Last Friday Nvidia has silently released a new beta driver CD version 1.33 for 3D Vision users after previously releasing a 1.33 CD with WHQL drivers and that kind of confused the users as the version of the drivers included was the same as with the WHQL release. However in the new beta driver there are some improvements regarding the 3D Vision profiles and one of them is targeted for StarCraft II players, along with updated Mafia II profile (the game is finally coming very soon) and TRINE profile with both getting certified as 3D Vision Ready. And while normally there is no need to update (this is beta driver after all) if you play StarCraft II and want to finally be able to play in stereo 3D mode with good results then you should update the drivers as they do a good job in fixing most of the issues the game has in S3D mode. However this driver update brings the game to a “Good” 3D Vision status according to the profile and does not make it perfect in stereo 3D mode, for that we are still waiting for a patch for the game itself coming from Blizzard (like fixing the 2D crosshair etc.). One thing regarding the 3D Vision profile for the StarCraft that kind of surprised me was that the convergence level in the profile was a bit messed up, so I did some tweaking and here is a custom convergence profile that should fix things for you should you experience the same problem. So if you the the new driver and the custom convergence settings for StarCraft II please report how they work for you.
August 9th, 2010 · 15 Comments · Stereo 3D Games
June 28th, 2010 · 24 Comments · Other S3D Tech
Cyberlink is going to have the promised Mark-II Update for their PowerDVD 10 software in a few days, at the beginning of July and it is even possible for it to be available as soon as 6st of July. The main focus of the PowerDVD10 Mark-II update is to bring support for playing Blu-ray 3D movies on your computer using 3D Vision or another of the supported viewing methods. The Mark II update will be free for the owners of the PowerDVD 10 Ultra version of the player software as this is the version of PowerDVD that is targeted for users willing to play 3D content from their computer. The PowerDVD 10 also comes with function for converting 2D video to 3D, of course with an end result not as good as with video shot in stereo 3D, but it can still be useful considering the current general lack of video content in 3D. And PowerDVD will also be able to play other 3D video files in Side-by-Side or Above/Under formats pretty soon, but that functionality will come a bit later with another update, so meanwhile you can stick to the 3D Vision Video Player for playing back 3D videos other than Blu-ray 3D movies.
I was able to test the upcoming Blu-ray 3D video playback functionality thanks to CyberLink providing me with a PowerDVD Blu-ray 3D preview version for evaluation, and I can say that it works just great with playing back MVC encoded 3D videos and Blu-ray 3D content. I was able to try the Blu-ray 3D playback using 3D Vision on Samsung 2233RZ 3D LCD monitor and Acer H5360 3D DLP projector and both worked flawlessly with the latest 3D Vision Drivers version 257.21. Other than 3D Vision with supported display, Cyberlink’s PowerDVD 10 software also supports playback of Blu-ray 3D content on normal monitors with the help of plain red-cyan anaglyph glasses, row-interleaved 3D displays and even 3D-capable TVs. Now regarding the 3D HDTV support I need to make some things clear, as this mode will probably not work with all of the latest 3D television sets that are currently appearing on the market at this time, but they might be supported with a future update. This mode is intended to provide DLP checkerboard output of the 3D content that can be display mostly on 3D DLP TVs like the ones made by Mitsubishi, but this mode is also supported by some of the newer 3D HDTVs using HDMI 1.4(a) for stereo 3D support. One such example is the C7000 series of 3D TV’s by Samsung that should work just fine with PowerDVD 10 Blu-ray 3D playback as it supports both row-interleaved input as well as checkerboard pattern. On the other hand the Panasonic VT25 and VT20 3D HDTVs do not support any of those two modes, so you will most likely not be able to play Blu-ray 3D movies with PowerDVD 10 after the release of the Mark II update. But as I already mentioned, support for these 3D TVs will most likely be added at a later time with the help of future updates of both the software video player and
Another thing that I tried with the preview version of PowerDVD I got from Cyberlink was the new and improved 2D-to-3D conversion feature called TrueTheater 3D. If you remember I was not very impressed with what Cyberlink has offered in their trial version of PowerDVD 10 when it was first made available in terms of 2D to 3D video conversion. I simply expected more and Cyberlink has managed to get more done with their new conversion algorithm that provided better and more comfortable conversion for videos to 3D. Have in mind that the currently available trial version of PowerDVD 10 still uses the first generation of 2D to 3D conversion, but the people who purchased the full software and have updated it to version 10.0.1714 and later should already have the next generation of 2D to 3D conversion functionality available. What I’ve noticed at first is that the new algorithm is no longer using the frame offsetting to create the Pulfrich kind of effect based on the movement of objects in the frames next to each other. And that means that even in very fast switching scenes or movement the effect will not be a somewhat disturbing anymore because even for a brief moment you will not be seeing two completely different images from different scenes with each eye. So job well done on that too for Cyberlink.
