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Tuesday, 20 July 2010 08:11

PS3 720p limitation of HDMI 1.4

Written by David Stellmack

No one wants games 1080p at 24 fps
More specifics about the directive from Sony regarding 3D content being capped at 720p have come to light. The issue isn’t actually with the PlayStation 3 itself, but rather the HDMI 1.4 standard which limits resolutions to 720p 60fps, 720p 50fps, and 1080p 24fps.

No one would really want to play any type of a fast moving title 3D or otherwise at 24 frames per second, and this means that the logical choice is to limit the titles to 720p where developers can take advantage of the higher frame rates. The decision by Sony to enforce this restriction is actually logical, given the design of the PS3.

It is possible to achieve 1080p resolutions with a dual DVI setup to achieve higher frame rates as done with graphics adapters on the PC platform; and while apparently the GPU inside of the PS3 is technically able to achieve this kind of output, it isn’t supported, as there is no second video output connector supported on the new 3D TVs.

The decision to enforce this restriction might sound rather draconian; the reality is there just isn’t another option given the current hardware design combined with the 3D TVs that are being released. However, we honestly doubt that most players will ever notice; and would you want to play 3D games at 24 fps, anyway?  24fps is good for 3D movie watching, but not for gaming.

David Stellmack

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+6 #1 LuxZg 2010-07-20 11:41
I think Sony just told you bullshit, and you've published it. As much as I know, there is no such limit over HDMI cable or anything regulated by the HDMI standard. HDMI, specially 1.4, can support much higher bandwidth than needed for 1080/60p gaming. Just as a side note, 1080/60p should be included in BluRay standard as well with BluRay 3D, and actually some players from Panasonic and Sony already exist that support it. Surprise surprise, 1080/60p playback works on PS3.

Please, dig a bit deeper, and publish an update on this, and throw some rocks at Sony while you do it..

Of course, perhaps Sony meant 1080p @ 120fps (60fps effective, but 120fps because "left" and "right" renderings). In that case, you've just misinformed the public a bit..
+1 #2 Reavenk 2010-07-20 15:13
If it's anything like the NVidia3D, 60FPS makes more sense for 3D limitations than saying they'd prefer 60 over 24 for 3D games over 2D because you have to render one for each eye which splits the total framerate in half. Then you could say that Sony doesn't want 1080 games with an overall experience of 12FPS.
-1 #3 Hobgoblin 2010-07-21 07:54
@LuxZg: From the HDMI 1.4 specification "HDMI 1.4 requires that 3D displays support the frame packing 3D format at either 720p50 and 1080p24 or 720p60 and 1080p24". So for once Sony isn't talking out of their ass, HDMI 1.4 does only allow for 3D at 24fps at 1080p.
+2 #4 madshi 2010-07-21 08:16
This article is incorrect. And Hobgoblin is, too. Although HDMI 1.4 does not *require* devices to support 3D 1080p60, it's optionally possible. So it is not a limitation of HDMI 1.4 itself, it's a limitation of the HDMI chipset used in the PS3. There are chipsets in different speeds available. You need a high-speed chipset (300 MHz) to be able to output 1080p60 in 3D. Obviously the HDMI chipset in the current PS3 is not fast enough.
0 #5 Hobgoblin 2010-07-22 02:56
@Madshi: Ah yes, it appears you are correct. There does appear to be room in the specification to allow for manufacturer allowed frame size/rate combinations. You are also correct in saying a newer chipset would be required. I probably should have done a little more research into it. Good stuff madshi.

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