Nvidia to Demo Stereo 3D Blu-Ray at CES As Standard Gets Closer

Nvidia Demonstrates Stereo 3D Blu-Ray Playback Behind Closed Doors

by Anton Shilov
12/09/2009 | 10:45 PM

Nvidia Corp. said Wednesday that it would demonstrate playback of stereoscopic 3D Blu-ray disc (BD) using its 3D Vision technology at Consumer Electronics Show next month. In addition, the company said that 3D Blu-ray specification was “expected to be formally announced later this year”.


According to the company, over the last few weeks it has successfully demonstrated playback of 3D content encoded with the AVC Multi-View Codec (or AVC-MVC), the codec that is expected to become the foundation for how 3D content is encoded onto Blu-ray discs (at least until Microsoft develops 3D version of VC-1), behind closed doors. 3D Blu-ray content encoded in AVC –MVC can be decoded in real time on select Nvidia GPUs starting from GeForce GT 240 ($99 MSRP), as well as upcoming next-generation GF100 GPUs based on the Nvidia “Fermi” architecture.

Blu-ray disc association’s 3D BD standard is based on active shutter glasses technology, hence, to enjoy 3D Blu-ray movies end-users will need 3D Vision package from Nvidia as well as full-HD monitors with 120Hz refresh rate. Nvidia said that Acer will be first to market with its new GD245HQ and GD235HZ models.

Quite naturally, AVC-MVC content will require more computational resources to decode content from Blu-ray discs since basically this means decoding two 1080p (1920x1080, progressive scan) streams at once. As a result, Nvidia seems to limit 3D BD support to GeForce GT 240 or more powerful graphics cards. It remains to be seen whether graphics cards that do not support dual-full-HD video decoding will support stereoscopic 3D Blu-ray at all.

The graphics chip designer said that it had been working closely with the world’s leading movie playback software developers, including Arcsoft, Corel, Cyberlink and Sonic, to ensure seamless support for 3D Blu-ray titles when they are ready to ship in 2010.

 Earlier this week ATI, graphics business unit of Advanced Micro Devices, said it would also demonstrate stereoscopic 3D Blu-ray playback at CES.