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How to Build a Passive 3D Projection System More Easily

February 24th, 2013 · 6 Comments · Other S3D Tech

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Passive 3D technology may be easy to use when talking about 3D monitors or 3D HDTVs, however building a passive 3D projection system can be quite bothersome and problematic, but they also come with advantages like full resolution per eye. Unlike monitors and television sets that already have a passive polarization filter applied to the display and you only need to put on the 3D glasses with projectors is it much harder to prepare a passive 3D setup. What you will need are two projectors of the same model, two polarizing filters and a silver screen projection screen along with the 3D glasses of course. And then comes the harder part in setting up all of these components together to work properly, attaching the polarizing filters and aligning the two projectors and all this in order to get a system that will work with cheaper passive 3D glasses using circular polarization in order to be able to have multiple viewers without having to buy a lot of expensive active 3D glasses. That is the reason passive 3D projector setups are not as common as active 3D solutions, but that may change as projector manufacturers are thinking about finding solutions that can save time and trouble. One such affordable solution is the recently announced Epson PowerLite W16SK 3D 3LCD Dual Projection System that can save you a lot of time and trouble building and tweaking a passive 3D setup yourself by providing you with a well built and ready to use solution. Originally Epson PowerLite W16SK is targeted for educational use where you’d need 20-30 pairs of glasses for the students and going for an active 3D solution is not a cost effective option in this situation. You of course don’t have to use it in a classroom, but also can built a small home cinema room or presentation room with stereo 3D capabilities for more than just a few persons.


Epson PowerLite W16SK 3D 3Dual Projection System Specifications:

- Native Resolution: 1280 x 800 (WXGA)
– Aspect Ratio: Native 16:10, Widescreen
– Pixel Number: 1,024,000 dots (1280 x 800) x 3
– Projection System: 3LCD, 3-chip technology
– Color Reproduction: Full color (16.77 million colors)
– Color Brightness (Color Light Output): 3000 lumens x 2 projectors, 2400 lumens in economy mode
– White Brightness (White Light Output): 3000 lumens x 2 projectors, 2400 lumens in economy mode
– Contrast Ratio: Up to 5000:1 (Stack 3D)
– Lamp Type: 200 W UHE (E-TORL)
– Lamp Life: Up to 5000 hours in ECO mode, Up to 4000 hours in Normal mode
– Throw Ratio Range: 1.42 – 1.56
– Size (projected distance) for stacked configuration: 80″ – 150″ (8.2′ – 15.4′) for White screen (2D mode), 80″ – 120″ (8.2′ – 12.5′) for Silver screen (for 3D mode)
– Passive 3D Stack Function: Yes
– 3D Format: Auto / Side-by-Side / Top & Bottom / 2D / Frame Packing
– Power Consumption: 237W in ECO mode, 289W in Normal mode
– Fan Noise: 32 dB in ECO mode, 39 dB in Normal mode
– Dual Stacked Dimensions: 14.6″x13.8″x8.8″ or 372‎x350x224mm (W x D x H)
– Dual Stacked Weight: 17.4 lb or 7.9 kg (includes mount and polarizing filters)


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With passive 3D projection setups that use 2 projectors you don’t actually need to use 3D-capable projectors, cheaper 2D models should do just fine, but Epson has decided to base their PowerLite W16SK 3D 3LCD Dual Projection System on an active 3D-capable projector, namely PowerLite W16 using RF 3D glasses. And if you are thinking about 120Hz support per eye in 3D mode you can forget about it the projectors being used here are relying on HDMI 1.4 interface for the stereoscopic 3D support and are not frame sequential capable, so you get no 120Hz support. On the other hand this makes it possible to easily have support for the stereoscopic 3D content as you can send either Side by Side, Over/Under or frame packaged format to the projector. The HDMI 1.4 stereo 3D support allows greater hardware compatibility even for gaming purposes should you consider playing games as well as watching 3D movies and other uses. The dual projector passive 3D setup uses single HDMI 1.4 output that needs to go to both projectors and they are connected with a USB cable that ensures proper synchronization for the left and right images. The two projectors are with native resolution of 1280×800 pixels, but according to Epson they can work with in 720p 3D mode or 1080p 3D mode where the input image would obviously be compressed to the lower resolution of the projector. What Epson has done with the their PowerLite W16SK 3D 3LCD Dual Projection System is to save you the trouble of figuring a good way to attach the projectors properly and fit the polarization filters , this comes factory preset done in a good way, so all you need is to insert the setup and do some image adjustments.


