3D and the Apple TV?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by musicpenguy, Jan 8, 2010.

  1. musicpenguy macrumors 65816

    Oct 29, 2006
    I am wondering with all this talk of 3D - would it be possible for the current Apple TVs to output a 3D capable file - and another question is how would one rip a 3D capable file - would it have to come from a Blue Ray - do you think Apple will sell 3D content in the future?

    I would just like to open up discussion on Apple TV and 3D - I think its an interesting topic that should be explored! :)
  2. CPD_1 macrumors 6502

    Nov 17, 2007
    South East Texas
    I don't know for sure, but I believe 3D requires more processing power. I would think the AppleTV would require a hardware refresh to handle it.
  3. HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 604


    Feb 8, 2004
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    3D video is just a way of displaying a 2D picture so that each eye can get it's own picture. Your brain puts 2 pictures together to perceive the 3D effect. It's not a real 3D picture.

    If you think about this very, very simply, it could go like this: recall being in a 3D movie and peeking over the glasses. What did you see? A blurry picture (or a little deeper into the past you saw weird ghosting of red & green for the 3D effect with old-time 3D glasses). In both cases, the video was 2D- just like any other movie- but it was the blurred imagery plus the glasses that led to the trick of apparent 3D. The same blur approach should work just fine on a smaller screen such as a TV (which is why we occasionally get 3D with glasses (required) episodes of some TV shows).

    So, if you ripped a video "blurred" for 3D purposes, then the resulting movie should not be that different than any other movie- just not watchable without the special glasses and an appropriate TV. With that in mind, I would speculate that the :apple:TV could deliver a 3D movie just fine (because it is still a 2D movie to the hardware).

    However, all that said, I suspect that new 3D standard will involve new hardware (and we already know it involves new TVs), probably aiming to create an even more disconnected set of images for each eye. My suspicions are that a great deal of the filmmaker enthusiasm for 3D has a lot more to do with piracy prevention than the end result experience of 3D. After all these blurry movies don't look very good on the camcorder video captured by pirates, nor can pirates smuggle a 3D camcorder- if one exists- into a 3D movie and steal the show. More simply: if all films go to 3D, it seems that it will be a great way to minimize the theft of movies by camcorder pirates.
  4. nutmac macrumors 68040

    Mar 30, 2004
    I think current Apple TV hardware isn't powerful enough for 3D at HD (720p or higher). It may be sufficient for SD though.

    3D movies such as Avatar are played at 48 frames per second, each frame alternating for each eye (24 frames per second per each eye). Apple TV isn't capable of decoding 720p48.

    3D TV sets processes 3D signals by interpolating at 120 or 240 frames per second, which also sends a "sync" signal to special 3D glasses.
  5. tdmac macrumors 6502

    Feb 9, 2008
    The Panasonic 3D Tv is 120fps and thus has split full HD 60fps for each of the left and right images. True 3D HDTV. Other technologies are similar and some are more not true 3D HDTV.

    The display is where the active shutter glasses come in. However, as stated above, the current ATV does not support 1080p and nor does it even have the ability to send a 720p 48fps (although possibly with a software update if the hardware can handle it). It may be able to do a stripped sdown version of 3D that is offerd on other sets.

    But in order to pass true HDTV the device must have the HDMI 1.4spec. This isn't on any devices as of yet (Just adopted) and will first show up on the new blueray and 3D sets this spring from Panasonic and later this year from others.

    Due to the bandwidth, I would think nothing for the forseable future will be a source for HDTV 3D besides blueray. There is supposed to be 3D TV from Espn and Discovery, and Direct TV is supposed to release a new STB that has 3D content. But many of these are partnerships with panasonic and if you go to their 3D info site they indicate that its not full HDTV 3D, since a STB does not have this bandwidth. Supposed to still be a good experience but not what it can be via blueray.
  6. nutmac macrumors 68040

    Mar 30, 2004
    That isn't entirely true. While Blu-Ray 3D players have HDMI 1.4, PlayStation 3 will be able to output 3D signals over its HDMI 1.3.

