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3D Vision vs 3D Vision 2, Looking Closer at the Active Shutter Glasses

October 15th, 2011 · 24 Comments · GeForce 3D Vision


I’ve made some photos of the old 3D Vision active shutter glasses next to the new 3D Vision 2 active shutter glasses that just got announced by Nvidia, so that it would be easy to compare the differences and see what similarities they have. The new 3D Vision 2 glasses come with a new design and new features, but basically they are not that much different from the original as you might think, and the new 3D glasses without a new 3D monitor with support for Nvidia’s Lightboost technology might be a little disappointing, so if you think about upgrading or purchasing a new 3D monitor make sure you get a combination of these two.



The basic form and format of the glasses is pretty much the same, following the same basic curve, but the new glasses come with a matted black plastic and not a glossy one. The type of plastic that feels almost like rubber, you probably have seen it used on some high-end gaming mice. The new glasses’ frame is slightly bigger and feels more solid, partly due to the increase of the size of the lenses, but this also makes the glasses seem bigger and bulkier. I personally like the new design and find it more functional and comfortable, but there is more left to be desired….



The on/off button has been moved on the side of the glasses, there is a kind of light shield at the top of the new glasses intended to help in blocking external light (to reduce or eliminate flickering with the presence of artificial light in the room for example), the side frames are thinner and wider, making them more comfortable for people wearing the glasses together with headphones.



The mini-USB connector for charging used in the old glasses is now replaced with micro-USB connector, the battery of the new glasses is with capacity of 70 mAh which should roughly be the same as the revised first version of 3D Vision with the increased battery life. The rubber nose-piece part feels more comfortable now and should be better kept in its place, not falling off all the time after some time of use like with the original design.



What I would’ve liked better is a slightly bigger curve of the front where the lenses are, this would’ve allowed the glasses to better fit on the face of most people, however there is a reason for leaving it like that. The reason is that people wearing prescription glasses should have no trouble wearing the new slightly larger 3D Vision 2 glasses on top of their prescription glasses, so they would be able to fully enjoy using the stereo 3D mode. The top light shield could’ve been a bit larger, especially on the sides to better block external light…



The interesting thing about the top light shield is that it is very easily removable, so it could be easily replaced if somebody makes a better one for example. But because of that it can more easily come off from the glasses when they are folded, not sure if this was intentionally designed like that for a reason or not. I did not like the fact that the glasses were glued together at some places, I don’t consider that this will help make them endure more abuse from the users. Also I’m a bit disappointed of the performance of the lenses, it seems that the same lenses as with the old 3D Vision glasses are being used in the new 3D Vision 2 product, just slightly larger. The problem with this is that when you look through the lens with the shutter closed you may notice that different parts of the lens block light to a different extent – they are not completely even. So to conclude this short comparison, I like the new design and glasses better than the old ones, there is certainly a good improvement over the previous model, however there is yet more to be desired. It is good that Nvidia has listened to some of the complaints that the users had about the first 3D Vision glasses and tried to fix most of these in the new version, however there is more to be desired is some aspects. These glasses should’ve been introduced at least an year earlier and not about three years after the original version was launched, hopefully the next version addressing some of the things still needing improvement and bringing more features and better performance will not come in three more years… ;)

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24 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Shivoa // Oct 15, 2011 at 16:58

    Very disappointed, I was looking forward to upgrading my existing glasses to a design closer to the ‘crystal clear’ high end models that other suppliers are putting out.

    The glasses, when off, are looking just as low end as the previous model (blocking significant levels of light and tinting towards brown) but just with bigger lenses (no use to me, the current ones are fine for me) and possibly smarter refresh intervals in combination with the new screens. I’ll wait for how they test in practice, but I don’t expect I’ll be reaching for my wallet and my screen is new enough that I don’t expect to be upgrading any time soon.

    My only issue with 3DVision so far has been the 75-90% light lost when using the active shutters (obviously you have to lose 50% light due to the physics of the situation but to be over twice as bad as the ideal is annoying, especially as other manufacturers like Sony have shown a better quality of LCD can be used to make much better glasses).

  • 2 Max // Oct 15, 2011 at 19:06

    The LCD monitor is the reason of the dark picture, not the glasses…

  • 3 josh // Oct 15, 2011 at 23:05

    @Shivoa in regards to what you mentioned “the ‘crystal clear’ high end models that other suppliers are putting out.” are there other high end glasses that work with a 3d Vision enabled pc other than the 3d vision and 3d vision 2 glasses? Or are the other high end models you are referring to for tv?

