3D Vision Blog

A normal user's look into the world of 3D Stereo Technologies

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New 27-inch BenQ XL2720T 120Hz and 3D Vision Ready Monitor

March 29th, 2013 · 10 Comments · General 3D News

benq-xl2720t-3d-vision-ready-monitor


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.

For more information about the 27-inch BenQ XL2720T 3D-ready gaming monitor…

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Review of the ViewSonic V3D241wm-LED 3D-capable Monitor

March 29th, 2013 · 5 Comments · Other S3D Tech

viewsonic-v3d241wm-led-monitor


The ViewSonic V3D241wm-LED 3D-capable 120Hz LCD monitor is not a new model, it was announced back in 2010, but I just recently had the chance to get my hands on it, so I’ve decided to run some tests on it as it is still available and can be purchased and thee aren’t many reviews of it available. What is interesting about this particular 3D monitor from ViewSonic is the fact that it comes bundled with a pair of wired glasses that connect directly to the display itself and not to the computer. Originally this monitor was intended to be used with the iZ3D Driver and be compatible with both Nvidia and AMD-based graphics, but since the development of that software has been ceased for some time (the driver is still available for download) I also wanted to see what other options do you have in using it in 3D at the moment. The fact that the iZ3D driver is not longer in development means that although the old version of software may work, it may not work well with newer games. For example I could not make the latest version of the iZ3D software work at all under Windows 8, though I still managed to make the monitor work in stereo 3D even under Windows 8, but not with the iZ3D driver.


ViewSonic V3D241wm-LED Specifications:

Display size: 23.6″ (60 cm) Wide, 16:9 Full HD
Panel Technology: TN (Twisted Nematic)
Resolution: 1920×1080 @ 120Hz
Response time: 5ms (typical) / 2ms (Gray to Gray)
Colours: 16.7M (6 bit + HiFRC)
Contrast ratio: 1000:1 (20,000,000:1 Dynamic)
Brightness: 300 cd/m2
Viewing angle: 170°/160°
Pixel pitch: 0.2715 mm
PPI (pixels per inch): 92
Integrated Speakers: 2x 2w (SRS Premium Sounds)
Wall-mount: 100 mm x 100 mm
Connections: Analog (D-sub), Digital (DVI-D), HDMI, Internal Power Supply, 3.5mm audio jack in/out, USB type-B for wired 3D glasses
Power consumption: 35 W (typical) w/o Audio / 38 W (maximum) with Audio
Dimensions: 563.6×417.8×260.8 mm
Weight: 5.1 Kg


viewsonic-active-3d-shutter-glasses-wired


If you are a long time stereoscopic 3D user like me you may remember seeing and even using active shutter glasses like the ones on the picture above that are shipped with the ViewSonic V3D241wm monitor. I have seen very similar design 3D glasses back in the 2000 with GeForce 2 graphics, though they were not completely identical in the design, the shutters are probably the same. Using the ViewSonic glasses in 3D mode they make the black color grayish and generally the look and feel of the image gets colder, other than that and the fact that they look old school and and not overly comfortable for wearing they do perform decent. Another thing that I did not like much about these glasses is the fact that their cable is not very flexible and you’d want a more flexible cable when you have to connect the glasses with a wire to the display.


3d-vision-generic-crt-display-support


The good news with the ViewSonic is that it works just fine with a 3D Vision Kit and there is not even the need to use and EDID override driver, you can just enable the Generic CRT Display mode that was removed a while ago from the 3D Vision drivers, but is now apparently back. In fact using an EDID override from another 3D Vision-ready display produces worse ghosting/crosstalk as compared to when using the Generic CRT mode. Due to the fact that I was not able to make the iZ3D Driver work I was not able to compare with the results achieved when using the Generic CRT Display mode, but I suspect that the level of ghosting/crosstalk would be a bit less with the iZ3D software. The good news is that with the Generic CRT Display mode enabled from the 3D Vision drivers you can use both the ViewSonic 3D glasses as well as 3D Vision glasses and they produce pretty much the same level of ghosting/crosstalk though the image seems warmer when viewed through the 3D Vision glasses. You however need to have a 3D Vision IR emitter connected to the computer in order to be able to enable the Generic CRT Display mode, so even only with an emitter connected you could use the wired glasses.


