Understanding 3D: MVC Encoding
Before you can create a 3D Blu-ray Disc™, you must have 3D video content that is encoded in a new file format called MVC.
The MVC format
MVC stands for Multiview Video Coding. It is an amendment to the H.264/MPEG-4 AVC video compression standard developed with joint efforts by MPEG/VCEG that enables efficient encoding of sequences captured simultaneously from multiple cameras using a single video stream.
The MVC format includes a full-frame 2D AVC stream, called the base view, and a secondary offset stream called the dependent view. MVC streams are backward compatible with H.264/AVC, which allows standard 2D Blu-ray Disc™ players and software to decode stereoscopic video streams. They play the base view and simply ignore the additional information contained in the dependent view.
The MVC format is highly efficient, and the dependent view only adds about 50% extra bit rate to the overall stream.
Source files and the encoding process
Depending on which encoder you use, the allowable file format or codec will vary, but one constant is that you will need two full-frame HD streams. One contains the left eye view and the other contains the right eye view.
For example, the Sony DSE MVC Encoder accepts QuickTime, AVI and YUV files (see the products section for details). You will need to create two full HD streams in one of these file formats. The encoder interface requires you to select the appropriate stream for each eye. You make bit rate selections and start the encoding process. Since MVC encoding is an extension of AVC encoding for Blu-ray Disc™, the encoding process is essentially the same apart from the need for two input video streams.
The output of the encoding process is a little different. The Sony DSE MVC encoder outputs by default, two files. One file is the base view with a file name of myfile_base.mvc. Additionally, it also outputs the dependent view as a single file such as myfile_dependent.mvc. The DSE MVC encoder can also export combined MVC streams as one file or all three files, (base and dependent + combined) if desired. The file combination you use will depend on your authoring system. DoStudio Authoring uses the base view and dependent view files and does not use the combined interleaved file. The two-file input allows for higher bit rates during muxing. The single combined interleaved file is useful for QC because it can be played by some of the leading Blu-ray Disc™ softplayers (Arcsoft TMT, Corel WinDVD, Cyberlink PowerDVD).
Who makes MVC encoders for Blu-ray Disc™?
Currently the major players in the Blu-ray Disc™ encoder space are: Sony Creative Software, Cinema Craft, and Sirius Pixels.
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