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How to Use Your New 3D-capable HDTV for PC Gaming over HDMI

April 29th, 2010 · 31 Comments · Other S3D Tech


We already have some of the new generation of 3D-capable TV sets using the new HDMI 1.4(a) stereo 3D specifications to get their content with Samsung kind of leading the way with worldwide availability with Panasonic closely following and then again other brands like Sony for example that are soon to follow. But even if we already have the 3D hardware to display the content, we still have quite some issues with the unavailability of 3D content to play on them. Not enough 3D videos, almost no high quality 3D movies, 3D TV still in early stages and then we are left with just games, but since it is still a bit early even for the game consoles we are going back to the PC. Nvidia’s 3D Vision active shutter glasses in combination with a 120Hz 3D-capable monitors are one of the most popular solutions for viewing 3D content just because there is more content available on the PC and especially the games. As for gaming on a PC in stereo 3D you just need the software that will render almost all regular 3D games in stereo 3D mode and such software is Nvidia’s 3D Vision Driver, iZ3D’s Driver and DDD’s TriDef Ignition. But what if you want to get your new 3D-capable TV connected to your PC and play in stereo 3D on much bigger screen than you would on a PC monitor? Unfortunately you are kind of out of luck at this moment as there is still no easy and problem free way to do that, but the good news is that we already got some positive feedback on some possible solutions to do that. So if you are one of the early adopters of the new wave of 3D-capable TVs from Samsung you may be interested in trying some of these solutions in order to get the 3D capabilities of the TV actually used for something. Of course the suggestions below might also work on Panasonic and probably other brands of HDMI 1.4(a) stereo 3D specifications based 3D television sets, so if you have one of these you are more than welcome to try and report your findings…

It has turned out that if you own a 3D-capable Samsung C7000 HDTVs you can just connect it to your PC over HDMI interface (DVI to HDMI converters from the PC to the TV also work) and output image content in a Side by Side format that can be displayed in 3D on the TV. Of course you’ll need to manually switch on the 3D mode on the TV as it will not automatically recognize that it is getting 3D content, but that is not such a big issue. You can start by trying to play Avatar the Game as it is one of the still few games that have a built-in native Side by Side 3D output that you can select from the game options, and if this works you can consider yourself lucky and continue with the experiments. Next comes the iZ3D driver that in its latest beta version 1.11 also has support for Side by Side output that works with the Samsung the same way as Avatar, but with the iZ3D driver you can get stereo 3D output in quite a lot of games. Have in mind that this has only worked with iZ3D Driver 1.11b1-1 and there is currently a newer beta 1.11b1-2 available, but with it it has turned out that the Side by Side output does not work with the Samsung. Have in mind that iZ3D has not officially announced support for 3D-capable TVs, so you should be prepared for some issues as this is also a beta driver that you’ll be using, but until a better solution comes out this is worth trying. The good thing is that this works with the active shutter glasses that come with the TV, so no need to by specific glasses or have to use any additional hardware, you just need a PC and a 3D TV…

I’m also eagerly waiting for Nvidia’s 3DTV Play software expected this summer, that should allow the owners of a newer Nvidia GPUs (both mobile and desktop) to connect their PC to a 3D-capable HDTV over the HDMI and output 3D content. But according to the already available official information this software might only work with the mandatory requirements defined in the 3D specifications part of the HDMI 1.4(a) and that means that for gaming it might be limited to 720p for 50/60 frames per eye in stereo 3D mode. However with using the Avatar and iZ3D for outputting in Side by Side format, the Samsung 3D TV was able to report 60 frames per eye at 1080p resolution which gives us good hopes for the 3DTV Play too, but we’ll have to wait a bit more to see. Meanwhile you can try with Avatar and iZ3D if you have a new-gen 3D-capable TV like Samsung, Panasonic or any other and report your results in the comments below, just have in mind that this is not intended and will not work for 3D DLP TVs.

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31 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Zerofool // Apr 29, 2010 at 03:35

    “However with using the Avatar and iZ3D for outputting in Side by Side format, the Samsung 3D TV was able to report 60 frames per eye at 1080p resolution which gives us good hopes for the 3DTV Play too, but we’ll have to wait a bit more to see.”

    Just a sidenote – the side-by-side output does not deliver 1080p at 60fps per eye (or at whatever framerate), it only produces 2 images with half horizontal resolution, stacked together in one regular frame (transmitted at 60fps) – in that case two images, each with resolution 960×1080. Inside the TV, both images are separated, scaled by the TV to its native resolution and displayed individually one after another at 120Hz (60 per eye). With one word – this is no way to achieve real 1080p60 per eye. I hope people don’t get confused.

