In case plans by AMD and a slew of other tech vendors planning to showcase 3D Blu-ray compatible products at CES wasn't a tip-off, the updated specifications are done. The key details? First, that the Blu-ray Disc Association has chosen the Multiview Video Coding (MVC) codec to store 3D, so that even though it is now providing a full 1080p frame for each eye, it will only require about 50% more storage space compared to the 2D version, and all discs will be fully backwards compatible, in 2D, on existing players. 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.
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Blu-ray Disc Association Announces Final 3D Specification
"Blu-ray 3DTM" Expected to Reach Consumers in 2010 LOS ANGELES --(Business Wire)-- Dec 17, 2009

The Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) today announced the finalization and release of the "Blu-ray 3DTM" specification. The specification, which represents the work of the leading Hollywood studios and consumer electronic and computer manufacturers, will enable the home entertainment industry to bring the 3D experience into consumers' living rooms on Blu-ray Disc, the most capable high definition home entertainment platform.

"Throughout this year, movie goers have shown an overwhelming preference for 3D when presented with the option to see a theatrical release in either 3D or 2D," said Victor Matsuda, chairman, BDA Global Promotions Committee. "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."

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.

"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." The Blu-ray 3D specification is also designed to allow PS3 game consoles to play back Blu-ray 3D content in 3D. Additionally, the specification supports playback of 2D discs in forthcoming 3D players and can enable 2D playback of Blu-ray 3D discs on the large installed base of Blu-ray Disc players currently in homes around the world.

"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 3D in the home. In the meantime, existing players and libraries can continue to be fully enjoyed as consumers consider extending into 3D home entertainment."

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% 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.

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.