Thursday, January 20, 2011

PS3 firmware 3.50 adds incomplete 3DBD playback


In Sept 2010, Sony released firmware 3.50 to add 3DBD playback (profile 5.0). But due to the limitation of the hardware, we are really only getting “4.5” features. Here is my attempt to explain in details from an authoring standpoint of view.

In order to play 3DBD, you need an HD 3D display, active 3D glasses, and a high-speed HDMI cable (for PS3, you only need 1.3b since it doesn’t support 1.4a standards, maybe we can get an upgrade like the switch from fat to slim models which adds HD audio bitstreaming?)

Here are some Limitations on Blu-ray 3D™ disc playback from Sony:

  • The 3D display of some elements such as menus and subtitles may be different on the PS3™ system than on other 3D playback devices.
    • When Dolby TrueHD is selected as the audio format, audio will be output in Dolby Digital during playback of Blu-ray 3D™ content.
    • When DTS-HD is selected as the audio format, audio will be output in DTS during playback of Blu-ray 3D™ content.

These are due to the PS3 has to focusing on decoding two 1080p HD streams simultaneously, it lacks the power to do any BD-J application and HD audio at the same time. This is only a PS3 limitation, the real profile 5.0 machines can do BD-J AND HD audio. In HDMV mode, the menu system doesn’t support real 3D “pop” visual effect, you can do 2D+z-depth value. Under HDMV mode, you can do upto 32 streams containing the z-depth. Sonic uses OSF format to include the parameters, the values can be accurate to frames. I believe sonic currently does NOT have a solution to create real 3D menus. The 2D can still be done in photoshop+designer PS plugin.

  • Depending on the content, some BD-J (Blu-ray Disc™ Java*) features such as BONUSVIEW™ and BD-Live™ may not play in 3D or may not function properly on the PS3™ system.

Under profile 5.0 mode where you’re playing 3D titles, you don’t get PIP, multi-angle and BD-Live. But you’re getting a considerable performance gain. The menus get double amount of memory, which I assume to be 32mb for HDMV and 96mb for BD-J? The max bitrate increases from 48Mbps to 72Mbps. The MVC streams used can only be 1080p23.976, 720p60, and 720p59.94, no other combinations are allowed. In Scenarist BD, MVC have base and dependent clips. The base is the main stream, dependent clip is added as a subpath, kind of like PIP. The base can be used as a pure 2D playlist, the feature was disable in 5.5, but was later added back in 5.5.1. (I’m not sure why some retail disc has separate 2D and 3D discs…) The dependent information is the difference from the base, it is usually 50% of the size of the base. There are no I-frames in dependent stream. The dependent stream is put under the SSIF folder. Scenarist BD has a convenient feature where it can automatically generate 3D playlist using base and dependent stream (under a folder) without adding subpath manually. There are some extended PSR values to check 3D capability only available in profile 5.0 mode. I think someone said the SSIF structure uses a linux file system, that’s why under windows, we are getting double the size if we store the disc in folders, therefore it’s definitely recommended to store the disc in ISOs. When outputting a testing disc using Scenarist BD 5.5x, you’ll need to remove AACS in CPS unit, and using premastering - CMF to mux. Thre will be a ud.dat file under Dst0 folder, rename the ud.dat to ud.iso and burn. You can’t do fake AVCHD for 3DBD. These are the information I have gathered so far.

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