viewsonic-v3d241wm-not-calibrated
viewsonic-v3d241wm-calibrated


Here is how the display performs in terms of color reproduction, the first image shows the performance of the out of the box factory settings and the second one is after we’ve calibrated the monitor. We’ve measured maximum brightness level of 260 cd/m2 and that is with the default setting of 70 for Contrast and after calibration the color accuracy improves a bit with the brightness staying above 200 cd/m2. Have in mind that these measurements were made using the 60Hz refresh rate mode of the display as as long as you activate 120Hz the monitor enters in 3D mode automatically and the brightness gets reduced significantly. This happens only at 120Hz refresh rate, at the lower 110Hz and 100Hz refresh rates the image is brighter, though 110Hz is not useable for stereo 3D mode with the Generic CRT display mode, but the 100Hz is.


viewsonic-v3d241wm-not-calibrated-120hz


These are the readings of the display’s color performance when it is running with 120Hz refresh rate without calibration, as you can see the 3D mode is with a maximum brightness level of just 87 cd/m2, something similar to what happens when you activate the 3D Lightboost technology on a more recent display, though the panel used here does not feature a scanning backlight as the 3D Lightboost-enabled monitors do. The monitor uses a CMO M236H5-L0A LCD panel, something very similar to the one used by the Acer GN245HQ 3D-capable display. The only good thing here is that the black point measures at just 0.09 Cd/m2 so you still get a contrast ratio of almost 1000:1 even though the brightness level is a bit below the comfortably useable level for most people and the perceived brightness gets even lower when you put on the shutter glasses. This could’ve been acceptable only if it has helped in significantly reducing the level of ghosting/crosstalk that you would normally get, but unfortunately it did not help much.


viewsonic-v3d241wm-extreme-ghosting


It is time to check the crosstalk performance of the monitor in stereo 3D mode, first is the test with the extreme crosstalk photos. The results are wore that what we are used in seeing in the more recent 3D-capable displays, but you should not forget that this is in fact a 2010 model of 3D display, so for back at that time the situation wasn’t that bad when comparing to other available products.


viewsonic-v3d241wm-sailboats-test


Next is the sailboats stereoscopic 3D test video for more real-world performance comparison, here we see a bit of ghosting and it is mostly what I use to call color ghosting/crosstalk that is a direct result of the use of an Overdrive technology to make the pixels respond faster. In this test the performance is a bit worse than on other 3D displays from that period.


viewsonic-v3d241wm-tru


The other test for crosstalk/ghosting using a real world game example to measure, namely Tomb Raider: Underworld also shows not so good performance in terms of crosstalk. Both on the top and bottom parts of the display there is quite a lot of crosstalk available, though the fact that we are using the Generic CRT Display mode for these tests may also be a reason to have a bit more ghosting/crosstalk, it is not a reason enough to have a color ghosting as you can see at the bottom.

One of the best things about the ViewSonic V3D241wm-LED 3D-capable monitor is the fact that it has very little input lag and feels very responsive in 120Hz refresh rate, though the brightness is a bit low, though is a darkened room it feels very natural also because of the very low black level. By using an EDID override you can also have higher brightness in 120Hz if you don’t need the stereo 3D mode. I’ve measured up to about 7ms input lag as maximum with the help of a custom device for measuring input lag that I’m currently working on (more details about that when the project is finalized). The crosstalk/ghosting performance of the display is not very good and is far form what the latest offerings on the market have to offer, so not much point in getting this display new at the moment, but it might not be a bad choice if you get a good deal with a very attractive price and you don’t plan on using it in stereo 3D mode. If you plan on using it in stereo 3D mode the good thing is that even though the iZ3D Driver is no longer supported and developed you can use the display with the 3D Vision software, you might also be able to make it work with the TriDef 3D software on ATI/AMD-hardware, though I was not able to test that personally, so there is no guarantee if it will work.

