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The 1080p 3D-capable Projectors and Gaming in Stereo 3D Mode

May 9th, 2011 · 6 Comments · Other S3D Tech


There are a lot of people that expect this year to finally see 1080p 3D-capable projectors on the market with more affordable prices, thinking about upgrading their current 720p 3D projectors or directly going for such a solution with gaming in stereo 3D mode as one of the main things to do on a big screen. Currently one of the most affordable 1080p 3D projector is Sharp XV-Z17000 available for about 3-4K USD, but even this is considered high for more mainstream users not looking to build a home movie theater, but instead planning to use the projector for gaming. Especially considering that there are some mainstream 3D-capable 720p projectors such as the Acer H5360 available for just about $600 USD, so paying 2-3 times that price for a projector supporting 3D and 1080p resolutions sounds reasonable, but more not so much.

Leaving the still higher price for 3D support and 1080p resolution as features available together in a projector, there are some other important things that you should consider if you are looking to buy an 3D Full HD projector for gaming. Having an industry standard such as HDMI 1.4 is good for a lot of things, but can also bring some issues because of some limitations it implies on hardware that is using it. And you can expect pretty much any 3D-capable 1080p projector for consumers that is expected this year to be based on that particular standard. For movie lovers that should not be a problem as the HDMi 1.4 standard supports high enough bandwidth to push 1080p at 24Hz in 3D mode, but for gaming in stereo 3D mode this is simply not enough and you should go back to 720p resolution where you can get 50 or 60Hz per eye in 3D mode. So what is the point in going for a 1080p 3D projector using HDMI 1.4 if you plan to use it for gaming – absolutely no point in doing that. You better stay with a much more affordable 720p model if you have one or go for such 3D projector for playing games in stereo 3D mode, and you can of course play 3D movies in 1080p resolution on it without very significant visual quality “loss”.

In 720p resolution you would have to use some Anti-Aliasing to smooth the jagged edges in games, something like 4xAA should be quite close to what you get at 1080p resolution without AA in terms of edge smoothness, although there would be still some difference in the level of details you get. But in general playing at lower resolution may also help you get by in stereo 3D mode even with not a top-end video card with a decent framerate as compared to playing with the same hardware on 1080p display for example. And having a bigger projected screen helps a lot for the immersion as compared to a much smaller 3D monitor for example that may have higher resolution, not to mention the fact that 3D DLP technology is practically crosstalk/ghosting free in 3D mode.

Having a 3D-capable projector using HDMI 1.4 has the advantage that it should be compatible with much wider range of hardware, not only PC (Nvidia’s 3D Vision and AMD’ HD3D technology), but also standalone consumer electronic devices with support for 3D such as the PlayStation 3 console, or a Blu-ray 3D player. The disadvantage when using HDMI 1.4 is that it only supports 720p 50/60Hz 3D mode and 1080p 24Hz 3D mode, the rest is only in 2D mode and you cannot use the projector at 120Hz in 2D mode like you can do with projectors using HDMI 1.3 or VGA interface for example (this can vary greatly on the specific projector).

So if you are waiting for an affordable 1080p 3D-capable projector to become available in order for you to use it for gaming in stereo 3D mode and not for 3D movies, then you should probably reconsider your decision…


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6 responses so far ↓

  • 1 chris wray // May 9, 2011 at 17:57

    with me its a 1080p 3d 3Lcd or nothing ( i hate rainbow effect) wonder when they will surface at a good price , upgrading from a sanyo plv z-800

  • 2 Bloody // May 9, 2011 at 18:10

    If there are any 3D 3LCD projectors being released they are also going to be using HDMI 1.4 and will be subject to the same limitations in terms of supported resolutions and refresh rates. Furthermore using LCD technology may also bring crosstalk/ghosting issues…

  • 3 jason Borne // May 9, 2011 at 20:03

    I have two 720p acer h5360 projectors about to pull the trigger on the third one right now, for nvidia 3d surround. I also have a epson 1080p projector.. You will not see 1080p 3d projectors for under $1000 until at 2012, you wont see any this year surly.. And you cannot tell the difference with the Acer 720p projectors. Plus there is not GPU out with enough horse power and Memory that can push 1080p times 3 screens with atleast 60 frames per second with 3d. Even with 4 580 sli, you still wouldn’t get 60 fps with 3d across 3 screens . So a 1080p 3d projector “1.4 also” Is not worth it right now..

  • 4 Brad // May 10, 2011 at 16:17

    What about the fact that you can play 1080p pc games on this projector too thats a big selling point for me.

    I’ve been informed by someone who purchased this unit, that gaming at 24hz is highly playable (Avatar game in this case) due to some smoothing process the sharp employs.

    Also, can this projector use that hack whereby an an older driver is used to achieve 1080p@30fps?

  • 5 Bloody // May 10, 2011 at 22:50

    You should be able to run most games in 1080p 24Hz 3D mode, however not a lot of titles can be comfortable played with 24 fps per eye. Sooner or later you will get bothered by the low framerate, and it is not Ok for most FPS and racing games…

  • 6 Michael // May 11, 2011 at 23:53

    I can’t believe that more people aren’t playing games on 3D projectors – I played for the first time the other day on my friend’s, and it was amazing!

    Thanks for the post.

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