And to be completely fair, I should also mention that I’ve contacted ArcSoft about an evaluation version of their Sim 3D plugin for TotalMedia Theatre 3 Platinum. They are already selling this plugin along with the TMT3 Platinum software – their two components that allow you to play Blu-ray 3D movies, but they did not even reply to me. So as a result there is no comparison between the TotalMedia Theatre 3 Platinum + Sim 3D plugin and PowerDVD10’s 3D capabilities. And since I’m quite satisfied from what I saw from PowerDVD and there is no other way to test ArcSoft’s solution other than paying $89.99 for the TotalMedia Theatre 3 Platinum software and another $19.99 for the Sim3D Plugin (total $109,98 USD) I would prefer to stick to PowerDVD 10 Ultra with the Mark II update that currently costs $89.95 USD ($71.95 if you are upgrading from PowerDVD 8, 9 or 10 Standard).
Now we just need more high-quality stereo 3D content available, as still we have only one Blu-ray 3D movie that just recently became available as a standalone product (not bundled with any 3D-capable hardware) is Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. But more movies should be coming very soon, so stay tuned for more information about that as well as more information about PowerDVD Mark II update in the next few days.
April 22nd, 2010 · 7 Comments · General 3D News
Sony has announced on their blog a little more information about their upcoming new System Software Update version 3.30 for the PlayStation 3 console that is supposed to be available shortly. And one of the announced new features in the blog post is the much anticipated stereoscopic 3D support for the console that will allow you to play games in S3D mode. Sony does not announce an exact date when will the update be released, but it does say it should be available in time for the Bravia 3D HDTVs official release so this means this summer for sure. Have in mind that at first the update will include stereoscopic 3D support only for gaming, it seems that we’ll have to wait a bit more before getting stereo 3D support for playing back Blu-ray 3D movies on the console. This second update is expected to be available later this year and maybe it can happen for example in the 3.40 system software release, but nothing is sure as of this moment, so you should hold on a bit longer for the 3D movies part.
Now, back to the 3D gaming part – the first new games that are expected to come with stereo 3D support for the PS3 console are Wipeout HD, Super Stardust HD and Motorstorm Pacific Rift. They will probably be available as free downloadable demos along with full versions, that you can purchase, with both of the releases supporting stereoscopic 3D mode. Unfortunately there will not be an option to convert in real-time all the already available games for the PS3 into stereo 3D, or at least at first it will not be possible (wondering why?). Recently I was at a demonstration of a prototype of a Sony Bravia 3D TV (HX800) and saw some stereoscopic 3D videos demonstrating the gameplay of the above 3 titles and I was very impressed, especially with Wipeout HD. Unfortunately there were only videos of gameplay from the mentioned games, but there was also some other stereoscopic 3D videos, including a preview of the upcoming Blu-ray 3D release of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. I can say that the preview of the movie in 3D was quite nice, but was not so impressive as some of the other videos that Sony has shown such as 3D footage from football (soccer) matches and especially the 3D videos shot in the Asahiyama Zoo (the most popular zoo in Japan). So I’m already eagerly awaiting for Sony to have their stereo 3D hardware and most of all content for it, as the company can provide a lot in-house produced 3D content. And as you already know at this moment the lack of 3D content is one of the most serious issues for the early adopters of the 3D HDTVs that some brands already have available on the market and others are preparing to launch soon.
→ 7 CommentsTags:3.30 firmware update·3d gaming·3d update·blu-ray 3d·bravia 3d·Motorstorm Pacific Rift·playstation 3·playstation 3 3.30·playstation system software update·ps3 3d·ps3 3d firmare·sony·sony bravia 3d·Super Stardust HD·Wipeout HD