  • 4 Bloody // Oct 15, 2011 at 23:06

    Well, it seems that the new 3D vision 2 glasses are working in some sort of compatibility mode with old monitors, performing just about the same way as a first generation of active shutter glasses from Nvidia would, no visible difference at all with naked eye when looking through the glasses. There is of course the benefit of the bigger lenses, more functional and comfortable design etc., but in terms of improvement in brightness or less crosstalk/ghosting there is no difference. It seems that you can only get improvement in these areas if you not only get the new 3D glasses, but also a new 3D monitor with Lightboost technology. With such a monitor (and a new driver update i suppose to support it) the shutters of the glasses will be driven in a different way to allow for better experience – more light to pass as well as different timings in order to reduce crosstalk/ghosting. But I cannot yet say what will be the difference on a Lightboost enabled 3D monitor, I hope to very soon also get an Asus VG278H 3D monitor for review…

  • 5 Jeff Parker // Oct 16, 2011 at 01:00

    Would these glasses be any better with my H5360 than the gen 1 glasses are? I am pretty happy with the 3D on that already, but I have long been consdering getting some more pairs. I just use 3D Vision for watching 3D Blu-ray.

  • 6 Badelhas // Oct 16, 2011 at 04:36

    What other options for good and/or cheap glasses do we have to work with our existent 3D Vision Nvidia Glasses do we have out there, bloody?

  • 7 Bloody // Oct 16, 2011 at 11:39

    Jeff, from a performance point of view you will not notice any difference, but 3D DLP projectors are already crosstalk/ghosting free, the brightness however will remain the same. The Lightboost technology probably is not applicable to DLP projectors, so we are not going to see it there. I believe that the new 3D Vision 2 glasses will start to gradually replace the old ones, so sooner to later the first glasses will mot likely disappear from the market.

    Badelhas, there are multiple cheaper 3D Vision “clones” already that tend to claim full compatibility with 3D Vision, but you should be very careful with these as they may bring you more trouble than save you money.

  • 8 Jeff Parker // Oct 16, 2011 at 18:58

    Has the emitter changed at all? I have two of the original kits, will the new glasses work with the old emitters?

  • 9 Bloody // Oct 16, 2011 at 22:59

    I don’t think that there is any difference in the hardware of the IR emitter. The new glasses work just fine with the old emitters and the same goes for the old glasses with new infrared emitters…

  • 10 Jeff Parker // Oct 17, 2011 at 02:26

    Great, looks like I’ll get a couple pairs of the new glasses if I don’t end up getting a new projector instead.

    I am seriously considering jumping on the HD33 or the H9500BD and just using 3dtvPlay. I just watch movies anyway so I’d be good with either of those.

  • 11 badelhas // Oct 17, 2011 at 04:35

    bloody, are there any cheap glasses you tried and recommend?

  • 12 Shivoa // Oct 17, 2011 at 04:58

    @Max Only halving of the brightness is a result of the screen (and even then, actually it is the glasses again which are doing the darkening) as in 3D mode they are actually very bright but the LCD shutters are there to block the light from each eye so halving the light that reaches you. But that is not what we see with 3D Vision, the loss is far higher because of the non-clear ‘off’ state still blocking light when it should be ‘open’ (and tinting the light) and the sluggish transition periods (which it sounds like only get fixed when you pair these new glasses with new screens as they work in compatibility mode with old screens for identical performance). We could see, in practical terms, a doubling of the received brightness of the image with upgraded 3D Vision shutters if they were to look at high end Sony TV spec glasses and go from there.

    @josh I have not seen and 3DVision compatible premium products, the crystal clear I was referring to are aimed at specific TV/integrated solutions from other providers.

  • 13 Max // Oct 17, 2011 at 08:02

    Yes, of course the glasses halve the brightness, i know. But the LCD technology further darkens it, so thats why we not see just 50% less brightness. DLP projector rulez :)

  • 14 Nick 3DvB // Oct 17, 2011 at 14:30

    So “LightBoost” was only screen-based after all, if they haven’t improved the lenses transmittance at all I think I’ll stick with my $40 DLPlink glasses…

  • 15 quadrophoeniX // Oct 17, 2011 at 18:27

    Hi Folks,
    I have read about the new glasses being compatible with first gen monitors, but how about the emitter?
    I mean why pay twice for the same thing, I’d prefer to get a lighboost monitor without the glasses bundled and the 99er glasses without the dongle to reuse my old one – can anyone confirm this is a viable idea (given that noone could confirm this on a Lightboost enabled monitor)?

