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Modifying the 3D Vision Glasses to Show 2D Left or Right Frame Only

August 1st, 2010 · 23 Comments · GeForce 3D Vision


I’ve been thinking about the idea of modifying the 3D Vision active shutter glasses so that both of their lenses can show only the left or only the right image from stereo 3D content being displayed on a 120Hz LCD monitor. The reason for such modification is to have a pair of 3D Vision active shutter glasses that can be used to watch in 2D when the display is actually showing 3D content, thus allowing some people to see the 3D content and others to see the same content, but in 2D… all at the same time. On the demo video above you can see a demonstration showing what I was able to achieve after a few hours spent to learn how the 3D Vision glasses function and to modify them. And the same modification should be possible to just about any other pair of active shutter glasses, for example a pair of shutter glasses that is used with a 3D-capable HDTV…

As you know some people are not feeling comfortable when watching stereoscopic 3D content, or do not see the 3D effect at all because of having some issue with their eyes, however at the moment nobody is offering 2D shutter glasses for these people to enjoy the same content with their family or friends in 2D while others are using 3D glasses and seeing in stereo 3D. When displaying stereo 3D content on the screen that is intended to be watched with shutter glasses, you cannot watch it without glasses and with the glasses it is in stereo 3D. This is why you need the glasses to show only the left or the right frame at the same time through both shutters and blocking the other view, so that you will be actually seeing 2D content, but the only way to do that currently is by physically modifying the glasses (loosing the warranty of course).

The next interesting possibility by having two pairs of modified 3D Vision shutter glasses – one to show the left and the other to show the right frames only, is to allow the sharing of a single 120Hz LCD monitor between two users watching different content. Of course both users will be able to watch different 2D content with 60Hz each, like two different movies for example, or a movie and a game, even two different games at the same time, although this becomes harder on the software side. However this possibility should not be neglected as it can be quite useful, especially since it will not be that hard to also have different audio for the two users depending on what content they are watching. But here I’m just talking about a possible future perspective that may or may not be exploited…

Now to the point on how you can actually modify a pair of 3D Vision active shutter glasses should you decided to do so because of various reasons, some of which I’ve already mentioned above or for something else. Just a reminder that doing the following modification will void your warranty and it also requires some soldering skills etc., so if you are not sure in your abilities please do not try this modification as there is risk of damaging the glasses!



This is not my first time opening the 3D Vision shutter glasses, so it was an easy task for me, however you should be careful when doing that. There is just one screw hidden under the nosepiece and the rest is just separating the different plastic elements from each other, carefully not to brake them, although the plastic used for the glasses is quite strong. After opening the glasses you need to disconnect the control board (in the left side of the glasses) as you need to work with the flexible connector cable that goes to the IR receiver, both shutters and the battery on the right. On the photo above you can see which two pins are used for the left (L) and for the right (R) shutter – two separate circuits that we need to bridge together so that both shutters will be open or closed at the same time and not change state one after another.



We need to bridge both shutters in a single loop using the left or right signaling line only depending on whether we want them to show only the left or only the right frame (left is usually used for watching in 2D). A good place to solder a wire is at the bottom part of the shutters where we can peel off a bit of the plastic covering the reveal the metal connection pad where we can solder the connecting cable.



Using a thin 30 AWG Kynar insulated wire does a great job in connecting both shutters with each other at their bottom parts so now the triggering electricity will go from the first to the second shutter and trigger them together. But we need to do one more bridge in order for the modification to work – we need to close the bridge between the two other lines used by both shutters in order for them to function as we with them to.



We need to bridge the 6th and 10th pins together by using an even thinner cable or alternatively you can use some conductive paint etc. After that we need to cover some of the pins so that they will not have contact with the electrical circuit inside the glasses depending on the left or right frame we want to be visible through the glasses from the stereo 3D content being displayed on the monitor.



Covering the 4th to 6th pins (the 5th pin is not used for anything) with a small piece of tape and preventing the pins for the right shutter to have contact with the control board we route the electricity sent to trigger the left frame through both shutters and thus we only see the left frame of the stereo 3D content being displayed.



If we cover the 10th to 12th pins (the 11th is not used for anything) with a piece of tape we prevent the contact of the pins used for the left shutter and thus both shutters are powered through the electricity triggering the right shutter only. The result as expected is that the viewer wearing the glasses only sees the right frame from the stereo 3D content being shown on the display.

