Thursday, September 3, 2009

BDA closes in on 3D specs for Blu-ray

BDA closes in on 3D specs for Blu-ray

PHYSICAL: Sony plans line of TVs, Blu-ray players, computers, PS3s

By Susanne Ault -- Video Business, 9/2/2009

SEPT. 2 | PHYSICAL: The Blu-ray Disc Association is making progress in approving universal specifications for creating stereoscopic 3D high-definition discs.

It's expected that the BDA will complete these specs by the end of this year, with studios launching their first such 3D discs—matching the high-quality 3D technology shown in theaters—in 2010.

The BDA hasn't yet formally commented about a completion timeline. However, BDA members made some decisions this week, notably regarding backward-compatibility requirements. Any produced 3D discs also will include a 2D version of the film that can be viewed with existing Blu-ray Disc players. Additionally, 3D-capable Blu-ray players must be able to run existing 2D titles.

"The BDA intends to take full advantage of the format's high bandwidth and capacity to achieve the very highest possible quality 3D experience," said Victor Matsuda, BDA global promotions committee chair. "Just as Blu-ray Disc has paved the way for next-generation, high-definition home entertainment, it will also set the standard for 3D home viewing in the future."

Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment president Bob Chapek said, "Consumer adoption of Blu-ray continues to grow at a very steady pace. The 3D theatrical market has been very successful this year. We are just now seeing all of the true capabilities of 3D, and with Blu-ray Disc's superior technical characteristics, as well as the broad industry support of the format, it makes it the ideal packaged media platform for 3D home entertainment."

Coinciding with BDA's 3D developments, Sony is expected to soon lay out plans for a 2010 line of stereoscopic 3D-enabled Bravia TV sets, Vaio laptop computers, PlayStation 3 consoles and Blu-ray players, according to theFinancial Times and Wall Street Journal, among other publications.

A Sony spokeswoman wasn't able to be immediately reached for comment.

Sony CEO Howard Stringer will announce the company's 3D products at the Sept. 4-9 IFA consumer electronics conference in Berlin, say news reports.

There is no word on exact street dates or pricing for Sony's 3D consumer electronics slate.

Panasonic has already committed to its own line of advanced 3D TVs and Blu-ray players, also set to bow in 2010. Today, the company kicked off an earlier announced truck tour of its upcoming 3D products. The tour will feature three tractor trailers that can accommodate 25 to 35 people per demonstration. One of its first stops is the CEDIA Expo, running Sept. 9-13 in Atlanta, Georgia.

"Panasonic is proud to once again lead the way into the next frontier in home entertainment," said Bob Perry, executive VP of Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company. "Through our Full HD 3D Home Theater Truck Tour, consumers will, for the first time, have a chance to experience the immersive world of Full HD 3D TV for themselves, and we have no doubt that they will love what they see."

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