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CES 2010 - If all goes well, consumers should be able to get their first taste of 3D Blu-ray on their computers and laptops midway through this year.
During Digital Experience we hooked up with Tom from CyberLink here in the USA who gave us a rundown on the technology, a look at the different glasses options and probably your very first look at PowerDVD 3D up and running for real, albeit a very early version, but a look nonetheless. Watch our video below.
In the demo that was on show, an Intel P55 system was setup and considering that 3D Blu-ray requires two renders of the movie to produce the extra dimension, the CPU usage of around 4 - 8% was amazing, and we are working with early software and drivers - and that is something to keep in mind.
Judging by what I saw, it seems like progress on the new tech is going very well and we might actually see a launch as mentioned. But for all the folks involved in Blu-ray on PC, let's get bitstreaming working, like now... okay?
The biggest news this week was that the 3D Blu-ray specifications were finalized. Along with that finalization, we learned that the PS3 would support 3D Blu-ray. If you have seen a 3D film in the theaters in recent months, it was likely powered by RealD 3D technology.
Sony and RealD announced this week that they were teaming up to integrate RealD stereoscopic 3D technology into Sony consumer products in 2010. The tech will be integrated into Bravia TVs and eyewear to support 3D in homes.
I wonder if the RealD tech will be used in the PS3 update for 3D Blu-ray. This 3D tech will be a big deal in 2010 as more and more people looked to upgrade. I hope that broadcasters start to pick up 3D content as well.
The first time I saw HD and Blu-ray tech was at CES a few years back. This year at CES 3D technology will be big and major companies like AMD will be showing off 3D Blu-ray. The Blu-ray Disc Association has announced the final specifications for 3D Blu-ray are complete.
The specs were a group effort with Hollywood studios, consumer electronics makers and more. The spec will allow the delivery of 1080p resolution to each eye. The design of the specs allows 3D Blu-ray to work on LCD or plasma TVs with any available 3D technology.
The best news is that the PS3 will be 3D capable so we should have a firmware update coming to enable that at some point. The specs call for encoding 3D using the MVC codec, an extension to the ITU-T H.264 AVC codec already used by Blu-ray players. 3D discs will be playable in 2D on standard players and 2D discs will be playable in 3D players. Equipment with 3D Blu-ray support is expected in 2010.
The folks at Engadget were lucky enough to have recently gotten a taste of NVIDIA's 3D Blu-ray ecosystem on one of Acer's upcoming LCD beauties, the 120Hz NVIDIA 3D-ready 24" G245.
During their demo session they also learned a bit about the 3D Blu-ray format which is a backward compatible 1080p source, but uses the new MVC-AVC format to provide a 3D image for both the software and decoding hardware that is able to make use of it.
As far as supporting NVIDIA cards go, the GT 220 and GT 240 can make use of 3D Blu-ray, with NVIDIA's upcoming Fermi cards carrying support as well. It's been said that supporting software won't be an issue with all the main mobs (Arcsoft, Core, Cyberlink and Sonic) all nodding their heads to prepare for 3D Blu-ray titles and have support in time for shipping next year.
CES 2010 is only a few weeks away and one of the coolest things that has been announced to debut at the show is the AMD stereoscopic Blu-ray 3D demo. AMD says that it will be providing a demonstration in conjunction with CyberLink.
This should be cool, this year at CES, one of the most interesting things I saw was the NVIDIA 3D active glasses demo. AMD is making the demo using the coming standards for stereoscopic Blu-ray 3D.
The standard promises the type of 3D visual effects that consumers enjoy at the theater. If works as well as the standard 3D content you can already enjoy, it should be a big deal.
Back in January at CES 2009, I spent a bit of time playing with the NVIDIA 3D Vision glasses at the NVIDIA booth. I think the 3D effects that the glasses provide were one of the coolest things that I saw at the show. The active glasses have been available for a while and now that several notebook makers are starting to go 3D, we are seeing the glasses turn up in more places.
Asus announced a new gaming notebook today called the G51J 3D that includes the NVIDIA 3D Vision active glasses system for 3D effects. The notebook has a 120Hz refresh rate LCD that measure 15.6-inches. The NVIDIA 3D Vision system requires a 120Hz refresh rate to operate.