  • 16 Bloody // Oct 17, 2011 at 23:29

    Nick 3DvB, I’m still not sure if you’d be able to benefit from the Lightboost technology with the old glasses or only the new ones will work with it. With it the shutters of the glasses should be driven in a different way than currently, so that will allow more light to pass to your eyes.

    quadrophoeniX, the new glasses are fully compatible with the old IR emitters, so you can just get a pair of 3D Vision 2 glasses and not buy the more expensive kit version that includes the emitter as well. The new BenQ 3D monitor should also have a version with and without the glasses bundled, but with the new Asus and Acer 3D monitors I don’t think you’d have an option to buy them without glasses bundled.

  • 17 Shivoa // Oct 18, 2011 at 04:37

    @Max I feel there is a language barrier here. When a 3D LCD monitor goes from 2D to 3D it gets brighter (as it goes to full brightness mode so even if the 2D mode is at max brightness it just stays at that level), not darker. There is nothing intrinsic about the monitor that darkens for 3D, it is all on the glasses and how much of the light they let through the shutter (which is why it is a shame they don’t use better quality shutters that let more light through when ‘open’ and react quicker to transition from open/close).

  • 18 quadrophoeniX // Oct 18, 2011 at 13:26

    Bloody, thanks for your insight. A small catch here, though: as you state in your reply to Nick3DvB you think it possible that lightboost might only work with the new glasses. However, it’s not the glasses that determine the duty cicle of the glasses but the driver (monitor EDID) and emitter…
    So I see 3 options:
    1. the old emitter or glasses are only partially compatible but will not benefit due to revised hardware ( not likely at all IMHO)
    2. the old glasses and emitter alike are both compatible with lightboost as the duty cicle is only dependant from the driver reckognizing a lightboost compatible monitor and nvidia is holding back that info to shift more glasses. (very likely)
    3. Lightboost monitors MUST have an integrated emitter and come bundled with glasses to get the sign of aproval. So the old glasses will benefit but it will be more or less regardless. (most likely, again, IMHO)

    only time and availabilty of lightboost ready monitors will tell….

  • 19 quadrophoeniX // Oct 18, 2011 at 17:39

    Ok, digging a little deeper into it makes it much more clear:
    Lightboost is best understood as some form of backlight scanning that is in sync with the 3Dvision emitter. This effectively allows to increase the brightness while reducing ghosting at the same time. LED backlight makes it possible…. and since it’s a plain monitor related feature it will naturally work the same with old as with new glasses and emitters.

  • 20 Bloody // Oct 18, 2011 at 18:04

    However there is also the question if the drivers can somehow recognize if you have the old or the new glasses and behave differently with each pair… it would be great to also have Lightboost supported with the old glasses, however this will make the transition to upgrade to the new glasses a bit pointless for a while. That is until 3D Vision 2 completely replaces the first gen glasses, as it will replace them and the first generation will disappear from the market…

  • 21 MadMaxGamer // Oct 21, 2011 at 01:00

    Great. You have to buy new monitor and glasses. Not to mention that games still run like crap (50% FPS drop) and more than half of them don`t even work right. I bought the first 3DVsion kit, monitor and all, and after a little while i got bored with it. I cant afford dual graphics cards to run smoothly either. Go to hell Nvidia, you want to make this popular ? Make it cheaper dumbasses and work on your drivers instead of pushing your new VGA inventory on the consumers.

  • 22 Dalisson // Oct 25, 2011 at 01:01

    Its gonna be a long time until I invest on 3d again, I remember playing farcry 2 and not only the game was still very boring as the image would get so dark that I would constantly turn the 3d off because I missed the bright colors.

  • 23 HellionGR // Jan 15, 2013 at 21:55

    I can tell you that on a samsung 2233rz the old glasses Ver 1 have slightly better image than Ver 2.Tested in some games and 5 different people noticed that.I am using the Ver 1 transmitter which is compatible for both.I guess that ver 1 has slightly better image cause the lens are smaller and a bit darker so the average eye cant tell the difference in minor ghosting effects etc while with ver 2 you can.My opinion if you get ver 2 get a lightboost monitor as well.

  • 24 CHETOZZ 52 // Mar 3, 2013 at 09:16

    HOLA QUERIA SABER SI ESTA GAFAS VERDADERAMENTE AUMENTAN EL BRILLO Y NIIDEZ CON RESPECTO A LA ANTERIORES Y SI SE JUSTIFICARIA COMPARLAS?

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