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Can I play 3D movies off Watchout?


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I'm doing a preliminary proposal to switch a small museum from Brightsigns over to Watchout. Some of their content are 3D videos currently being played off some old Sony Blu-ray players with 3D projectors. I don't know much about 3D content, but a quick Google search shows the codec probably being MVC which is based off H.264 it seems. Can Watchout run these type files, or can you rewrap them to a recognizable codec so Watchout can play it?

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We've used WATCHOUT to play 3D content as side-by-side or top-bottom videos. Those videos hold both sub-frames in one frame and the display puts them into the right channel. Those files were H.264 encoded files it I remember right.

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The short answer is no, not without conversion or additional work. But if your timeline permits and you’re willing to spend sometime to make it work, then it can be done.

I dealt with 3D a lot back when I was with a UK based projector manufacturer. Below some notes from memory.

One of the common 3D format on Blu-ray player is frame packing, essentially the left and right eye or frame with parallax are “packed” within the same frame. And for 1080p frame packed content, the vertical resolution is doubled so the HDMI signal that comes out of Blu-ray player is 1920x2160 px plus some additional space pixels. The refresh rate was limited to 24Hz and this was probably due to HDMI bandwidth back then. When an 3D capable projector receives the frame packed signal, the projector will then flash a left and right image one after another, together with an IR emitter in sync, a viewer with the active 3D glasses will see left frame on the left eye and right frame on the right eye. Since the the refresh rate on the signal is only 24Hz, the 3D projector has a feature to triple flash it - 3 x 24hz x 2 eyes = 144hz.

WatchOut does stereoscopic 3D differently from conventional Blu-ray player or other 3D playback software. In WatchOut, you’ll need 2 separate left and right videos to 2 separate outputs. In one of my demo setup not long after the launch of v5, we did a 2 channels projection and it required 4 projectors. You can then adjust the parallax setting from within WatchOut. One thing that I remember is if you’re setting it up this way, you’ll need a silver screen with passive 3D glasses for it to work.

Alternatively, to make it work using active glasses, a lot more work is needed. You’ll need to combine both outputs and convert it into a format that is compatible with active 3D projector.


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  • 3 weeks later...
On 5/18/2023 at 2:27 PM, QuinLoft said:

Interesting, thanks for the information. It's a single Barco projector with 3D active display. So sounds like it's doable, I just need to rip it into 2 files?

It doesn't matter if it's one or two files. 

The key point is the projector.

Case A. If the projector receives a two-channel input to implement 3D, WO can output two channels. Left and right..

Case B. If the projector receives only one channel input to implement 3D
WO creates a frame with left-right content and exports only one channel. 

The problem is the geometry transformation. 

In the case of A, you can apply the geometry correction value for each channel and export it. 

In B, geometry correction within the WO is not available because the content placement within the WO is different from the actual projected area. In this case, the projector should only be projected with its own calibration.

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