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Review of the Benq XL2411T 3D Vision-ready 3D Monitor

March 12th, 2013 · 19 Comments · GeForce 3D Vision

benq-xl2411t-monitor


Benq XL2411T is the latest 24-inch 3D Vision-ready monitor from BenQ, you can say that is the third generation of 3D-capable displays that BenQ releases with the first one (XL2410) having some issues with backlight bleeding at first and the second ones (XL2420T/TX) a bit more expensive and with limited availability of the TX version. Benq XL2411T comes as the successor of the Benq XL2420T with some improvements and with some extras removed, making the price much more attractive for a 120Hz gamer-oriented 3D-capable display that does not come bundled with integrated Ir emitter or 3D Vision glasses, so you need to buy them separately (a full kit, not just the glasses) or already to have them if you do plan to use it in stereo 3D mode. But how good is the XL2411T considering the fact that it is a gamer-oriented product and featuring some specially designed features for gamers, even though these re mostly available for 2D gaming, letus find out…


Benq XL2411T Specifications:

Panel Size: 24-inches
Monitor Type: TN TFT-LCD with LED Backlight
3D Technology: Active 3D, 3D Vision Ready
Pixel Pitch: 0.276mm
Brightness: 350 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
Power Consumption: On Mode 22W (typ.); Sleep (Standby) <0.5W Phys. Dimension (WxHxD): 420x652x251 mm Weight with stand: 6kg


benq-xl2411t-3d-monitor-at-120hz-3d-mode


BenQ originally advertises the Benq XL2411T as a 120Hz monitor, however the display fully supports 144Hz refresh rate out of the box, this is actually one of only the three 144Hz-capable monitors currently available on the market. Have in mind though that the 144Hz refresh rate is only available for 2D, when you activate the stereoscopic 3D mode using 3D Vision you are going to be limited to 120Hz max as this is what is supported by 3D Vision. This is probably the reason that BenQ has decided to advertise the display as a 120Hz model, even though it supports 144Hz in 2D mode, however the 24Hz higher refresh in 2D mode is something that is going to attract the attention of gamers not interested in using the display for stereo 3D. The focus of this review is going to be mostly on the stereo 3D capabilities and performance of the monitor should you decide to go for it for using in stereoscopic 3D mode with 3D Vision. Unfortunately I’ve had access to the display for just a few hours, so I was not able to do a very thorough testing and I’ll have to get one unit later on for some extra testing, but I still have managed to test the most important aspects in order to be able to compare it with other 3D monitors I’ve already tested here.

Before going on to the tests I should make one thing clear, and that is the fact that the BenQ does not have support for HDMI 1.4 and thus no 3D frame packaging mode will be available die to the fact that there is no IR emitter for the 3D glasses built in. The monitor can only be used in 3D mode via the Dual-Link DVI port and in frame sequential mode and is only supporting the Nvidia 3D Vision technology. The fact that it does not have built-in emitter and glasses bundled makes it available at a more attractive price for people that already have an older 3D Vision monitor and want to upgrade to a newer one and already have 3D Vision kit that they can use with it.


benq-xl2411t-monitor-uncalibrated


Now, let us move into the tests of the BenQ XL2411T. I’m starting with the usual check of the default color accuracy of the display which isn’t very good, something that I’ve noticed even before measuring the color performance. The monitor does seem very bright and the colors are looking washed out with the factory settings, even though the measured maximum brightness is just a bit over 300 cd/m2. I’ve seen 3D displays with higher brightness perform better than this one and the BenQ has the potential to go even higher in terms of maximum brightness as the factory settings are far from bringing it to maximum.