    HDMI 1.3 has enough bandwidth for even 1080p120. Just about the only thing HDMI 1.3 cannot do (that 1.4 can) is the 100BASE-T Fast Ethernet over HDMI cable. I suspect most PS3 users don't mind using 802.11g WiFi or built-in gigabit Ethernet connection port, however.
  7. tdmac macrumors 6502

    Feb 9, 2008
    True that Sony says that they will be able to update the playstation for 3D support. Its also true that the HDMI 1.3 spec can technically handle 3D. However not all devices that have HDMI can handle the bandwidth. This is why most all current receivers and hdmi switchers that have 1.3 cannot handle the bandwith. The way around this issue is to purchase a new 3D blueray player with dual HDMI outputs (Like the Panasonic) so that the video is sent down one hmdi to the TV and the other just sends audio to the receiver.
  8. blackpond macrumors 6502a

    Mar 31, 2008
    Just saw Avatar 3D last night. I haven't enjoyed 3D movies much in the past but heard this one was much improved.

    Technically, the 3D effect was a huge improvement over past 3D movies- but honestly, it still needs a lot of work. Stuttering motion, hard to focus on detail, and eye strain was my experience. With those three things combined I found it hard to enjoy the movie. I wish I had seen it in 2D. This morning, my eyes still hurt... I feel like I went cross-eyed for 3 hours.

    And as was mentioned above, it's still just a 2D movie... but with an increased refresh rate to cram in the extra data for each eye.
  9. TheSeagull macrumors member

    Jan 13, 2010
    So has anybody ever tried ripping and watching a 3D movie on the Apple TV? I'm thinking of purchasing the Apple TV though 3D compatibility is needed for the future in my opinion. There's a lot of movies one could try such as Journey to the Centre of the Earth and The Polar Express.
  10. alphajerk macrumors member

    Feb 8, 2008
    Omaha, NE
    I have ripped the children's movies, "Fly Me to the Moon" and "Shark Boy and Lava Girl" (both in the blue/red 3-D format) and watched them with my kids on AppleTV. It was exactly like watching the DVD, no difference.

    That being said, watching a 3-D movie at home on a regular TV (50" DLP) is not the most desirable experience. It may be better if you had a big projection set up perhaps.

    But, to answer the question, yep, it works just fine.

  11. MRU Suspended


    Aug 23, 2005
    No. Polar Express | Journey To Centre of Earth do not work in the same way as the 3D TV's work.

    They still require the old red/blue or red/green glasses trick and are not true stereoscopic as the forthcoming 3DTV's promise.

    Current 3D movies Polar Express will play back on anything, as it is their image that is distorted, they are not displaying two independent proper images like the new technology is doing.

    So putting Polar Express | Journey on AppleTV will tell you nothing.
  12. acetabulum07 macrumors newbie

    Nov 30, 2010
    3D TVs would be incredible for Apple. But they need to revamp everything and change the name. "Apple TV" is just boring.

    Something cooler would be the "iTV," the "i3D," or the "iPic" methinks.

    Anyway, Apple has a patent on their glasses-less 3D TV technology:


    As stated in the article, Toshiba is already releasing their glasses-less 3D TV in Japan.

    While still highly expensive, it will definitely drop in due time. Also, Apple is the most loyal brand out there, so the sky's the limit. :)
  13. pheggie macrumors newbie

    Dec 19, 2010
    Sports 3d channel ESPN3d is Half side by side 720p on satellite Subscription TV.
    The Apple TV is capable of this so can support 3d just
    need a 3dtv. All new 3dtvs can switch half side by side 720p to 3d
    viewing. A new Apple TV is not required to do 3d.
  14. chenks macrumors 6502a


    Oct 23, 2007
    i converted a 3d side-by-side video and played it on my appletv (second generation) and it worked fine.

    the appletv just plays it like any other file, it is the tv (and the glasses) that make it 3d.
  15. priitv8 macrumors 68040

    Jan 13, 2011
    I think AppleTV can play all 3D formats that don't increase output pixel rate (i.e basically those, that pack both pictures into a single frame: the half-formats) without problems. What it could do better though, would be to enhance the HDMI data-exchange in such a way that:
    1) it would read EDID of the display and discover if 3D support is indicated
    2) if it is, it could send the correct 3D format flags within the stream so that the display could automatically switch to correct output format.
    This, I believe calls for amending the NVIDIA drivers that are responsible for HDMI handshake on AppleTV.
    As an obvious requirement the addition of relevant 3D format flags to the QuickTime file are needed too.
    The alignment of the AppleTV UI to 3D formats, especially those of half-nature, seems like a much more complicated undertaking.
    The 3D additions to HDMI 1.4a spec are freely avalable at HDMI site. And it seems that some open-source work is going on with NV40 and NV50 3D-drivers too: http://nouveau.freedesktop.org/wiki/GalliumHowto
    The only question that remains: who would dare to rewrite the AppleTV NV40 drivers?
  16. Bqlsanto macrumors newbie

    Jul 31, 2011
    Been there. Done that.

