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Author Topic: 3D at home?
Fred Tucker
Film Handler

Posts: 90
From: Sugar Land, TX
Registered: Sep 2007


 - posted 10-05-2008 07:27 PM      Profile for Fred Tucker   Email Fred Tucker   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The race for market share in 3D cinema has got me wondering if there will be 3D content for use at home. Sony makes a few small 4k projectors and with Sony's 3D only requiring only 1 4K projector to make stereographic 3D, I'm curious if BluRay could support the content even if you had to switch disks in the middle of a movie. Does anybody have any input?

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Bobby Henderson
"Ask me about Trajan."

Posts: 10973
From: Lawton, OK, USA
Registered: Apr 2001


 - posted 10-06-2008 01:46 PM      Profile for Bobby Henderson   Email Bobby Henderson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Full color 3D is not happening on Blu-ray or home theater on any mass production basis anytime soon. A number of technological hurdles must be overcome before it could be practical.

Rear projection screen TVs are dying out fast, so the whole polarized glasses and DLP approach won't fly.

LCD-based shutter glasses and HDTV screens with very fast refresh rates, working in multiples of 48Hz, would be the most likely approach used. 120Hz LCD HDTV sets are still a recent development. Companies like Sony are working on 240Hz models. The 240Hz rate would be able to flash the left eye and right eye views 5 times each. However, some sort of system would need to be in place to have the TV set, Blu-ray player and LCD shutter glasses to work perfectly in sync with each other.

Anyway, a lot of new hardware would have to be purchased for this stuff to work. I am very skeptical about it working with any of the HDTV setups currently in anyone's home. Manufacturers will have to build 3D capability into new TV sets and let the install base of those products grow to a point where the market is worthy to target.

The number of 3D movies in studio catalogs is also very low. Hollywood is all gung ho about embracing 3D. They have to go beyond that enthusiasm to actually releasing a steady string a hit movies in 3D and then allow a good supply of 3D titles to build in their home video libraries. Once all of that happens then full color 3D in the home will be practical. I just don't see us reaching that point for at least another 5 years.

Heck, real time 1080p HD movie downloads in Blu-ray quality via the Internet may happen before full color 3D in the home gets marketed. And I don't see that real time downloading thing taking hold for another 7 to 10 years.

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Fred Tucker
Film Handler

Posts: 90
From: Sugar Land, TX
Registered: Sep 2007


 - posted 10-06-2008 07:58 PM      Profile for Fred Tucker   Email Fred Tucker   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
But what about a front projection 4k like Sony is beginning to offer? I remember reading a while back about 2 plasma or lcd TVs configured in a V to offer 3D at home, but never heard anything else about it or how the conumer would get it.

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Bobby Henderson
"Ask me about Trajan."

Posts: 10973
From: Lawton, OK, USA
Registered: Apr 2001


 - posted 10-06-2008 10:37 PM      Profile for Bobby Henderson   Email Bobby Henderson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Very few people are willing to put together a home projection setup. Most people want a space saving flat panel television, be it plasma or LCD-based. OLED looks promising for future displays. Full color 3D in the home will have to work with flat panel monitors to have any chance of mass market success.

Something like the 4K system Sony is installing in certain digital cinema theaters is way out of the budget range of the general public and really only meant for commercial applications anyway.

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Thomas Pitt
Master Film Handler

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From: Leeds, West Yorkshire, UK
Registered: May 2007


 - posted 10-07-2008 01:00 AM      Profile for Thomas Pitt   Email Thomas Pitt   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Unless you use anaglyph (red/blue) 3D, there's no way of simply adding a 3D system to an existing TV/Blu-ray setup. You'd either need a TV capable of projecting two polarized images at once, or some way of synchronising shutter glasses to the screen.

LCDs have a small update delay anyway; you can often see it blurring a bit when there's motion on the picture. Flickering between two images would not work at all due to this delay effect. You'd need a faster updating system like DLP or OLED for that to work at all.
In theory you could have two LCDs projecting onto the same screen at different polarizations, though.

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Scott Norwood
Film God

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From: Boston, MA. USA (1774.21 miles northeast of Dallas)
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 10-07-2008 08:38 AM      Profile for Scott Norwood   Author's Homepage   Email Scott Norwood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I played with 3D glasses and an LCD projector a while ago and seem to remember that the different colors were polarized differently, such that normal 3D wouldn't work. Is this still the case, or are all the colors polarized similarly in new LCD projectors?

Is field-sequential dead at this point, due to the cost of the glasses and comparatively poor resolution?

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Bobby Henderson
"Ask me about Trajan."