  • 2 Frank // Apr 29, 2010 at 04:02

    I just tried the Avatar game in 3d on my Panasonic Vierra 50″ plasma and it works well at 1080p.

  • 3 Martin // Apr 29, 2010 at 06:41

    Hi,

    Are you sure side by side produces 960*1080?

    In Assassins Creed II using hd5870 & IZ3D 1.11b1 side by side:
    Mono – 60 FPS (vsync enabled)
    Stereo – 33 FPF (vsyync enabled) – except when I look at the sky I get 60 FPS.

    There is no logic that 2*960*1080 is harder to render than 1920*1080.

  • 4 Philip Heggie // Apr 29, 2010 at 08:45

    I’m sure it should also work with Tridef Media Experience just
    try configuring display to Standard Display Types either Side by side (Parallel) or Side by Side (Crosseye) not sure which yet then go to advanced tab Aspect Ratio Control – Maximum Image Stretch set it to 100%
    Then you can play games in 3d on your Samsung 3dtv with Tridef Ignition or use Tridef Media Player for 2d to 3d conversion, or play Yabazam.com 3d trailers or movies.

  • 5 Bloody // Apr 29, 2010 at 10:07

    Can’t say for sure, it is quite possible that the outputted frame is 960×1080 (squashed) that gets stretched to the right aspect by the TV and is reported as 1920 @ 60 fps per eye. Unfortunately I still don’t have the 3D TV hardware to try that myself, but you can try capturing screenshots and 3D videos with FRAPS to check that… Also please try the TriDef software with Side by Side (Parallel) output as it should also be able to work as Philip suggests.

  • 6 Ardov // Apr 29, 2010 at 12:08

    Well, what about VGA input? Does it do the same thing? Can you activate 3D mode manually using that input? It could allow many users of Edimensional glasses to use their glasses with that tv. I hope the input lag of the 3DTV isn’t too much so that it screws up the timing with the vsync. (may introduce ghosting)

  • 7 Bloody // Apr 29, 2010 at 12:31

    I’m not sure about VGA input, somebody can try it out. But there is no point in using E-dimensional shutter glasses when you can actually use the ones that come with the TV, unless of course you bought just the 3D-ready TV and not glasses with it and just happen to have a pair of E-D glasses lying around.

  • 8 Ardov // Apr 29, 2010 at 12:43

    Well to be honest, it happens to have 30 pairs of E-D glasses lying around using them with my DLP 3D projector Acer H5360. That’s why i am asking. :-)

  • 9 Ardov // Apr 29, 2010 at 12:45

    Also please note that it’s tested that Samsung glasses are of inferior quality than E-D glasses. (at least the SSG1000 which i tested with a 61″ DLP 3DTV) Although it sounds weird, the old E-D glasses where a lot better in terms of ghosting.

  • 10 mr. hu // Apr 29, 2010 at 12:55

    The 120hz stuffed into 60hz thing is true , called checkerboard, and indeed every second pixel is gone , but in pattern.

    The graphics card going to do the same load , only twice in the checkerboard case, the load wont accidently drop , it just renders whole frames , hence fps cut in half. So thats why 720p true 120hz is better imho, fullHD is load is a hog, especially minimum framerate is hurt. When in 2d, you can play with anti aliasing filters 8x , 16x , and if the optics are good it might look better than a sub 2000buck fullhd pj.

  • 11 Bloody // Apr 29, 2010 at 13:07

    Ardov, but you have not compared the glasses on non-DLP TV from Samsung, I suppose they are better optimized for the new TVs than the 3D DLPs, but can’t be sure about that ;)

    mr. hu, the checkerboard pattern in only used by the 3D-capable DLP TVs, it is not being used on the new wave of 3D-capable TVs with HDMI 1.4(a) S3D support.

  • 12 Zerofool // Apr 29, 2010 at 14:04

    Hi, Martin, yes I’m sure, I wouldn’t post anything I have doubts about. I’ve been using this output to experiment capturing game footage for months, so I’d know :). What happens is that both views are rendered in full resolution (that’s why it’s not easier on you system), then the driver resizes them (squashes them, as Bloody said) and puts them together “side-by-side”. If you don’t believe me, just try Avatar or any other game in that mode (with iZ3D or TriDef driver) and watch it on you regular monitor – you’ll see what I’m talking about, that’s the signal your TV receives.

