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Update: 3D Blu-ray approved, coming to PS3 and Bravia

Bluray.gif3D in the home is not as crazy as you might think, and today it's taken an incredibly huge step forward. Before this morning it seemed a little more than a dream of the future, probably as far apart as a standard cinematic film is from Avatar.

Now though something has changed, the Blu-ray Disc Association has agreed on the specifications for the 3D Blu-ray format, and on top of that the specifications mean that 3D is coming to your PlayStation 3.

Let me tantalise you with these details that have been approved for the 3D format, and please do stay with me for these are all relevant:

Despite requiring two 1080p images, one for each of your polarised shades covered eyes, the film is only going to need 50% more space on your Blu-ray. Now that's good because it doesn't mean an exact copy of the film for each eye.

All 3D Blu-ray discs will be backwards compatible with 2D equipment, playable on existing equipment.

The Blu-ray 3D technology will work on Plasma, LCD, or any other display technology, as long as it is 3D compatible.

PlayStation 3 will be able to play the 3D Blu-ray discs.

So 3D Blu-ray is coming, and all you'll need to do (all?!) is buy a new 3D television. Or is that the only problem? The great news is that ff you have a PlayStation 3 then you'll still be able to play 3D Blu-ray films.

Well I think that appears to be it after reading the press release from Engadget.

I'm not entirely happy about having to buy a new television, and to be honest I think I'd wait for a while before I actually did buy it, but at the same time this is a hell of a lot less than I thought I'd have to do. The PS3 is going to deliver 3D Blu-ray? Stunning.

Update: Not only are we now guaranteed a backwards compatible, low storage and PlayStation 3 3D Blu-ray set-up, but Sony have announced that their Bravia range of televisions is going RealD.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Sony and RealD have announced that they are teaming up and bringing home 3D to life with Bravia sets with the RealD glasses and technology.

For Avatar (Filmstalker review) I'm excited, for everything else, I'm not.



3-D television ? Unless you are talking about two colour, with two colour glasses like "My Bloody Valentine" (which is relatively effective for television but a joke when compared to cinema 3-D) then the television is going to have to a very expensive screening system. The digital process used on some Imax movies, where the viewer wears glasses with LCD lenses that only allow the right eye to see the right eye images and the left eye the left eye images. This allows full colour as with polaroid glasses in the present cinema systems, however the whole transmission presentation with `LCD will have to be revolutionary and in consequence extremely expensive. I recall some press recently when it was suggested that these television would cost several thousand pounds.
I would also point out that there was an interesting article in the Telegraph a few weeks ago that suggested that the eye strain caused by the eyes behaving unnaturally from watching 3-D will make the viewing of 3-D television for several hours very likely to cause serious damage to the eyes of children and adults alike. Holographic or some system that actually recreates the image in real 3-D will eventually be the answer to full stereoscopic television, and I think that is many years away.

I'm not sure if the Telegraph actually got their eyes on a set to test, I know I haven't and so I can't say if it does or not. I can certainly say that the equivalent RealD experience in a cinema for three hours doesn't bother me at all, and that was me seeing 3D for the first time ever.

As for cost, well LCD's have been very expensive, especially when new technology comes on the market, top of the range Bravia's are thousands.

I expect like any new tech it'll be expensive to start with and come down in cost quite quickly.

The key here though is that you won't have to buy a new TV and new Blu-ray equipment.


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