidence they announce this the day before Avatars release.
Jimmy Smith
  Dec 17, 2009
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Alphadec we will never get higher resolution or higher storage Blu-Ray disc. Current Blu-Ray players can't read any resolution above 1080p and can't read any discs above 50 gigs. Therefore high capacity discs with higher resolution would effectively be a new format. Blu-Ray 3D since the discs are backwards compatible (in 2D) and since discs only require 50% higher bit rates no extra capacity is needed either. Therefore 3D is something that can be added and still be part of the same Blu-Ray format.

vveksuvarna
  Dec 17, 2009
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I like how this news has rolled in, just a day before avatar gets released.

Top reviewer
Chris60119
  Dec 17, 2009
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I wonder what glasses we will have to use...
MADNOD
  Dec 17, 2009
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for me it's a 3D projector, i am not going to replace my 52A650 anytime soon as a primary display.
mkelley
  Dec 17, 2009
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Since I'm also one of those who hate movies in 3-D this has zero interest to me. I'm happy for those who like it, but I also still think this is a fad whose time will pass (it's already done so at least once in my lifetime).

No one has seemed to mention that 3-D movies are 100% "gimmicky" -- which is to say they are nearly always animated (about 95% of the time) or "silly" movies (like the "Journey to the Center of the Earth" or "Here's a big thing coming at your eye" sort of film). No serious filmmaker will use it (and yes, this even includes Cameron, who is about as gimmicky a filmmaker as there is), and thus you won't see any but a small handful of films each year available in the format (out of the 300-500 movies released each year I'll guess about 5 or so will be in 3-D).

So -- no need to get too excited. If you want to spend the $$$ to upgrade your system to watch it, so be it, but don't look for it *ever* to be a common format.
Truewitt
  Dec 17, 2009
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Well, there's already something like 14 3-D movies scheduled to come out in 2010, so I would say you're already wrong in your assumption. This number will only grow year on year.
Jimmy Smith
  Dec 17, 2009
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No serious filmmaker uses them really mkelley

Filmmakers who have or say they will release movies in 3D

Ridely Scott
Peter Jackson
Steven Speilburg
George Lucas
James Cameron
J J Abrams
Jon Favreau
Robert Zemekis
Tim Burton
All of Pixars filmmakers

All these u lable not serious filmmakers. Camerons movies have all been great and Avatar will hopefully. Most 3D movies today are animated because computer animation is very easy to convert to 3D since its already 3D in the computer. Live Action movies unless they are shot that way are incredibly difficult to convert to 3D.

There is a filmmaker who agrees with you that 3D is gimmicky. That filmmaker is Michael Bay. There there is someone who would never resort to stupid gimicks right. right. riiigghht.

Schrute Farms
  Dec 17, 2009
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Wear glasses to watch TV? No thanks. I look dumb enough playing video games as a grown adult without wearing some goofy 3-D glasses.

We haven't even perfected 2D viewing, so why jump to another platform just as 1080p is becoming better understood by the general public? The 3-D fad is going to intimidate the more timid adopters of HD.
Hale-Bopp
  Dec 17, 2009
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mkelley says,

"No serious filmmaker will use it (and yes, this even includes Cameron, who is about as gimmicky a filmmaker as there is), and thus you won't see any but a small handful of films each year available in the format (out of the 300-500 movies released each year I'll guess about 5 or so will be in 3-D)."

hahaha, apparently someone hasn't heard of a little film called Avatar. Woops!

Top contributor
devilnamedBuena
  Dec 17, 2009
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Screw 3D. Just give an awesome transfer of the good shit. I haven't seen a movie in 3D that's worth repeating.
ehtamgnie
  Dec 17, 2009
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Wow, this seems fast, considering how slow some standards take (um, 801.11n anyone?). I'm quite pleased with my PS3, given the XBOX360 and HD-DVD knocks I received when purchasing it years ago.

bookcase
  Dec 17, 2009
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I think 3-D is a fad, and not one that I'm interested in. I'm complete with my "old-fashioned" 2-D Blu-ray experience.
mrbobtherubberrat
  Dec 17, 2009
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If anyone can help me as just coming back from seeing Avatar (Excellent by the way) I was wondering, If they decide to go with the polarized glasses that i had to wear (Dolby3-D) would wacking up the brightness on the TV negate the darkening that the tinted glasses have on the picture ?
Tok
  Dec 17, 2009
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Have to agree with aramis109... I don't want bit starved 2-D and 3-D versions at the expense of getting both on a single encode.

Until there is a significant market there... keep the releases separate and optomize the encodes for each format.

