Blu-ray Disc Association announces final ‘Blu-ray 3D’ specification

The Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) today announced the finalization and release of the “Blu-ray 3D” 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, in the press release. “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, in the press release. “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, in the press release. “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.

Source: Blu-ray Disc Association


  1. Read somewhere your HD tv has to have a 120 mhz refresh rate or faster. Figures, I always splurge for the crap too early so my 1080p HD tv runs refreshes at 60 mhz.

    Not that I care that much about 3D. I just know my kids will ask if they rent that movie and I’ll have to admit that our inferior tech won’t cut it . . .

  2. “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…”.

    We have? That’s news to me. I’d be curious to see some data supporting that. I can’t stand 3D movies myself.

  3. Yeah, your tv will need to do 120 so it can do 60 for each eye.
    Will have to wait and see how this develops, would be expensive at this point to upgrade both my blu ray player and my tv. And I consider 3D a novelty for a movie, not a necessity.

  4. I have a PS3 and a 60″ Kuro plasma TV. I have 3 3D movies that use anaglyph glasses. The two movies that are animated are quite good, Carroline is quite good. The only 3D photographed movie “Journey to the Center of the Earth” is quite dim but the 3D effect is pretty good. My $5k Pioneer Kuro Plasma is only 60 mhz so I have hope that I won’t need to a new TV. I like 3D in the theatre and go to every new one as soon as they come out. Can’t wait for Avatar, that should be spectacular for $500,000,000 they spent.

  5. @HughB

    “anaglyph”. In other words, the classic “red lens/blue lens” glasses. If that’s my only option for 3D, I’m not interested. Those things hurt my eyes and make the picture look like crap. You’re staring through color lenses, for crying out loud.


  6. Is it a sign of Apple’s weakness that Mac OS still does not support Blu-ray playback?
    Or is it a sign of strength that they can allow themselves to go without the additional revenue that a 27inch Blu-ray Mac would create? (So they can first sell those – for the most part unupgradeable – behemoths and then sell them again to the same people but with Blu-ray playback included.)

    I tend to think it rather is a sign of weakness and a lack of development resources.

  7. I H A T E 3D movies. Now that I wear glasses I see they’d be even MORE problematic. Reason the studios are saying people prefer 3d is most likely because sometimes thats ALL they are showing it in and promoting on opening night. Again 3D sucks.

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