    Unfortunately, this low quality (for my standard) method will be used in most (if not all) 3D TV channels, at least for the foreseeable future.

  • 13 Martin // Apr 29, 2010 at 18:07

    Just created a screenshot in AC2:

    pic size is 3840*1080!

  • 14 Zerofool // Apr 29, 2010 at 21:21

    The screenshot function built into drivers does not capture what you see, it captures what is rendered internally. Try using “Print Screen” when using anaglyph or interlaced output and you will get the same full-rez screenshot, with full colours. To capture what you actually see onscreen, try using apps like HyperSnap for example.

  • 15 Martin // Apr 30, 2010 at 06:48

    Recorded short video using Fraps and Avatar native side by side = one video 1920*1080 with two squashed screens :).
    So yes we get 2*960*1080 or 2*1920*540 (in top/bottom config. Top/bottom works better if you have small text in your games. In both l/r and t/b in several games I tried picture quality is still pretty good despite the half res :).

    Tridef was a no go as it requires a set of their glasses.

  • 16 Philip Heggie // Apr 30, 2010 at 09:33

    Tridef shouldn’t be a no go with a 3dtv if you use the glasses for that 3dtv. No such thing as Tridef glasses. Maybe you mean polarized glasses for a 3d Laptop or 3d polarized monitor
    which has nothing to do with it working on an active glasses on a 3dtv.

  • 17 Ardov // Apr 30, 2010 at 11:34

    Can someone try VGA connection please and tell us if this works over VGA too?

  • 18 Martin // Apr 30, 2010 at 15:33

    Ardov I don’t have DVI to VGA cable atm to test with.

    Tridef had some strange setup maybe I didn’t configured it properly.

  • 19 Jono // Apr 30, 2010 at 16:56

    @ Ardov: (sorry for the OT) How did you get your edims to work with the Acer ? I’m under win7, and I wanna use them with the nvidia driver.

  • 20 Ardov // Apr 30, 2010 at 23:18

    Well, i don’t use them for gaming. Only for movies through pageflipping mode.

    As for the Samsung 3DTV, it would be interesting to see if the display has 3D mode available while on VGA connection. This could allow users of Edimensional glasses to use their PC and cheap glasses to watch 3D movies.

  • 21 SikSlayer // May 1, 2010 at 06:14

    I just wanted to step in and say that what Zerofool is saying is 100% correct. If you could count pixels like the folk over at Beyond 3D’s forums do to tell us the actual resolution of these more recent sub-HD console games (Call of Duty, Halo 3+, Haze and the like), you’ll see that what he’s said is true.

  • 22 Argon // May 3, 2010 at 03:53

    Zerofool, what do u suggest then to someone who’s eager to buy a 3dtv as a PC monitor? Just wait another year, hoping that things will get better? :) Plasmas are out of the question, I can’t buy DLP’s here, 24″ 3d monitors are too small, the Samsung 3dtvs suffer from serious problems (glossy screen, no real local dimming, driver problems, and the sidebyside thing).

  • 23 Zerofool // May 3, 2010 at 19:38

    Giving advice for such an important thing is big responsibility, and I can’t do that. But I’ll tell you what I will do. Waiting is the only reasonable thing for everyone (PC gamers) to do right now. I’ll wait for both ATI and Nvidia to release graphics drivers, that support outputting video in HDMI 1.4 3D standards, and especially the non-mandatory mode 1920×1080 @ 60fps (per eye) in “Frame-Packing” format, but there is absolutely no guarantee when/if that will happen. In reality this format is like Over/Under (a.k.a. Top-Bottom), it delivers full resolution views, with a black bar (45 pixels high) between them, which serve like marker (for syncing, or something like that :)), so the real resolution is actually 1920×2205 @60fps. Yes, HDMI 1.4a supports that mode, but that doesn’t mean TVs will recognize it if they’re fed with such signal, and as I said there is no guarantee that ATI & Nvidia will include such an output option in their drivers. If (when) that happens, I’ll wait for reviews of the available by that time 3D TVs, and read which of them is able to recognize and display that signal (probably after firmware update). That will be my choice :). When that happens, you can be sure that iZ3D, DDD, and NVIDIA of course, will all offer such 3D output to be sent through the HDMI port (in NVIDIA’s case probably locked for all other 3rd party drivers, and only working with their proprietry 3DTV Play ;)).
    I personally wouldn’t be so skeptical about the 3D plasmas, (yes, I still haven’t seen any in person, in my country there are none of them as of yet) they are said to be superior than Samsung LCD models currently available, in terms of ghosting (cross-talk), motion resolution, contrast,viewing angle etc. They also offer better picture quality in regular 2D mode (because of those things I mentioned above), but again, all that is very personal subject, so many people will still prefer LCDs, no matter what. Projectors are also an alternative…

    To summarize – yes, wait at least until the end of the summer.