Top contributor
RBBrittain
  Dec 17, 2009
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This only adds to the reasons why the PS3 is the best BD-player buy you can make, even if you never use it for gaming. BD-Live, TrueHD & DTS-HD MA decoders, and even the yet-to-come Managed Copy are just the warmups for the biggest PS3 firmware upgrade of all--Blu-ray 3D.

No launch SA player even managed to add BD-Live; that's why I bought a PS3 even though I had never owned a gaming system before (and have never actually played a game on it, though I did buy a few). Even if today's SA players can do more for less, will any of them be firmware-upgradable to 3-D? I seriously doubt it. Even though you'll still need to upgrade your HDTV to 3-D, not having to replace your BD player should more than justify spending a little more on a PS3. (But do get the extended warranty just in case you get a YLOD after the first year.)
Jimmy Smith
  Dec 17, 2009
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CraigW as I explained in a post above 3D will not bit starve anything cause there is no need to separatly encode two versions. The 3D version can be downconverted to 2D with the press of a button. That and BD-50s have enough storage for any movie under 3 hours in length without any compromise in quality. The ignorance about 3D from those of this forum is astonishing.
Jimmy Smith
  Dec 17, 2009
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RBBrittain you will still have to upgrade your Blu-Ray player if you want full resolution 3D. The Playstation 3 is being firmware updated to play 3D but because of its hardware limitations and lack of HDMI 1.4 it can't handle dual 1080p streams therefore all 3D movies outputted through the Playstation 3 will be downconverted to 960 x 1080 to each eye. If you want Full HD 3D you need a new player. The Playstation 3 will not due. Nobody will be able play 3D Full HD on a game console until the Playstation 4 or Xbox 720 come out.

MetalMike666
  Dec 17, 2009
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I also have zero interest in 3-D Blu-ray and agree it will be a small percentage of the market who can either afford to upgrade all their equipment for the small percentage of movies that use it or even want to. For those who want it, great for you. Hopefully they'll keep making non-3-D versions of HDTVs for most of us (I don't want the new 3-D technology that may make first/second generation HDTVs less reliable) and I also hope it will drive down prices for those non-3-D HDTVs so I can buy a second one.

Bluyoda
  Dec 17, 2009
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I have just come back from an Avatar screening in Imax 3-D, and while the visuals are in deed a breakthrough and entirely believable, I still don't like 3-D. Wearing those glasses is uncomfortable, and hard on the eyes....
Next time I go see Avatar it'll be in 2D.

Ah, and I can't for Avatar to arrive on BD. It's going to be the most awesome demo disc ever!

Btw., why is Steven Spielberg always spelled wrong?

I mean S. Speilberg, S. Speilburg! WTH?

leov36
  Dec 17, 2009
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I dont know, I just dont see this catching on. I'd much rather have a higher resolution 2-d (or 2d) format than a 3d format
kevskiee
  Dec 17, 2009
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Guys, I've seen several 3D movies in the theaters like my last one: Bolt. I was totally disappointed in the technique they used for this movie. And now I wonder if this story is the same technique.
I read people telling about "shutter glasses", but I bet these are not used at the theater.

Is there a difference between the story from above and the movie Bolt, which was in 3-D (incl glasses)

Update me please

Awaiting the 3-D invasion!

Spymaster
  Dec 17, 2009
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I must concur. I'm not that impressed with 3-D. It looks like 2 or 3 layers of 2-D to me. Not a truly three-dimensional image at all. By all accounts Avatar is just the same, although I won't be seeing it until Monday so don't quote me. Plus, while I don't mind paying a few extra £ for the novelty of seeing such a film in a darkened theatre I have no interest in paying a fortune for new equipment and watching my TV wearing a pair of sunglasses!

Top HT gallery
DAMNSAM77
  Dec 17, 2009
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December 17th should be 3DBD day for us 3D enthusiasts
Creed0831
  Dec 17, 2009
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Does this mean having to buy a new TV?

Spymaster
  Dec 17, 2009
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Of course it does. Why else do you think they're doing it? New TV, new player, new discs. Just to watch a bunch of mostly artificial-looking multi-layered images.
miniskunk
  Dec 17, 2009
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What I don't understand is why put out this new format without considering that most people who have bought into HDTV sets do not have sets capable of more than processing a 1080p 60hz signal. How hard would it be to code a video feed by providing 30 frames a second shuttered to each eye. 30 frames is more than sufficient for the 3d effect. This would provide a stop gap measure until 1080p 120hz screens become more affordable and commonplace.

