The Blu-ray Disc Association, the entity that plans and manages the format, has announced that the specification for 3D Blu-ray content has been finalised which paves the way for 3D content to be released as from next year.
And the good news is that the Sony Playstation 3, by far the most popular Blu-ray player on the market (and incidentally a top-notch gaming console), will be compatible with the format.
3D Blu-ray disc players will be able to play traditional Blu-ray discs and current Blu-ray disc players will play 3D Blu-ray discs in 2D, all in glorious full HD, 1080p resolution complete with assorted 3D menus and subtitles (ed: arrrgghhh, hopefully no titles looking like Microsoft's Word 3D feature).
The new format uses the Multiview Video Coding (MVC), an addon to the ITU-T H.264 Advanced Video Coding (AVC) codec which extends its compatibility. More importantly perhaps, the 3D format can be used on any 3D screens regardless of technology.
There are a number of questions that remain though; apart from the PS3 will there be other 2D Blu-ray devices that are compatible with 3D and will one Blu-ray disc actually contain two versions of the same footage. Also will there be a back-catalogue of current movies available in 3D at launch?
Victor Matsuda, Chairman of the BDA Global Promotions Committee, said that "We believe this demand for 3D content will carry over into the home now that we have, in Blu-ray Disc, a medium that can deliver a quality Full HD 3D experience to the living room."
3D Blu-ray is expected to be one of the major trends announced at the forthcoming CES2010 in Las Vegas and has already won the backing of a number of manufacturers including AMD.