Originally Posted by Lee Stewart
3D BD players will only have a single 3D format called Frame Sequential (AKA Page Flip).
The BDA said that 3D BD players will be "agnostic" meaning that it will be the job of the 3DTV to deal with the 3D BD signal and not the 3D BD player.
It should be the same for 3D from "broadcast." (CBL/SAT).
There isn't going to be a single 3D format in use for all 3D content.
This is wrong. The Storage format (e.g on the BD) has no relevance for the output format (e.g. on HDMI). And the HDMI output format has one common format: Frame Packing for progressive formats.
The BD 3D format provides two 1080p24 streams to the player. The player can then reformat these two images into any "full" or "half" 3D formats that are supported by the display device.
The output formats can be:
- frame packing for progressive or interlaced formats
- field sequential
- line interleaved
- column interleaved
- pixel interleaved (checkerboard)
The sequential, side-by-side, over-under and interleaved formats can be used in one of two ways:
- "half": frame compatible to the original format, dropping half of the original pixels
- "full": extended frame structures, holding all pixels of the two source images
Frame packing for progressive formats is similar to "full" over-under, but with an additional gap inbetween the two images in the extended frame. Frame packing for interlaced formats is a strange creature, that sequences 4 fields in one extended progressive frame, with gaps inbetween.
The HDMI 1.4 standard specifies a number of these combinations as optional formats, but not all of them. HDMI 1.4a is expected to add a few more. Other display devices might support custom formats, usually in the frame compatible "half" version, such as TI's checkerboard for DLPs, or RealD's line interleaved format for specially prepared LCD TVs.
HDMI provides for two signalling features around the supported formats:
- EDID extensions, so that the TV can list the 3D formats it supports on the input
- InfoFrames in the HDMI signal blanking area, so that the player can tell the TV which 3D format is being sent.
HDMI also makes two of three formats mandatory for displays:
- Frame packing for progressive formats, 1080p24, for all displays
- Frame packing for progessive formats, 720p50, for all displays supporting 50 Hz modes
- Frame packing for progessive formats, 720p60, for all displays supporting 60 Hz modes
A player only needs to support one of the three to be "HDMI 1.4 3D ready".
Of course, if the TV supports one of the optional frame compatible formats, such as "half" side-by-side, and this also happens to be the source format (for e.g. a cable or sat box), then the player does not need to reformat the video signal and can pass it right through, with the addition of the respective InfoFrame. This would allow 3D support with existing hardware and only a firmware update, as long as the HDMI transmitter chip in the set top box supports the additional InfoFrame.
The keyword here is "optional" for the side-by-side(half) 3D format in the TV. We don't know, yet, which 3D TVs will support what formats, HDMI 1.4 or otherwise. So, it might be that your DirecTV box works with Sony 3D TVs, but not with Samsung (just an example).
The only way 3D support can currently be ensured by the consumer, is by the HDMI 3D label, which mandates support for frame packing in the player and the display. For this, a sat box would have to reformat the incoming side-by-side(half) format to frame packing on the HDMI output, which will most likely require new set top box hardware. The Sony Playstation, on the other hand, seems to have enough hardware ressources to do frame packing with the existing hardware.