Originally Posted by Richard Adams
Next generation 3D source components have hit the market. These play 2D and 3D video content without
having a built in bluray optical disk drive,
This thread invites comparisons of the features and robustness of devices that can stream and play 3D, without being limited to a single vendor's product.
There players can play half frame Side by Side (SBS or H-SBS) and half frame top/ bottom, but the most interesting aspect is that they can play full HD files, such as those produced from Sony Vegas, Power Director, or taken from bluray 3D disk content.
In Full HD-3D, the signal sent to the monitor is a full-HD 1920x1080 signal for each eye. Today there are several ways this is stored in a file.
The most efficient way to store these files is called MVC, and this is what is used on purchased 3D bluray disks. This is also what is used by the JVC and Sony 3D consumer camcorders that came on the market in 2011.
So... these efficient MVC-3D files are both purchased content, and content we make ourselves. Although the files can result by ripping a 3D bluray, which may be a prohibited use, the MVC file streaming playback also applies to content made by the average person on their own camcorder.
Interestingly, none of the Bluray players on the market today will stream 3D MVC files over a local network, stored on your own computer, with a 3D result on the monitor. Some will play in 3D from a USB hard-drive (this feature is being deleted, since it interferes with bluray licensing).
As of this writing, only these Realtek 1186 based devices will play true HD 3D from over the network from a hard drive in your own computer.
So... now at last there are streaming 3D players that are more versatile.
Versatile means we can play this content from an ISO so the menu works, or we can play it from a file on a computer over the network (NAS / DLNA / uPNP) or from a drive connected to the player (flash / Fat32/ NTFS / hard drive), and play various frame rates such as 1080p24 or 1080i60 in 3D.
Versatile also means that various monitors and audio formats are supported, and that playback of various 2D files is supported. Versatile means that you don't have to convert the file before you can play it.
But how well will these new boxes meet this task? It's a tall order that will likely result in some boxes working better than others even though they have the same chip set inside.
First appearing in October 2011, the newest streaming players share some common chips inside made by Realtek called the 1186 series. This is kind of like comparing a variety of computers that all have Intel processors. Though they all have Intel, they have different features depending on all of the other stuff inside the box.
Here is a list of some of the Realtek 1186 based 3D streaming media players, all I've found so far. As of writing this, I am still deciding which ones I'll buy first. List is sorted by vendor name.
Bluetimes Coopa 3550B
Eaget M70 or M90
Egreat R6S R150 or R200S or R300
Fantec 3DFHDL or 3DS4600
HiMedia HD900 A or B or D suffix
Iconbit XDS73D or XDS1003D
Magic Box HD1200
Sarotech Abigs D9
Xtreamer Prodigy 3D
Zero Devices Z200
(some are known re-brands of the same unit)
There is at least one thread about one of these models in another place on AVSforum (probably belongs here in 3D source components, but too late to move it now). It looks like a support thread for that particular one.
I've bought various media players in recent the years. Roku, Iodata, Zensonic, Sony PS3.
Which new 3D streaming player will I buy? Let's find out.