Drama22
  Dec 17, 2009
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You will need a 3-d tv along with h3dmi cables..
mredman
  Dec 17, 2009
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How will one get your player or PS3 to play 3D movies. What do you need to play 3D movies?

steve599
  Dec 17, 2009
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I would be very interested in 3D at home. The problem here, though, is that a lot of people would have to buy new TVs. I'm just not willing to drop that kind of money just to have a dozen or so titles in 3D at home.
Jimmy Smith
  Dec 17, 2009
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Miniskunk the 3D proposal u give would be a disaster. Worse then anaglyph. 3D with 30 hz per eye would be a jittery, unwatchable mess. If they simply wanted 3D thats compatible for every television we have that with the current anaglyph releases. The only televisions not compatible with that kind of 3D is a black and white model. However anyone who watches these can testify they suck and provide a vastly inferior experiance to the full color high res images we are use to in theatres. Yeah new TVs are difficult to buy especially in this recession (I have doubts I will be able to afford it at first either) but Im glad they are proposing a form of 3D that is zero compromises. The prices of this equitment will come down and with the softwares backwards compatibility we can still buy up plenty of 3D movies and be ready to go when the televisions drop down in price. I see no downside
Twile
  Dec 18, 2009
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Grubert,
Digital downloads are typically a lot smaller because companies are trying to offer instant-on playback for new purchases, keep down sizes so customers with dinky little 120 GB laptop drives aren't flustered when three movies eats up their free space, and to keep down distribution costs. The solutions are simply to a) have customers plan ahead so content can be loaded before they want to watch it (especially preordered movies, so you can watch them the minute they're released), b) tell customers to pick up a big storage drive, similar to the up-front investment of a Blu-ray player, and c) use a BitTorrent-like transfer system so that 1 million downloads of a 50 GB movie doesn't mean 50 petabytes of transfer from the company's content servers).

Ultimately it doesn't terribly matter to me whether digital distribution or Blu-ray is the dominant movie distribution method in 2010, 2015, or 2020. Whether I rip Blu-ray discs to my 12 TB home media server (50 GB movie = ~$3 to store indefinitely with instant access) or some proper digital distribution service arises, I'll have high-quality content at my viewing disposal regardless. And with any luck, in a year's time, it will work with my current stereoscopic 3-D setup.
Jimmy Smith
  Dec 18, 2009
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3D is another reason to be thankful Blu-Ray won the format war. Since 3D 1080p video would have been impossible on HD-DVD. HD-DVD didn't support bit rates beyond 36 mps while Blu-Ray supported bit rates of 54 mps. HD-DVD supports correctly pointed out that for 2D 1080p video bit rates above 36 mps are never nessesary thanks to VC-1 and AVC codecs allowing more video information to be stored at lower bit rates. For 2D video this advantage wasn't real but since 3D HD video which requires 50% higher bit rates every bit of Blu-Rays bit rate requirements will be nessesary. Without all players being able to read bit rates high enough 3D video could not be done and maintain backwards compatibility with all current stand alone players (which is why 4k Blu-Ray is impossible). Even if somehow you did encode a 3D Full HD picture on an HD-DVD it would never be able to fit more then 140 minutes due to the 30 gig limitation. Avatar which is 161 minutes long would not fit on an HD-DVD in 1080p 3D. On a BD-50 however any movie under 3 hours (which at the present time includes all 3D movies) can fit without any compromise of quality. 3D is probably the best reason ever to be thankful Blu-Ray beat out HD-DVD.
guilt
  Dec 18, 2009
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From a casual googling on the internet, multi-view coding has nothing to do with HDMI 1.4's 3D specification. You wouldn't need to throw out your existing PS3s. In fact, any media player which supports firmware update should be able to support multi-view coding.
mkelley
  Dec 18, 2009
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I love the fact that someone said my assumption that "no serious filmmaker will use 3-D" is then followed by a list of many hack directors (or has beens) or folks who still make "gimmicky" films. Yeah, good argument. Here's a litmus test: no 3-D film will ever be nominated as Best Picture (other than, perhaps, an animated film which for obvious reasons can easily be converted to 3-D).

No, 3-D is a fad and it *will* pass. No more than a handful of films will be made each year and mentioning Avatar just proves my point (since it took about 10 years to make. Oh, and BTW, it's a *terrible* film, the worst that Cameron has made).

But -- for those of you who love the experience, you'll have it (just not very often). For the rest of us, we can watch a much better image on our current fine equipment.

Kaminari
  Dec 18, 2009
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Some people make it sound like stereoscopic is the Second Coming of video display. At best it's a nice gimmick, at worst it destroys picture quality. Not even mentioning a slew of viewers who, for many reasons, are "3-D disabled". While reasonably popular in theaters, stereoscopic will be a passing fad and never gain significant foot in the home market.

