Will A/V Receivers Need to Be 3D Compatible?
A/V receivers with HDMI switching could be a hindrance to the adoption of 3D because of their inability to accommodate the necessary extra bandwidth.
3D Blu-ray players such as this recently announced BDC6900 model from Samsung may create problems for A/V receivers and HDMI switchers.
January 08, 2010 by Grant Clauser

A source from the Blu-ray Disc Association told Electronic House and sister publication CE Pro at CES 2010 that a possible speed bump in the road to greater adoption of 3D Blu-ray may not come from the TVs, players or content providers; it may come from A/V receivers and HDMI switching devices.

While HDMI 1.4 is in the specification for 3D Blu-ray, it’s not a requirement for sending a 3D Blu-ray signal from a player to a television. That’s why Sony’s Playstation 3 can be firmware upgraded to be 3D Blu-ray compatible while only having HDMI 1.3 built into its hardware. What is required is a minimum bandwidth allowance in order for the player to send the signal out to the TV.

A source told our publications that many A/V receivers with HDMI switching cannot accommodate the extra bandwidth. In other words, if you use your receiver for HDMI switching, you may not be able to connect it to a 3D Blu-ray player. The source said the BDA may be working with manufacturers to inform them of the bandwidth problem so they can help customers with questions and problems as well as establish a minimum bandwidth floor for receivers that will allow the 3D signal to pass.

One possible workaround the source suggested would be for Blu-ray players to include two HDMI outputs, one that would go directly to the 3D compatible display, and one to take the high-quality Blu-ray audio formats to the receiver.

Sony, Panasonic and Samsung are among those announcing 3D-compatible Blu-ray players at CES 2010.

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Grant Clauser - Technology and Web Editor, Electronic House
Grant Clauser has been covering home electronics for more than 10 years with editorial roles in several consumer and trade magazines. He's done ISF-level damage to hundreds of reviewed products and has had training from THX, the Home Acoustics Alliance, Control4 and Sencore. His latest book is Necessary Myths. Follow him on Twitter @geclauser.

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