    A few moaths ago before buying my first 3D tv I had the same doubs and misconception you all have. Truth is YOU CAN PLAY 3D content on apple tv.

    I have a Samsung UN55D8000 (this year's model) but that is irrelevant. Thing is, you can rip or download 3d movies in either side by side (sbs) or top and bottom formats. If you play them through your apple tv normally you will see two almost identical images playing next to each other. Once you activate the 3d on the television, it will display both images on top of each other (for the naked eye).

    Only problem is you'll have a hard time using the forward and back buttons. You'll have to close one eye to understand in what part of the movie you are at a certain time. If you need subtitles, this method won't work for the same reason.

    Also be careful once you exit the movie to put the tv viewing mode back to normal.

    Hope this works. Just joint this blog to post an answer on this thread.
  17. Avenge macrumors newbie

    Jul 19, 2011
    Littleton, CO
    Not so simple!

    LOL, it's not quite that simple! As others have stated there are frame rate issues among other things! But it's definitely not as simple as ripping some blurry image for your ATV. It only appears to be blurry because what's happening is you have 2 different offset images that flicker back and forth faster than the naked eye is capable of seeing, and the active shutter glasses do the same exact thing, blocking 1 image from the right eye and the other image from the left eye, and these glasses have to have a way to sync with the images, if you've ever watched a 3D movie on an active shutter system you'll occasionally notice that the glasses may fall out of sync with the TV when you look away, and then it takes a split second to resync once you look back, most pre-2011 TV's use IR (just like the InfraRed used by TV remotes to change channels) which means line of site. And most post-2011 TV's us Bluetooth which means no line of site and also means less syncing issues like what I stated above, and I'm still pissed that I jumped onto 3D in 2010 instead of waiting a year! Lol, just a personal beef, I don't know why Samsung hasn't released a USB Bluetooth adapter so that us 2010 3D TV owners can use the newer better technology! I broke the bank on a 63" 3D TV and I love it, just wish it supported the Bluetooth glasses. So yeah it's definitely not as simple as ripping an offset blurry video and streaming it to your Apple TV, even if you have a 3D TV. If Apple ends up supporting 3D content, which there are some who think 3D is just too gimmicky, and others (like myself) who are HUGE 3D fans so I really hope Apple decides to move that direction in the future, Apple will have to release a new Apple TV with hardware support for 3D built in! However knowing Apple as well as we do, they don't tend to support anything until it's left the "gimmicky" stage, they didn't jump on 3G until standards were nailed down, and they haven't jumped on 4G yet! So as much as I personally would love some 3D support from Apple, I think they'll eventually support it, but if I had to guess, it won't be for a few years! But I could be wrong, and I hope I am!

    And BTW, very interesting point in your last paragraph! I never thought about that, I personally don't think that's the major reason for 3D, especially since every movie released in 3D is also released in 2D, but nonetheless a very interesting point! 3D camcorders do exist (I just ordered one) but you are correct! Even with one of those you're not getting away with recording a 3D movie, in 3D! LOL

    Semper Fi,
    Nate Miller (Sgt, USMC Retired)
  18. prvt.donut macrumors 6502a


    Jan 1, 2008
    It works if you put the glasses in front of the 3d camcorder and when watching a 3D movie in the cinema. It's just a matter of ensuring the glasses stay in place in front of each camera lens.

    Or so I have been told, because I would never pirate movies from the cinema...:cool:
  19. prvt.donut macrumors 6502a


    Jan 1, 2008
    Apple TV can playback 3D media. You can rip Blu-Ray to a flat double image SBS 1080i.

    Any media player capable of playing a 1080i video can play it and it's up to the TV to spilt the left and right sides into alternating full screen images.

    It is not however as good as the full 1080 3D video you get off a blu-ray. I'm sure that within a few years we'll see it streaming from the net. 45GB files are a bit big to stream at the moment.

    SBS rips usually come to about 7-10GB, so are much more manageable.

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