Dolby Vision has been expanded to support stereoscopic 3D video for the first time at home, including playback of cinema-mastered 3D content in 4K resolution.
The development is not a huge surprise to those who have followed the launch of Apple Vision Pro this month. Apple and Dolby have collaborated to bring 3D 4K movies to home devices as part of a new Dolby Vision profile 20 extension.
- "Profile 20 is the first Dolby Vision profile which supports MV-HEVC and enables the delivery of Stereoscopic (3D) video. All other Dolby Vision profiles only support monoscopic (2D) video," explained Dolby. "Currently Apple's recently announced Apple Vision Pro is the only device that supports playback of HDR 3D stereoscopic video using Dolby Vision profile 20."
Cinema-mastered movies on displaysDolby Cinema, known for its laser projection cinemas, has been screening 3D movies for some time. These 3D movies are now being made available at home via Apple Vision Pro.
- "Dolby Vision profile 20 is initially intended to deliver an immersive 3D video experience in Head Mounted Displays (HMDs), such as playback of premium Dolby Cinema 3D movies. This represents an exciting step forward for high-quality visual experiences that until now could only be enjoyed in high-end cinemas," said Dolby. "Playback devices that support Dolby Vision profile 20 will be able to present cinema-mastered content on a variety of displays."
The company noted that creating 3D Dolby Vision content is currently limited to early partners. As reported earlier by FlatpanelsHD, Disney is one of the first studios to release 3D movies in the format, but it is not the only one.
3D movies are available in 4K and Dolby Vision for the first time on Apple Vision Pro. Photo: FlatpanelsHD
Still early daysUp until now, 3D movies at home were limited to 1080p resolution and SDR on standard Blu-ray or streaming via Vudu. The introduction of Dolby Vision profile 20 adds 4K resolution and, of course, Dolby Vision HDR to the 3D presentation. There are currently no 3D specifications under HDR10 and HDR10+.
However, it is still early days for 3D 4K content. Dolby explained that profile 20 is based on the MV-HEVC codec (Multiview High Efficiency Video Coding), which can include two views for 3D, one for each eye. Although MV-HEVC was initially released in 2014, it was limited to 8-bit SDR. The 10-bit MV-HEVC Main10 extension isn not expected to be published until April 2024. In other words, Dolby has gotten first dibs.
Dolby Vision profile 20 is not backwards compatible with existing Dolby Vision playback devices like TVs and media players, not even in 2D. Dolby is only discussing headsets, and no TV makers have indicated to us that they are reintroducing 3D in the near term.
If you own Apple Vision Pro, you can watch over 200 3D movies via the Disney+ and Apple TV apps, but not all of them are in 4K Dolby Vision. FlatpanelsHD today launched the 3D movie database to give you the full overview.
Also read: Apple will upgrade your purchased movies to 3D free of charge
Alternatively, you can check out Apple's 3D example file, Prehistoric Planet, which can be streamed in up to 4K resolution (34 Mbps bitrate) with Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos audio.
- Source: Dolby, Apple