Just one fact: should I let everyone remember that more than 50% US consumers play at their HD games and watch HD movies... on a SD screen?

Nuff said.
miniskunk
  Dec 18, 2009
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Jimmy Smith: I am not saying the format itself should be spec-ed to 30 frames each side at 60hz. It can remain at 60 each side/120hz. What I am saying is in order to gain mass adoption it would not be in the interest in expanding the format if they do not support downsampling to meet the 60hz refresh limitation that most current models have. IE give us the option to watch 3d on our older LCD/plasmas (if 30hz per eye doesn't bother the end user) until we can afford later on to upgrade to a faster receiver. I presume that the format will only present up to 60 actual unique frames per second meaning they are doubling the frame to get 120hz so elminating the extra frame should be doable to accommodate 60hz displays while keeping the full spec intact for those with 120hz monitors.
Jimmy Smith
  Dec 18, 2009
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mimiskunk its not possible to create a watchable 3D presentation on a 60hz television. The format does support downsampling to 2D and thats the best it can do and the best it should do. 3Ds biggest hurtle is its past mistakes. Every version of home video 3D in the past has been horrendous and no matter how good these new 3D Blu-Rays look people will are gonna have a bad taste in there mouth remembering bad versions of 3D in the past. For this format of 3D to succeed it has to due away with all the mistakes of the past. Trying to create a 3D that could be compatible with 60 hz models would be disaster. If 3D isn't perfect it shouldn't exist.
Hale-Bopp
  Dec 18, 2009
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mkelley, why are you so hellbent against 3-D? It's just an option. No one's going to force you into watching 3-D films. Don't you feel kinda silly sounding so angry about it?

One thing I think some people are not seeing is that eventually 3-D will one day be just another feature of your every day blu-ray player or HDTV. It's an option you can ignore like anything else you don't use in your current setup if in fact 3-D is not your thing.

There's also the positive aspect that if you don't care for 3-D, once these players and tvs are released, it will drive the price of 2-D tvs and blu-ray players down since those will be lacking in soon to be standard 3-D features.

It's a win-win for both sides, really. You don't like it, don't buy it. Either way, the costs go down and nobody's worse off for it.
Twile
  Dec 18, 2009
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I can't wait until this "color" fad passes. I mean, no serious film maker uses it. It will never be in a movie which is nominated for an award. It's just a gimmick which serves to make movies more expensive and complicated to produce and display. I mean, we don't really need color, because we know what colors people and trees and things are. And need I remind you that a portion of the population is colorblind and won't enjoy the full color experience anyway? Plus, most people don't have color TVs yet, so what's the point?

Get a damn clue, people. The coming of properly-implemented home 3D will mean exactly one thing to people who are against it: some of your bonus features might be pushed onto the second disc because more space on the main feature disc is needed for an extra video feed. You don't HAVE to buy the glasses and a 120 Hz TV or an autostereoscopic display. Those of us who are glad we have 2 eyes and can perceive surfaces with depth and presence inside the screen rather than just a moving image will be able to cough up an extra $60 for a pair of 3D glasses and enjoy 3D.
Hale-Bopp
  Dec 18, 2009
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haha, well played. ^

Top contributor
Dynamo of Eternia
  Dec 18, 2009
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Okay, so here's a question. I'm sure that my current HDTV won't support 3-D. However, I am current toying around with getting a new one in the next couple of months (this is something that I've been thinking about doing regardless of 3-D coming out)

While 3-D I have mixed feelings about the whole 3-D thing, and am not sure how often I would use it, I figure I may as well get a set that is compatible with it just to be ready (and I already use a PS3 for my BD player, so I am find in that respect).

So, with that in mind, I am likely going to get one of the Panasonic G10 Plasma HDTVs (not sure which size yet, but like 50 inch). Will that TV be 3-D compatible?

photograph17
  Dec 18, 2009
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This sucks. My blu ray player I just got last year is now already obsolete, and my TV is, gasp, two years old so it can't support 3D either. When will this end? Why can't we get a firmware upgrade like the PS3 does? I feel like this is gouging. I think I'll just download torrents from now on, I'm getting sick of this.
Jimmy Smith
  Dec 18, 2009
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photograph17 get over it seriously. Accept that it never ends and there is always something better coming out. In another half decade or so we will be getting 4k resolution and/or autostero displays (3D displays that don't require glasses). Then something will come out better in another half decade. Technology is always evolving always changing. I bet you were one who hated having to buy a DVD player cause you just got a VCR. If you don't like it live in a cave and don't surround yourself with the improvements of our ever changing world.

