Fans of 3D movies can rest easy. You probably won’t need to upgrade your Blu-ray player, and you almost certainly won’t need to pick up new cables.
Remember back when the 3D specification for Blu-ray was announced and somehow the Playstation 3 made the list of compatible devices? It was said that a firmware update would make the popular Blu-ray playing game console compatible, and that’s true. It’s not just the PS3 though, that update will also apply to any BD-Live capable Blu-ray player.
In fact, any device that has a method for updating the firmware can be kicked up to support the new format. Cable set-top boxes and satellite receivers included.
Like most things though, the 3D update for already existing HDMI 1.3 products comes with a catch, and it’s a catch in the form of reduced video quality. While HDMI 1.4 cables and devices will be capable of shooting out 3D pictures in full 1080p, HDMI 1.3 just can’t handle it.
The problem is that for a 3D picture, two images have to be shown nearly simultaneously. Since HDMI 1.3 can’t handle two 1080p pictures at that speed, you’ll get two 1080i pictures. It’s not a huge downgrade when all is said and done. The real clincher comes with TV signals.
Since cable boxes normally show a 1080i image, they’ll be stepped down to 540i to handle 3D. With HDMI 1.3 cable boxes, you’ll have the choice between HD and 3D, but not both.