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Blu-ray Reviews: 2010 AFL Grand Final - The Draw 3D - Blu-ray 3D

Originally published in Sound and Image, May/June 2011 - v.24#06
Last updated 26 February 2012

2010 AFL Grand Final - The Draw 3D - Blu-ray 3D
2010 - Visual Entertainment Group Pty Ltd
Director: N/A
Starring: N/A

Movie: Picture: Sound: Extras:

In 2010 Australian TV stations were permitted for the first time to experiment with 3D transmission. They chose sports. Some trial licenses were granted, and one of the competitions shown -- only in a few select capital city markets -- was the Grand Final for that year's Australian Rules competition.

The Saints and the Magpies faced off and played four quarters of gruelling football. Only for it to end in a draw.

For just the second time in over a century of competition.

The match the following week to resolve the draw wasn't to be in 3D, since the arrangements hadn't been made.

Now the Draw has been released on what is said to be 'Blu-ray 3D'. That's certainly the logo carried on the front cover.

I was intrigued by this. How was a 3D show originally captured and delivered in 1080i50 side-by-side 3D format to be shown in Blu-ray 3D format?

Simple, it wasn't. Or at least, so my feeble efforts at enquiry suggest. Apparently the Blu-ray 3D designation means that the output should be in the 24 fps frame packed format. Converting 50 hertz interlaced material to this would have been problematic. So they didn't. Instead, you watch it like broadcast 3D, having your 3D display convert the side-by-side format to 3D.

But forget about legalism, with a solid 32Mbps MPEG4 AVC encode, the picture looked excellent using a 3D front projection system. In practice, the moving parts of the picture had a resolution of 960 by 540 pixels, but still it looked great. You get to choose from three different contemporaneous commentary tracks, too, so you can get different opinions on the action.

This is a historic match, it looks good, and it's unlikely that much Australian sporting material will appear in high-res for a while, let alone 3D, so why not give this one a go?

But only if you have 3D capability. Because of side-by-side format it is not backwards compatible with 2D equipment.

Running time: 159 minutes
Picture: 1080i50, MPEG4 AVC @ 32.00Mbps - side-by-side 3D
Sound: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 16/48 3/2.1 @ 2376kbps (core: DTS 16/48 3/2.1 @ 1509kbps); 1080i50, MPEG4 AVC @ 32.00Mbps - side-by-side 3D
Subtitles: Nil
Extras: Nil
Restrictions: Rated 'Exept' (Australian rating); Region free

The following video bitrate graphs were generated by BDInfo. This is the graph for the main movie stream:

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