A firmware update for standalones is not possible. The Playstation 3 is being updated because it has an adapting CPU that can handle new programming functions. Stand-alones hardware does not have a CPU it only has the capabilities of its initial programing functions. Even the Playstation 3 isn't being adapted to play 1080p 3D but 3D at half resolution due to its own hardware limitation. Only players with HDMI 1.4 conncetions can handle 1080p 3D.

Mier101294
  Dec 18, 2009
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I hate to be the negative nancy here but...is this tech really needed right now? Blu is JUST starting to catch on with people and now they are going to put out a brand new tech for consumers to buy? It really is a shame because i see this dying fast. Personally I think they should hold off on this for a couple more years and then slowly introduce it.
Hale-Bopp
  Dec 18, 2009
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Mier, was blu-ray itself needed the moment that it came out? Of course not.

Do see how silly the argument sounds, especially in a forum regarding newer tech (blu-ray)? What makes you think a couple of years from now will make any difference? If anything, you penetrate the market now so that in a couple of years it will have broad penetration in people's homes, mainly due to people buying their first HDTV or those replacing their old tvs.
Stoyanov
  Dec 18, 2009
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Will my Yamaha RX V463 amp have to be replaced because of the new specs, since the PS3 is fine? I have my PS3 slim (bought the other day) connected to the amp via HDMI and then from the amp HDMI out to the HDTV. I'm sure I'll need a new HDTV but will I have to replace the amp too? :\

Wollan
  Dec 18, 2009
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Will invest in a 3D screen next year and... use 5min to update my PS3.
Avatar in 3D was amazing, Nvidia 3D Vision gaming is amazing. Can't wait.

DTBlack
  Dec 19, 2009
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This is all very confusing. I have a 120hz TV and a PS3. I see the PS3 will support 3D, but people say you'll need a new TV... but then I see others saying you'll need 120hz. So will my TV be able to do 3D or does it have to be a special 3D TV?
Twile
  Dec 19, 2009
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DTBlack,
It's hard to say at this point. Not all 120 Hz displays will work, I'm sure--many of them will only accept up to 60 Hz input because they were just using the 120 Hz to do frame interpolation and try to provide a smoother image. They didn't see the need to accept 120 Hz input because, PC gamers aside, nobody could even provide >60 Hz. Some displays have been marketed over the past year as 3D-ready, and those definitely have 120 Hz input, which is part of what people will need.

Even if your display does 120 Hz, though, the 3-D shutter glasses will need some way to synchronize with the image being displayed to make sure you get the right image to the right eye. With Nvidia's implementation, it sends out IR pulses to the glasses, and that will work with some TVs (although you have to plug the IR transmitter into your computer). Assuming that the IR method becomes standardized, expect upcoming 3D TVs to ship with the transmitter built into the TV itself.

Short answer, though: If it won't accept 120 Hz input, no. If it will accept 120 Hz and it's a DLP set, then it will at least work with Nvidia's solution, don't know if it will work with whatever standard is settled on.

Greg88
  Dec 19, 2009
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Someone is going to have to make a lot of movies in 3D that I am interested in seeing before I would bother buying yet another new television and bluray player. I couldn't care less about Disney's latest "classic" in 3D or any of the other mind numbing stuff coming from Pixar. I don't own any of them, don't watch them and would never want to. Other than that kind of stuff we have some run of the mill horror remakes in 3D and the occasional family oriented stuff like JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH. Why on earth would I be excited about spending another ton of money on equipment to watch this sort of drivel?

The Guilty Party
  Dec 20, 2009
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Greg88... what you wrote WAS fairly accurate until this past weekend when Avatar came out. The 3-D in that film isn't a gimmick or two but the whole world in the film is popping off of the screen from the people to the plants to the ash from a fire.

Before seeing Avatar in IMAX 3-D, I really didn't care about having 3-D as a part of my home theater. Now, I can see 3-D being used in this manner for future movies as well which means this is something I will keep an eye on.
Jimmy Smith
  Dec 20, 2009
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Greg88 did you call Pixars material mind-numing. You have lost all credibility

darkedgex
  Jan 01, 2010
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I was sincerely hoping the BDA would use this opportunity to expand the BD specification to include additional layers in the optical discs (so a 3D encode could use the additional space, while the first two layers would include the "base" disc with a 2D encode) and higher spin rates/bitrates (so 3D content could break the 54 mbps barrier).

This would have meant making a new PS3 (because of the need for a new optical drive), but the gains would have been worth it IMHO. And at least (assuming the first two layers remained readable in older devices) the PS3/etc. would have been able to use the discs for their 2D content.


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