You should not cover both the pins for the left and right eye, not you should leave both of them to have full contact in the electrical circuit after applying this modification as the glasses will not function either way and there is even a possibility of actually damaging then this way! So you should leave either the left or the right set of pins to have contact with the control board depending if you want the glasses to show only the left or only the right frame from the stereo 3D content being displayed. And again a word of warning as this modification will void the warranty of the 3D Vision glasses as well as it might lead to damage to them if you are not careful enough, so you should be extra careful if you decide to go and modify the glasses this way.


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23 responses so far ↓

  • 1 mr. hu // Aug 1, 2010 at 20:28

    Wondering about this beyond warranty repair stuff. I have ghosting issue with my DLP , one day to next. Green pink out of sync stuff . Im going to upgrade to DLP_Link glasses. If it turns out the bundle is bad and older than 1 year, what then? Damn… If I was not about sending back my pj into warranty repair just now, I would be very – very upset now ! My faith in nVidia is rapidly disappearing.

  • 2 Olivier DETRY // Aug 1, 2010 at 20:50

    Humm .. I few weeks ago, I posted something about that, and I was told that it was impossible, and that 3D content could not be seen in 2D. But I was right :)

  • 3 Bloody // Aug 1, 2010 at 21:06

    Olivier, not impossible, but not available as a product that you can purchase… I was not sure if it could be done in practice (in theory everything is possible), before actually opening and modifying the glasses.

  • 4 Joooo // Aug 1, 2010 at 21:06

    One question: Why?

  • 5 mr. hu // Aug 1, 2010 at 21:32

    … guys I was reminded by a friend of mine that syncing the pyramid to an USB cable is not the only way. You can get that sync signal into the emitter by mere DVI or VGA cable. So , USB will be little trouble on the long run , you can still use the emitter the if you hack it.

    Bloody, want no dedicated no hack section ?

  • 6 JHESTAND // Aug 1, 2010 at 22:17

    OK People who don’t want to watch 3D content mainly don’t want to wear the glasses! so this is really pointless in that regard.

  • 7 mr. hu // Aug 1, 2010 at 22:48

    Its not pointless , rather the opposite, shows undocumented feature, that could be exploited by theatres. If the viewer just can’t take it anymore he/she can revert to 2d in a second (and back).
    -Its another question theatre space is dominated by DLP_Link , and not the USB deal tho ;) .

  • 8 Bloody // Aug 1, 2010 at 22:57

    Actually 3D theaters are probably dominated by passively polarized implementations just because the passive glasses are much cheaper than active shutter glasses. But we are not talking about cinemas… there is no point in going to a cinema to watch a 3D movie and watch it in 2D.

    However at home it is completely different story when using your 3D monitor or 3D HDTV…

  • 9 Chris // Aug 2, 2010 at 19:24

    Nice mod Bloody!
    I found out i can do this with my Optoma dlp-Link shutters. I was pressing the button to activate them and its seems to cycle through the choices, just the left image, just the right image, then both.
    It does come in handy, my eyes get tired quite easily, so being able to view just the one image helps me a lot!

  • 10 WAKE UP PEOPLE // Aug 2, 2010 at 22:57

    THIS IS FAR FROM POINTLESS! Imagine two playing HALO or COD on the same screen without having to split the screen. No more screen looking, both people get to play on a full screen, and you wouldn’t have to worry abut separating audio signals because the audio is the same for both people on a multiplayer game. However, imagine how weird the TV would look to people not wearing glasses that could separate one image from the other. Cool stuff…

  • 11 Thomasjn // Aug 2, 2010 at 23:10

    @ “WAKE UP PEOPLE”. Yea it could be quite awesome if you were 2 guys, playing multiplayer on PS3, and somehow could make Player 1, only see Left images, and Player 2 only see right images, or something similair.

  • 12 gadget78 // Aug 6, 2010 at 00:19

    whole new conecpt to split screen !!!

  • 13 DaveB // Sep 8, 2010 at 13:12

    This is hardly pointless!

