It seems that at the moment the shipping process of the first dev kits of the Oculus Rift is a bit of a mess. The team at Oculus started shipping the first units already, but it seemed that they were only shipping to US/Canada with the international orders expected to start shipping a bit later on. My order number was 142 and the online system still says my order is being processed for shipping and I just got back from the customs after clearing my Oculus Rift dev kit. It has been shipped on 28th of March and arrived yesterday wit UPS and I’m based in Europe. Now I’m off to trying the kit out and you can expect my first impressions a bit later, I’ll also publish additional information when and where you would be able to try out dev kit if you are interested in it and happen to be living or passing by Sofia, Bulgaria.
April 5th, 2013 · 7 Comments · General 3D News
April 2nd, 2013 · 3 Comments · General 3D News
Today CyberLink has introduced their new version 13 of the PowerDVD media player, bringing some new and interesting features and improvements, some of which related to 3D, though not that much is actually targeted especially at stereoscopic 3D support. If you are going to be using the player for Blu-ray 3D movie and would use the player mostly for 3D video playback you’d need the Ultra version as the other two versions of the player – Pro and Deluxe do not come with stereo 3D video support at all.
Among the more interesting features in the new PowerDVD 13 are things like official support for the new AVCHD 2.0 standard (including 3D video support), playback of lossless APE audio (OGG and FLAC are already supported), 4K video support (for bitrates up to 60 Mbps) and a new subtitle rendering engine allowing you to better customzie how the subtitles appear. CyberLink also promises faster startup time for Blu-ray movies, better speed and responsiveness of the playback for various types of media. With the new PowerDVD 13 there is more attention for not only HD and 3D video playback, but for HD audio as well, so if you have a more serious sound system you can enjoy not only high-quality audio from movies, but also play looseless stereo audio and multichannel HD audio as well. It is interesting to note that the new PowerDVD 13 also supports TrueTheater HD for Blu-ray movies and Full HD videos (upscaling resolution) as compared to the previous version 12.
There isn’t much changed on the types of stereoscopic 3D display devices and output modes from the previous version, though they were already quite comprehensive with support for only 3D-capable DLP Link projectors using DLP Link glasses being the only thing that is still missing, though frame sequential mode is supported on a devices using 3D Vision with compatible hardware. PowerDVD 13 Ultra is available with a price of US $99.95 or €99.99 Euro and if you have an older 11/12 Ultra version you can upgrade for half the price of the license.
March 29th, 2013 · 10 Comments · General 3D News
BenQ has introduced their first 27-inch BenQ XL2720T 3D-capable gaming monitor supporting 120Hz refresh rate in that is compatible with Nvidia’s 3D Vision and supports 3D Lightboost technology (it seems that the display does not support 144Hz unlike the smaller 24-inch XL2411T). In fact the Asus VG278H and the BenQ might use the same LCD panel (not the VG278HE that supports 144Hz as BenQ’s display may not support 144Hz). The BenQ XL2720T is essentially a larger version of the smaller XL2420T model that the company offers that includes all of the extra features available in the 24-inch model, unlike the more stripped down BenQ XL2411T model. Have in mind that just like the case with the Asus VG278HE, the BenQ XL2720T also does not come with a built-in 3D Vision IR emitter or 3D glasses bundled, these monitors are 3D Vision-ready, but you need to buy the full 3D Vision kit separately if you want to use them in stereo 3D mode. And since a lot of non-stereoscopic 3D gamers have already shown a lot of interest in such monitors because of their high refresh rate and the ability to use the 3D Lightboost technology in 2D mode in order to eliminate the motion blur the market for 3D-ready monitors has grown a lot. In fact if we take a look back lately we’ve seen companies releasing 3D Vision-ready monitors without integrated IR emitters and bundled 3D glasses that are targeted as much to the normal gamers as they are to the stereo 3D gamers.
BenQ XL2720T Specifications:
Panel Size: 27-inches
Monitor Type: TN TFT-LCD with LED Backlight
3D Technology: Active 3D, 3D Vision Ready
Pixel Pitch: 0.311mm
Brightness: 300 cd/m2
Contrast Ratio (typ.): 1000:1, 12,000,000:1 (dynamic)
Response Time (typ.): 5ms, 1ms GTG
Viewing Angles: 170° (H) / 160° (V) @ C/R > 10
Input: D-sub, DL-DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort, USB Hub
Power Consumption: On Mode 27W (typ.); Sleep (Standby) <0.5W
Phys. Dimension (WxHxD): 548x642x273 mm
Weight with stand: 7.5kg
The BenQ XL2720T monitor is starting to appear on the market in some countries, but unfortunately the availability is still quite scarce and it is hard to find. It is still not available in my region either and since the new and more expensive BenQ displays here are not always available in a timely manner I can only order it online from abroad in order to test it, so I’ve decided to try out something else along with you, the readers of the blog, and if it works out with the BenQ we can continue doing it so it can greatly help in having timely reviews of new 3D-capable hardware and to have much more hardware reviewed…
The BenQ XL2720T Monitor Review Fund has so far collected 12.63 Euro (2.7% of the Goal).
Here is a PayPal donation button that you can use to donate for the BenQ XL2720T Monitor Review Fund, we need to collect around $600 USD (~470 EUR) for the price of the monitor and I’ll cover the shipping (in Europe hardware is more expensive than in the US). So if 600 people donate $1 each (or 470 people 1 Euro each) I’ll be able to quickly order and test the BenQ XL2720T and after I finish someone who has donated for the monitor test fund will get to keep the monitor. Unfortunately due to the large size and weight of the displays only people in Europe will be able to participate in draw for the monitor, though anyone is welcome to help in donating for the monitor test fund. I’ll cover the shipping costs of the monitor to the person who is drawn to receive it and if he is in an EU member country he will not have to pay anything extra, for non-EU member countries in Europe there could be some customs tax, so have that in mind. Unfortunately calculating the shipping cost using different courier companies for overseas shipping to America or Asia for example gave frightening results – the shipping cost may end up more than what the monitor actually costs, so that is why only people in Europe will be able to participate in the draw for the monitor. So when donating for the BenQ XL2720T Monitor Review Fund make sure you note if you want to participate in the drawing of the test monitor as a prize after it has been tested and reviewed or not. Again everyone is welcome to donate to the fund for buying the monitor for a review, but only people that are from Europe will be able to participate in the draw giving them the chance for winning the monitor after the review is finished. There is no limit or requirement on the sum you can donate for the monitor test fund, so it is up to you to decide on the amount you are willing to donate and if you are willing to do it at all.