Posts: 10973
From: Lawton, OK, USA
Registered: Apr 2001


 - posted 10-07-2008 09:30 AM      Profile for Bobby Henderson   Email Bobby Henderson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Thomas Pitt
Unless you use anaglyph (red/blue) 3D, there's no way of simply adding a 3D system to an existing TV/Blu-ray setup.
That's right. Full color 3D will not work with current flat panel plasma or LCD-TV sets. No 3D system for home theater is ever going to get anywhere at all unless it can work in a flat panel form factor. Because of that, electronics companies will have to figure out some way to make full color 3D work with an entirely new generation of flat panel HDTV sets. They will have to build up an "infrastructure" or customer base of installed 3D capable flat panel television sets in the market place to seed any chance of home 3D growth.

Most people like flat panel TVs too much to ditch them for cumbersome video projection setups just to show movies in 3D.

Some home theater fans must accommodate the home decoration interests of a spouse. At the risk of sounding sexist, I'll go out on a limb and say most women really hate huge, bulky rear projection TV screens. RPTV technology is practically dead. Most wives are not going to go for some projector hanging overhead in their living rooms either. They would much rather have a flat panel TV set and one that isn't too large either. They'll force a husband to buy a smaller TV set so it will fit in with that nice piece of furniture she chose for the living room. These are market realities. Full color home 3D is doomed for miserable failure if it can find no way to fit in with those considerations.

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Mark J. Marshall
Film God

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From: New Castle, DE, USA
Registered: Aug 2002


 - posted 10-07-2008 02:05 PM      Profile for Mark J. Marshall     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Thomas Pitt
In theory you could have two LCDs projecting onto the same screen at different polarizations, though.
Exactly. THAT is the way to do it.

There are two parts to this problem. The first part is how the Blu-Ray spec will handle 3D. The second part is how TVs will handle the 3D content coming from the Blu-Ray system and how will it present it. The second part could be solved NOW with two LCD projectors. That's easy. So the Blu-Ray group needs to start working on their part of the problem, and the TV manufacturers will follow. What worries me is it seems like we're waiting for a new 3D TV to come out, and that is the WRONG way to be doing this.

The way I see it, the Blu-Ray group has two basic choices. Either we have the Blu-Ray spec support two full 1080P video streams running in sync from one disk, or have it support two full 1080P streams running from two different sources. Maybe that means two disks running in two players, maybe that means one player with two drives, or maybe that even means one eye from the Blu-Ray disk, and the other eye downloaded and stored on an internal hard drive inside the player.

You might be pushing it with your 50GB limit on the disks if you want to have both 1080P eyes recorded on the same disk. If you can get past that 50GB barrier (or maybe read the top and bottom of the disk at the same time, or whatever...) then you'll be ok. Otherwise, you have one eye on the disk, and the other eye someplace else. So maybe what you do is sell the normal 2D Blu-Ray version, which can be encoded with the 3D sync information needed by the player to sync it to the other eye, and then get the other eye on a separate disk from the studio or some online source. OR... maybe you download the other eye. Who knows? But somehow we need the other eye.

Once you have both eyes, then we just need to sync them up. That should be fairly straight forward development wise. Whether you build a special player with two drives in it - or allow the two players to talk to each other somehow and sync up their signals.

Those are my suggestions, but there are lots of ways to make this happen. And Bobby is right, you need adoption to make it profitable and interesting for the companies involved in order for them to push it forward. Starting with the two projector idea is one way to eliminate a step in the development process.

But if they're going to do it, they need to do it right. Two full 1080P video streams being output from the player(s) should be the goal of the Blu-Ray 3D spec. **NOT** one field sequential 1080P video stream with shutter glasses or some sort of frame alternating technology. Now if someone wants to come up with a way to take the two 1080P streams coming out of the player(s) and combine the signals to present the 3D in a field sequential method, that's fine (although I won't buy it). But that is not how the Blu-Ray spec should be structured. If we let the TV manufacturers come up with their technology first, I'm afraid that might be what we end up with.

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Scott Norwood
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From: Boston, MA. USA (1774.21 miles northeast of Dallas)
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 - posted 10-07-2008 03:51 PM      Profile for Scott Norwood   Author's Homepage   Email Scott Norwood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Aunt Millie is _not_ going to want to deal with getting a silver screen, aligning two projectors (and keeping the lamp hours constant on both, to avoid color shifts), synching two players, getting the correct disk in the correct player, and putting the glasses on correctly. This is essentially the same process as setting up a film 3D system which, while not difficult, is not something that the average consumer will ever do. I don't mean to suggest that this wouldn't be a great niche product...just that it would never become inexpensive and mainstream.

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Paul Mayer
Oh get out of it Melvin, before it pulls you under!

