Blu-ray 3D and MKV Playback (1080p)
Blu-Ray 3D Playback: Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs 3D is encoded in High Definition 1080p format using MPEG4 AVC compression and comes on a dual layer(50GB) disc. The aspect ratio of 2.35:1 is used with letterbox bars at the top and bottom of the 16:9 image. This portion of the movie has an average video bitrate of around 45Mbps and regularly peaks above this making it one of the most demanding Blu-Rays on the market. For comparison, a movie such as Casino Royale has a bitrate of 24Mbps.
MKV Playback: Our test file was a 1080p .mkv file which was taken from a 1080p source and converted into this format.
Blu-Ray playback is a relatively simple affair on ATI and NVIDIA hardware, just install the latest drivers then tweak the display settings to the preferred level and run PowerDVD 10 which features support for Blu-Ray 3D.
In terms of performance there has been a noticeable change in recent driver revisions. When we first looked at Blu-Ray 3D the CPU use on ATI/NVIDIA hardware was similar however with the latest build of PowerDVD and the new 258.80 driver the CPU use has fallen significantly on GeForce hardware. This makes it far more desirable than ATI in this task.
With the release of PowerDVD 10 Ultra 3D Mark 2 the GPU accelerated playback of MKV files is just as easy as Blu-Ray 3D. This is because Cyberlink now have Purevideo and Avivo working great with this format. No extra codecs are required, just install the software and play the files. We can even add 3D effects to the MKV files through TrueTheater 3D, just tick a box and the software enables the effect.
On this format the GPU acceleration works equally well on ATI and NVIDIA hardware, dropping the CPU use by 5% over non accelerated content. When we enable TrueTheatre 3D the two cards are comparable on minimum and maximum performance however the GeForce has a lower average, it performs better.