    By the way, the format we’re talking about in the topic, and the first comments, is called “Side-by-Side (Half)”, the reason being self-explanatory ;). A non-Half format also exists in HDMI 1.4(a) standard, but currently there is no way for a PC to output such signal, and most likely the TVs will not recognize it anyways :).

  • 24 Argon // May 4, 2010 at 06:10

    Thanks for your advice! The problem with the plasmas is that after about 1500 hours the black levels rise quite significantly, and that’s only 125 days for me, so imagine the picture quality after a year or two. This technology is not made for serious everyday use. Oh and they BUZZ! Though I haven’t tested them, but the consensus seems to be that it’s very annoying. :) And they’re very expensive as well. Check out the comments here:

    http://hdguru.com/panasonic-tc-p50vt20-3d-hdtv-hd-guru-exclusive-first-review/1391/

    3D DLP TVs could be an option, since they’re really cheap, but we can’t get them in Europe – I was considering importing one from the US, but it’s messy (and costs a lot),and I’d lose the warranty also.

    Let’s wait then! :)

  • 25 Zerofool // May 17, 2010 at 01:47

    Argon, sorry for my late answer.
    I never really considered buying plasma before, so that info is new to me, and reading those comments to the article you linked (I read it when it came up, but not the comments :)) made me really think about it :). This Panasonic model is available in my country from today, and I plan to go to the store and see it tomorrow, and listen for this buzz, I hope it’s not that noticeable, but regarding the degrading black level performance.. I guess we’ll have to really wait for reviewers to determine if it’s fixed (I gather this issue was present since 2009 models, guys from Panasonic declared it’s fixed for 2010 models). However, if this issue still plagues this year’s line.. then as the guys from the comments said – there’s no perfect (3D) TV available in the market, and only the hope for next year’s models remains ;(.

    DLP 3D TVs do not offer full resolution unfortunately. The checkerboard pattern they use only offers half-res, and greatly degrades image quality in areas like text and small objects, fine details, etc. So (for me) it’s not an option at all.

  • 26 Luis // May 21, 2010 at 01:07

    I have tried both HDMI and VGA outputs from an HP laptop on a Samsung 8000 series Plasma TV (of 2010) and can confirm that 3D works. However I had to set resolution to 1600×1200. For some reason (it might be that the HDMI cable or PC port is not 1.4 type), the TV does not detect the stereo frames at full resolution.
    I am feeding 60-Hz 3D sequential-frame video from a software package (I have not tested with a game yet).
    When switching to 3D, the TV shows me 4 more choices (besides 2D-to-3D, side-by-side and top-bottom). Some are checkerboard types and the last one is sequential-frame mode. Normally those extra modes are greyed out.
    It really looks very nice, no flickering is visible, most probably due to the 600Hz subpixel refresh rate inherent to plasma TVs!
    But yes, the fixed windows seem to cause image retention. Not sure if it will be permanent, so I will not try this TV too much as a monitor.
    The retention is also created with the TV channel fixed logos, so I hope the pixed shifting will take effect even if the rest of the screen image is moving. If not my nice TV will degrade pretty soon…

  • 27 Pedro // Jun 12, 2010 at 17:45

    Luis, ¿Could you explain a little bit how you got the tv to give you this 4 more choises?

  • 28 Pedro // Jun 12, 2010 at 17:54

    Which software package are you talking about?
    as far as I know, the TV doesn’t support 3D through VGA(D-Sub) only through HDMI, are you using a vga-hdmi converter?

  • 29 Hugo // Dec 30, 2010 at 03:38

    On my Samsung 3D Tv, Side by Side 3D mode is not available with the VGA input. The tv automatically selects 2D to 3D mode and you can’t change it.

  • 30 PlutoniumHead // Jan 17, 2011 at 09:47

    Ditto on Hugo’s comment. VGA input doesn’t allow me any other options other than 2D to 3D. I’ve tried every different resolution option available.

  • 31 gorz // Nov 19, 2011 at 05:29

    i just tried ver 1.12 with output to 120hz 3d tv, which happens to be my samsung 46inch C7000 series. 3d obviously. The tv starts to flicker furiously until i have to reboot my pc.
    when i tried side-by-side the results did not give me a correct 3d image. any ideas?

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