The notebook runs an Intel Core i7 CPU and has graphics via an NVIDIA GTX 260M video card. The machine is expected to launch "soon" for about $1700. That is not such a bad price really considering the 3G gaming goodness it offers.
So the Zune HD is finally getting some decent games. It took Microsoft a little less than two months to get them out but now that they are hear Zune HD owners can finally begin to show off the power of the Tegra inside their PMPs.
As of this morning the Zune Marketplace is showing roughly seven extra free games and apps. Of special note are PGR: Ferrari Edition and AudioSurf Tilt. We had the chance to grab these free games and to take them for a short spin. We can honestly report that the Zune HD is quite the gaming platform.
In PGR: Ferrari Edition we found the graphics to be excellent while the Accelerometer in the Zune HD offered better control than the one in the iPhone 3G (or 3G S). The game was fast paced and the audio processor is excellent at maintaining in game sounds.
On the other side is AudioSurf Tilt, this game does fail at the graphical level but as a whole is very fun to play and addictive as well. In the game you "drive" along a race track created based on the audio track you chose. You have to maneuver along it collecting colored cubes while avoiding speed bumps. It has a very fun Guitar Hero feel to it and was one that I found it hard to put down.
But with the good there is always a little bad. In this case the Zune HD's lack of a speaker can make the games awkward. To get the sounds you have to use a set of headphones, this makes holding and controlling the player awkward. There is also the slightly annoying issue that most of these games have an ad that you have to watch before they launch. So while the games are free, you end up paying with that annoying intro ad and the wasted time to get into the real game play.
The Zune HD launches tomorrow to what should be a great reception. According to early previews and information on the internals for the new Microsoft Media Player the Zune HD is looking pretty formidable.
The question is; will it be able to make a dent in the iPod/iPod Touch's massive market share? Well, MS is facing two problems; the first is the most important. MS has almost no idea how to market the Zune HD. Their marketing department is terrible. When you compare them to the highly polished Apple team it is almost comical. The second problem is one that is easier to tackle.
To compete at all the Zune HD must, hands down, outperform the iPod Touch. I am not talking about simple video playback; I am talking about in all respects. So far the Zune has probably the most powerful SoC out, the nVidia Tegra. This gives the Zune HD an advantage over the touch in terms of RAW CPU and GPU power. But having a great CPU/GPU is not enough.
The OS must do and have things that the Touch does not/cannot. As of right now the Zune has a few checks in this column. HD Radio, (rumored) Flash Support, 720p(+) playback, remote control (with Dock), and now it may be that the Zune HD has the upper hand in gaming. Check out this promotional video showing it playing Forza 3.
Maybe if the MS Marketing team can get their heads out the Zune HD might actually have a fighting chance.
So Microsoft might release project Natal in 2010 and they might have a new XboX 360. That is a lot of mights to be perfectly honest. But Sony on the other hand is saying they will have 3D TV support for the PS3 in 2010.
This was demonstrated recently. The new 3D Support will come in the form of a firmware update for the PS3. This simple (relatively) update to your console will enable 3D support for all existing titles.
That last line is the most important; this is not an update that will make it available for "future products" no it will enable it for all existing titles. All I can say there is wow.
3D gaming has been something of a dream for game developers. It allows the eye-candy and visual element of the game to become more active. Now if they can get the motion capture/control elements working then we are talking about a completely new level of immersive gaming and something to really look forward to in the future.
There is nothing like a new cool gadget and Fujifilm has one. This is a 3D Digital camera for the masses. The new camera is a small compact device that is capable of capturing 3D Images that are viewable without the need to special glasses.
The concept behind the capture is surprisingly simple; through the use of two lenses (similar to the old stereoscopic viewers) the camera is able to combine different fields of view (depth) into an image or movie that is fully 3 dimensional.
Fujifilm will also offer a special printing process for these images. The new FinePix REAL 3D W1 should hit the stores in Japan early next month followed by a general release late next month.
The REAL 3D W1 will not be an inexpensive gadget though; it will run about $640 US dollars.