What Are the Tech Specs for Blu-ray 3D?

Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q Are movies on Blu-ray 3D disc delivered at 1080p/24 resolution — the same as regular Blu-ray? If not, what is the resolution for Blu-ray 3D, and does the format use a different, lower-quality form of video compression? —Gilles Gontrand

A Yes, movies on Blu-ray 3D are delivered at 1080p resolution with a 24fps frame rate, same as regular Blu-ray. Where the format differs is in its presentation of two separate 1080p/24-format video frames, each representing the image at a slightly different angle that corresponds to a left- or right-eye view.

Video compression for 3D Blu-ray uses Multiview Video Coding (MVC), an extension of the H.264/AVC standard used for regular Blu-ray disc. During the encoding process, a primary video stream is captured that represents the 2D version of the image. At the same time, a Dependent View is created containing only the differences between the 2D and 3D views. Since both views share much of the same information, there is a corresponding data reduction during compression, but with no loss of visual quality. MVC also allows for backward compatibility when a disc is played on non-3D systems, which will display just the encoded 2D image.

While we’re on the subject of 3D, I should add that the new Ultra HD Blu-ray format does not support 3D, although most Ultra HD Blu-ray players can play Blu-ray 3D discs. And with big Hollywood movies like Wonder Woman and Blade Runner 2049 still being released theatrically in a 3D format, 3D enthusiasts can expect to see more titles turn up on Blu-ray 3D disc going forward.

barfle's picture

I hope my TV never dies. But I know I'll never get HDR, wide color gamut and 3D in the same set. More's the pity.