Posts: 3836
From: Albuquerque, NM
Registered: Feb 2000


 - posted 10-07-2008 04:50 PM      Profile for Paul Mayer   Author's Homepage   Email Paul Mayer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
3D is coming to the home front soon - lots of demonstrations at NAB this last April. The ones I saw were direct view sets using glasses similar to what Dolby uses in theaters these days.

Will be interesting to see how many people buy into this...

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Bill Gabel
Film God

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From: Technicolor / Postworks NY, USA
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 - posted 10-07-2008 05:41 PM      Profile for Bill Gabel   Email Bill Gabel   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Have Aunt Millie go out and get a D5 deck and a NEC IS-8 projector and she can have her 3D in HD.

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Bobby Henderson
"Ask me about Trajan."

Posts: 10973
From: Lawton, OK, USA
Registered: Apr 2001


 - posted 10-07-2008 06:34 PM      Profile for Bobby Henderson   Email Bobby Henderson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Mark J. Marshall
But if they're going to do it, they need to do it right. Two full 1080P video streams being output from the player(s) should be the goal of the Blu-Ray 3D spec. **NOT** one field sequential 1080P video stream with shutter glasses or some sort of frame alternating technology.
Blu-ray would not be able to make 3D work from a single video stream anyway. The inter-frame compression very common to both MPEG-4 AVC and Microsoft VC-1 video formats kills any notion of having one single 48fps stream.

A single 48fps stream in digital cinema works since the Motion JPEG2000 format stores every movie frame as a discrete, separate still image. You don't really have that sort of thing with AVC or VC1.

I think the Bonus View picture in picture functions of Blu-ray could allow two discrete 24fps streams to be played simultaneously. Because of the 54Mb/s maximum bandwidth of Blu-ray, video compression levels may end up being more severe with 3D movies on Blu-ray than most 2D titles.

It would be easier for electronics companies to show off dual projection setups with polarized 3D, but hardly anyone is going to buy such a setup. It's going to be more challenging to get it to work with a new generation of flat panel televisions.

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Mark J. Marshall
Film God

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From: New Castle, DE, USA
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 - posted 10-07-2008 07:17 PM      Profile for Mark J. Marshall     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
My point, guys, is that the Blu-Ray group needs to figure out how to get two 1080P streams in sync. If they did that now, we could play it now with existing technology. Or they could wait for the TV manufacturers to catch up. But if they are truly all about giving the best presentation possible, that's what they need to do. And I don't know who Aunt Millie is, but she sounds like someone who still watches an old tube TV and doesn't care about 3D anyway.

The TV manufacturers all seem to be doing their own thing right now. If we wait for a single 3D TV technology that will quite possibly rely on a single stream field sequential type of input (because that's about all there is in the home theater market right now in terms of 3D material to watch), then that may be what the Blu-Ray spec folks end up going with, and 3D on Blu-Ray will not be the best it can be.

If Blu-Ray figured out how to get two signals to the TVs in sync, the manufacturers would have a better direction to go in, and a standard would develop. So if they want to do it right, there's one thing they need to be focusing on: syncing up two full 1080P signals, and delivering them ...somewhere.

Tell me that is NOT something you would like to see, and that you would be excited and delighted to receive your 3D as anything less than that from Blu-Ray.

That was my point. If they're going to do it, do it right.

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Hillary Charles
Jedi Master Film Handler

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From: York, PA, USA
Registered: Feb 2001


 - posted 10-07-2008 10:52 PM      Profile for Hillary Charles   Email Hillary Charles   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I mentioned the Sensio system before, but here's another article on it.

I know people who have been successfully watching Sensio discs at home, so the future is already here. The problem is whether or not this will become the standard 3D home format.

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Bobby Henderson
"Ask me about Trajan."

Posts: 10973
From: Lawton, OK, USA
Registered: Apr 2001


 - posted 10-07-2008 11:51 PM      Profile for Bobby Henderson   Email Bobby Henderson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Mark J. Marshall
My point, guys, is that the Blu-Ray group needs to figure out how to get two 1080P streams in sync. If they did that now, we could play it now with existing technology. Or they could wait for the TV manufacturers to catch up.
It's more likely the latter.

The common difficulty is the difference between 30fps shit for broadcast and home video and the 24fps vomit spewed out from the movie industry. It seems as though 240Hz is the "holy grail" common denominator to both standards. Well, 120Hz was really the good enough thing for a few minutes. But then we started talking about this 3D shit and that had to double the damned rate!

So! Obviously, we need EVERYBODY in the home theater culture to shit-can their brand new 120Hz HDTV displays and upgrade to something 240Hz. That's despite the fact OLED is still struggling to arrive with displays that aren't tiny and priced through the stratosphere.

Like I said, it's going to be at least a few years before full color home 3D gains any traction at all. Hell, that "D-Box" shit with motion control chairs costing $10,000 might be happenin' before then.

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