Best HDMI Swtiching configuration for 720p 3D content and Non-3D AVR? - AVS Forum
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Old 12-04-2012, 10:22 AM - Thread Starter
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I currently have the following Sources, AVR, and Display:

Sources
TivoHD DVR (720p Output, SBS 3D from Comcast)
HTPC (720p or 1080p out, SBS 3D Content... AMD Athlon II X2, GeForce 210)
Sony BDP-S570 3D Blu-Ray Player (720p or 1080p out, Frame Packed 3D from Blu-Ray discs and Built-In Streaming)

AVR
Onkyo TX-NR1007 (HDMI 1.3)

Projector
Current: Panasonic PT-AX100u (720p, 2D)
Coming Soon: Vivitek D538W-3D (720p, 3D, accepts Frame Packed, Frame Sequential, and SBS 3D)

My AVR is a middle-to-higher end unit and I don't want to replace it just to be able to pass 3D video... if it can't pass the formats I'll be using, I think have some alternatives... but hopefully I can. I'm looking for the board's consensus on what sources I can and cannot pass through the AVR.

I currently have all three sources connected directly to the AVR via HDMI (24awg 3' Monoprice HDMI cables) and then on to the Projector (22awg 30' Monoprice HDMI cable, in-wall/ceiling). I'm about to make an upgrade to a 3D capable projector that can accept Frame Packed (Blu-Ray 3D), SBS (Comcast 3D, HTPC 3D Rips), and Frame Sequential (likely won't use) 3D formats. The Projector is only HDMI 1.3, but does accept all of these formats directly from their sources with no conversion hardware necessary (confirmed elsewhere here).

In theory, I feel like I should be able to pass the 720p SBS (full or half) and even 1080p Half SBS through the AVR as-is. My big question is whether my AVR will be able to pass 720p Frame Pakced 3D from the Blu-Ray player on to the projector, or will I need to bypass the AVR for that content?

Below are diagrams of my three possible layouts

All sources HDMI through AVR:


Blu-Ray Player HDMI Video Bypassing AVR w/ SPDIF/TOSLINK audio:


Any help is greatly appreciated.

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Old 12-04-2012, 07:23 PM
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You will need to bypass the receiver for the 3D BluRay content. That may not have to be a big problem. I simply move the HDMI cable going to my projector from one source or another. If your BluRay player is accessible, it is not hard and the HDMI cable plugs stand up well to all that plugging and unplugging.

You cannot get lossless surround sound from3D BluRays that way, and the most practical solution is to run a separate optical digital connection from your BluRay player to your receiver and use that when playing 3D BluRays. You can get Dolby digital or DTS 5.1 that way, and it will be fine.

You could use the more usual HDMI connection through your receiver for all 2D BluRays and then you can have the lossless surround sound.

I am all the time switching my projector's HDMI cable between my receiver, my computer, and my BluRay player, depending on what I am watching. Beats spending money.

You are correct that all the SBS or top-bottom content can go through a HDMI 1.3 receiver fine. Only the BluRay frame packed sources will choke on the 1.3 receiver.

Looking at your diagrams, you might consider treating your htpc the same as your BluRay player, and connect it through your HDMI switch. You cam play frame packed 3D content from your computer, same as a BlueRay player, but not if it passes through a HDMI 1.3 receiver.

Perhaps you could cable your components so one BluRay source is always used for 2D and another BluRay source- perhaps your htpc- is always what you use for 3D. Switching then is less frequent and less complicated.
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Old 12-04-2012, 08:58 PM - Thread Starter
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I don't mind sacrificing lossless audio for physical Blu-Ray disc content, both 2D and 3D. Chances are the only physical BD discs we will play will be 3D... and all physical BD content will represent 1% or less of our viewing. We have centralized all of our movie viewing and much of our TV viewing in XBMC, meaning a mix of mostly 480p, 720p and 1080p MKV and now likely the same in Half SBS for 3D. I don't mind ripping or downloading SBS instead of frame packed.

Does the HDMI 1.3 AVR need to be bypassed for frame packed 720p from the BD player? Is it a matter of general bandwidth, or general format incompatibility?

One other option would be to replace the Sony S570 with a Panasonic BD player which can output 3D Blu-Ray in SBS, but I don't think it's worth even $60-$80 for a BDT110 or BDT220 just to maintain losless audio and eliminate an HDMI switch.

I wouldn't consider swapping HDMI cables as an option given the minimum price of an HDMI switch ($10-$15) and the fact that operation will be seamless and transparent once programmed into the Harmony 900.

Thanks again!

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Old 12-05-2012, 09:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen Hopkins View Post

...
Does the HDMI 1.3 AVR need to be bypassed for frame packed 720p from the BD player? Is it a matter of general bandwidth, or general format incompatibility?
...

Yep, even for 720p 3D.

Technically, the frame packed information on the 3D BluRay is decompressed by the BluRay player, so by the time the signal is sent out the HDMI cable it is no longer frame packed. It will be a large frame containing the complete left eye view and the complete right eye view in a top/bottom format separated by some number of black lines. There is a lot more detail in there than in the other Top/Bottom format you hear about, like ESPN 3D cable signals. The audio information is in there somewhere, too. The reason HDMI 1.3 receivers choke on that is not bandwidth, though - it is more because of format incompatibility.

(Well, if your receiver were doing some kind of video processing rather than simply passing through the 3D video signal there could also be bandwidth issues...) Mainly, the older receivers don't know where to find the audio information because that got moved. And, the older receivers don't give the right kind of HDMI handshake information to tell the BluRay player that there is a 3D capable display at the other end.

I had not known of BluRay players that convert 3D BluRays into side/by/side format. But that would give you less resolution than what 3D BluRay usually gives, so if you can cable through a HDMI switch, you would probably be better off. I understand you expect to be satisfied with sbs mkv files, but you will probably see a significantly better picture with unadulterated 3D BluRays or iso files even on a 720p 3d display. Looks like you are set up pretty well to use a HDMI switch when you want to play 3D BluRays.


****See below - the definition of frame packed here is actually wrong. ****
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Old 12-06-2012, 10:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrickMcKaha View Post

Yep, even for 720p 3D.
Technically, the frame packed information on the 3D BluRay is decompressed by the BluRay player, so by the time the signal is sent out the HDMI cable it is no longer frame packed. .

Technically "frame packed" is the name for the signal format on the HDMI cable for these 3D signal. "Frame Packed" is not compressed video, it is the de-compressed video that has frame size of 1920 x 2205 for 1080p Frame Packed 3D and 1280 x 1470 for the 720p Frame Packed 3D. The term Frame Packed is referring to the extra lines "packed" into the frame.

On the Blu-ray the signal is MPEG 4 H.264 with MVC.

Some Panasonic 3D Blu-ray players (the ones that can convert to checkerboard) may also be able to convert to side-by-side.
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Old 12-07-2012, 12:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GEP View Post

Technically "frame packed" is the name for the signal format on the HDMI cable for these 3D signal. "Frame Packed" is not compressed video, it is the de-compressed video that has frame size of 1920 x 2205 for 1080p Frame Packed 3D and 1280 x 1470 for the 720p Frame Packed 3D. The term Frame Packed is referring to the extra lines "packed" into the frame.
On the Blu-ray the signal is MPEG 4 H.264 with MVC.
Some Panasonic 3D Blu-ray players (the ones that can convert to checkerboard) may also be able to convert to side-by-side.

Thanks. I had it opposite.
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