    I have a friend who is partially sighted who cannot see 3D. With this technology we can see the same film and have the best of both worlds. I’ve already made a polarising set of glasses for converting real3d films into 2D, so to be able to hack a shutter set aswell would be great!

    This is also useful as cinemas seem to be showing some films just in 3D with no/or v. limited showings of the 2D version. In the future the cinema could just need to give you a different pair of glasses depending whether you want 3D or 2D.

    Loving the thoughts about having 2 feeds through one monitor for games and such!

  • 14 Tony // Oct 4, 2010 at 09:08

    I would love to get some help modding a pair of glasses for an entirely different purpose, correcting amblyopia. I have a daughter who wears an eyepatch for 4 hours a day, but as soon as it is off she changes to her stronger eye. The eyes are showing no sign of improved coordination (though the weaker eye is showing signs of improved vision.) I have been thinking that if i could put he eyepatch on for .75 seconds, then take it off for .25 seconds, for several hours at a time she may start to coordinate the eyes a little more.

  • 15 Bloody // Oct 4, 2010 at 11:55

    Tony, this is an interesting idea that you have. However controlling the sync timing of the 3D Vision glasses is a problem, this would require a more serious modification and probably a custom control circuit for the shutters…

  • 16 EKIM // Nov 19, 2010 at 03:31

    You can do a lot more with a few sets of 3d glasses from the movies then what i have seen here. Take two pairs and disassemble them reverse one set of lenses unto the other set. You will know if you do this correctly in that you will be looking into them and see a UV effect, this allows you to see thing perhaps you wouldn’t normally see. Because of the effect created by the Drive engine on an UFO you might not see it looking right at it, but a camera that sees in different spectrum can see it. Can someone tell me how to create glasses that can see what normally you can not see?

  • 17 Bloody // Nov 20, 2010 at 03:24

    Yes, using passive polarized glasses it is much easier to achieve the same effect, the tricky part is to do it with the active glasses.

    As for your other question… you cannot simply do it, because our eyes can only see in specific range of the light specter. You can use filters to limit the type of light reaching to the eye, but you cannot just add passive filter that can expand that range… ;)

  • 18 peetuhr // Jun 3, 2011 at 06:39

    i just got a 3d tv and when i play cod in split screen, and then set the 3d to cut it horizontally, if you close 1 eye each player sees their own screen perfectly. so clearly it would work amazingly, the problem is the glasses. this would solve it but im kinda upset thats not an option to switch it. :( i dont want that many pairs of 3d glasses >:(

  • 19 Pete // Sep 3, 2011 at 11:57

    Cool idea. In the future when LCDs have a super fast refresh rates four people can watch what they want independently on the same tv at the same time with sound buds on the glasses of course.

  • 20 Josh // Aug 27, 2012 at 01:39

    I would like to do this with my LG Shutter glasses, so that I can play dual play using my active 3d screen. I attempted to open the glasses but I couldn’t separate the two half’s around the eye pieces, I would like to know if there is any place you can buy these universal glasses so you can switch between left / right or both etc… I would love to purchase some.

  • 21 Tehen // Sep 10, 2012 at 16:06

    @Josh: If you find universal glasses that can do that, please let us know.
    I went to one of my friend’s place recently to try his new panasonic 3DTV. The panasonic active shutter glasses have a switch on them to use them as either 2D or 3D glasses when watching 3D content on the TV.
    http://3dvision-blog.com/5719-panasonics-new-ty-ew3d3-active-shutter-glasses-for-3d-hdtvs/

  • 22 shawn // Nov 20, 2012 at 04:44

    Has anyone found a pair of universal active shutter IR glasses that has a switch for this?

    My wife has vertigo issues and can’t watch 3D movies. We have 2D passive glasses for the theater but recently got a Sony 3D tv and would like to find a pair of active glasses to work with it.

    Or maybe you know some tricks on how to determine which pins need to be jumped so I can apply a similar mod to a pair of Sony glasses.

    I even tried a pair of the PlayStation 3D glasses that can switch to one eye for multiplayer. They glasses won’t let you switch to left only or right only unless they are getting a special signal from a compatible game!

  • 23 slash d // Dec 25, 2012 at 04:30

    “We need to bridge the 6th and 10th pins together by using an even thinner cable or alternatively you can use some conductive paint etc.”

    What’s the point of this step here

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