benq-xl2411t-monitor-calibrated


What has surprised me even more was the fact that after trying to calibrate the color reproduction of the display the results were far from great, even though there was a significant reduction of the brightness (the image above shows the best achieved results). Even playing with the advanced settings such as the RGB sliders didn’t help much in improving the situation. I’ve even tried different inputs and different systems with various hardware as I was expecting to be able to get more accurate results after a calibration, even though we are talking about a TN panel. I’ve seen many 3D-capable TN-based LCD displays get surprisingly good color accuracy after calibration, but I’ve also seen others that could be even worse than the results shown by the BenQ. I suspect that some of the extra features available in the menu of the BenQ could be influencing badly the color reproduction such as the Black eQualizer or the AMA mode (Advanced Motion Acceleration) set to High by default (essentially a control for the monitors Overdrive to make the pixel response faster), but I did not have enough time to play with them to see.


benq-xl2411t-extreme-crosstalk-test


I was pleasantly surprised that the BenQ XL2411T did not have issues with backlight bleeding, and the screen’s backlight seems quite even, at least to the naked eye, though there are some slight variations when measuring it. The extreme crosstalk/ghosting test to black and white I’m using to compare 3D monitors also did show very good results, perfect on the white and very good on the black. I was a bit surprised to see that the BenQ XL2411T has the Contrast level set to a value of just 37 by default when in stereo 3D mode, it is a very bright panel, so this does not make it a problem and apparently it could help to drive down the level of crosstalk/ghosting as we’ve seen in other 3D monitors where lowering the Contrast value can help.


benq-xl2411t-sailboats-test


The sailboats crosstalk/ghosting test is also showing very good results with very faint traces of ghosting that you may not even see normally, so we can consider the result here to be really good indeed.


benq-xl2411t-tru-top
benq-xl2411t-tru-bottom


The test for crosstalk/ghosting with the game Tomb Raider Underworld reveals some interesting results, the top of the screen has not problems with the crosstalk, however the bottom part shows the familiar color ghosting/crosstalk that is a direct result of too aggressive Overdrive leading to the inversion of the image. And playing with the Contrast level has little effect of the strength of this effect, so it can be effected only by playing with the Overdrive if possible on the BenQ XL2411T. In fact you don’t need to have very aggressive overdrive when running in stereo 3D mode at 120Hz like you may need in 144Hz 2D mode, but unfortunately many of the additional functions for controlling the monitor are locked out when you are in stereo 3D mode and you have no control over them.

So what is the conclusion for the Benq XL2411T 3D-capable monitor? The monitor comes at a very reasonable price unlike the previous XL2420T for example that was more expensive due to some extras that you could easily live without, it performs quite well in both 2D and stereo 3D mode, feels very responsive with minimum input lag, something that is a must for a gamer-oriented product such as the XL2411T. What I did not like that much was the color accuracy, not that this monitor would be used in color critical applications anyway, but it could’ve been better and calibration should’ve helped more as well as the fact that the Overdrive could be more aggressive at times without the need for that resulting in more crosstalk/ghosting. There is a possibility that these two negatives for the display could be improved, but I’ll need some more time with the BenQ playing with it and tweaking it to figure out if it is possible to further improve the results. Another thing that could be just a bit annoying is the slower transition time in and out of the stereo 3D mode, something that is probably related to the activation/deactivation of the 3D Lightboost technology (the advanced control of the backlight), not a problem if you force the 3D Lightboost to be always on even in 2D mode to reduce the motion blur. The monitor has high brightness and has the potential to use the 3D Lightboost technology while in 2D mode as well, though this will limit you to 120Hz maximum refresh, but the combination of 3D Lightboost in 2D mode at 120Hz could prove better than 144Hz in 2D mode without the 3D Lightboost active (also a matter of preference really). In the end the Benq XL2411T 3D Vision-ready monitor can turn out to be a quite good choice for 2D gamers switching for a 60Hz monitor and for stereo 3D gamers that are using an older 3D Vision-ready monitor already an need to upgrade (pre-Lightboost model). If you however already use a 3D-capable monitor with 3D Lightboost support for gaming in either 2D or stereo 3D, then you can safely skip the BenQ and wait for something even better.

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