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Things to consider about 3D video

Decoding Blu-ray 3D on a PC

While quad-core CPUs can support software decoding of 3D Blu-ray, the optimal solution includes a discrete graphics card or integrated graphics solution capable of decoding Blu-ray 3D in the GPU. The latest-generation graphics processors, including Nvidia’s GeForce GT 240, GT 340, GT 330, GT 320,  GTX 470, GTX 480 graphics cards, and GeForce 300M-series mobile graphics, and systems with Intel Core processors with Intel HD graphics (Core i3, Core i5, and Core i7 Mobile) support dual HD video stream decoding. Blu-ray 3D video decoding solutions can be expected for ATI Radeon 5000-series graphics in the future.

Blu-ray player software utilizes these modern graphics processors to decode Blu-ray 3D MVC, resulting in very low CPU utilization and flawless video performance.

Connecting To A PC display

Full-quality 120 Hz frame sequential 3D video is only supported through a dual-link DVI connector (for Nvidia 3D Vision-compatible displays), or (soon) through a High Speed HDMI cable to a HDMI 1.4-compliant display.

HDMI 1.4 specifies support for a number of 3D video signal formats, including full-frame, dual-stream 3D, where both the left and right video frames are packed into a single stereo frame, with the left eye picture on top of the right. HDMI 1.4 stereoscopic frame packing supports 1080p at 24 frames per second, or 720p resolution at 50 or 60 frames per second.

HDMI 1.4 also defines 3D signals compressed into standard 2D video formats, including side-by-side and over/under. Polarized displays can be connected to a PC using standard DVI or HDMI 1.3 connections.

Should I upgrade my TV, or my PC?

Ultimately, you’ll want to watch movies on the largest screen that you can afford.  Several 3D TV models are available today, and more will be available later this year.

This year, 3D TVs are going to be relatively expensive. Typically, the replacement cycle for TVs is between five and 10 years. Consumers who have recently purchased a new large-screen TV may be reluctant to upgrade to a new 3D TV right away. It is likely that consumers will add 3D capability at some point in the future when they otherwise choose to upgrade or replace their TV. Of course, this decision depends on many factors, such as the availability of Blu-ray 3D titles, 3D TV channels, and other 3D video content.

Replacement cycles for notebook PCs, and upgrade cycles for desktop PCs are much faster. Enthusiasts may upgrade their desktop PCs every year. It will be easy to add 3D video decoding and display capability when upgrading or replacing a PC. For these reasons, we think that the installed base of 3D video-capable PCs will vastly outnumber 3D capable TVs in the next few years.