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The price of the Epson PowerLite W16SK passive 3D projection setup is $1899 USD and that only includes a single pair of passive 3D glasses, but more of these can be obtained at a very good price. What you need to consider is the fact that you will also need a silver screen to project on in order for the light to be reflected back to the viewer with the same polarization as the one it is being projected with. According to Epson their 3D setup is useable for projection on screens with a diagonal of up to 120 inches, so you should plan a silver screen with up to that size. Epson also recommends a silver screen with a gain of 2.3 – 2.7, so you will have to plan a few hundred extra bucks for the projection screen, but in the end the cost of such a setup will still be more affordable than going for an active 3D projector setup if you have to buy something like 10 or more pairs of glasses. So Epson’s approach gives an interesting alternative and an option to easily build a passive 3 projection setup as opposed to an active 3D one and aside from the 3D support, their solution can also be used for combining the two projectors’ brightness for increased total level of brightness when in 2D mode. And should you need to you can always detach the projectors and use them separately including in 3D mode, but with active 3D glasses instead of passive, so definitely a versatile and quite flexible solution. So if you are considering building a passive 3D projection setup you should have i mind this new offering from Epson as a good option, unlike of course you have some kind of extra needs not covered by this like for example support for native Full HD resolution, 120Hz refresh rate and so on.

For more about the Epson PowerLite W16SK 3D 3LCD Dual Projection System…

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List of the Available and Up to Date 3D-capable HMD Devices

February 23rd, 2013 · No Comments · 3D / AR / VR / HMD


We’ve had various Head Mounted Display (HMD) consumer oriented devices some with 3D support as well for years already and they still haven’t become a popular and widespread solution for Virtual Reality applications and gaming in particular. Aside from the fact that these devices have been updated in terms of resolution by using newer display technology and getting somewhat more affordable prices nothing much has been improved to making them a more suitable solution for VR applications and making them more attractive to consumers. Or at least that was the situation before the Oculus Rift has been announced and now, just a few more days before the first developer units of the Rift start shipping it is time to take a look at what other alternatives are currently available at the moment and what they offer in terms of basic specifications and features as well as how they differ from the Rift.


Oculus Rift Developer Version:

– Resolution: 1280×800 (640×800 per eye)
– Panel Type: LCD
– Video Input: DVI/HDMI
– 3D Input Type: Side by Side with optical distortion
– Field of View: 110 degrees diagonal (adjustable)
– Horizontal FOV: 90 degrees
– Weight: 220 grams
– Head Tracking: Available
– Price: $300 USD for the dev kit
Official Website


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Sony HMZ-T1 / HMZ-T2:

– Resolution: 1280×720 per eye
– Panel Type: OLED
– Video Input: HDMI
– 3D Input Type: HDMI 1.4 frame packaging
– Field of View: 51 degrees diagonal
– Horizontal FOV: 45 degrees
– Weight: 420 grams (330 grams for the T2)
– Head Tracking: Not available
– Price: $799.99 USD
Official Website


siliconmicrodisplay-st1080-hmd


Silicon MicroDisplay ST1080:

– Resolution: 1920×1080 per eye
– Panel Type: LCoS
– Video Input: HDMI
– 3D Input Type: HDMI 1.4 frame packaging
– Field of View: 45 degrees diagonal
– Horizontal FOV: ?
– Weight: 180 grams
– Head Tracking: Not available
– Price: $799 USD
Official Website


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Carl Zeiss Cinemizer OLED:

– Resolution: 870×500 per eye
– Panel Type: OLED
– Video Input: HDMI
– 3D Input Type: HDMI 1.4 frame packaging
– Field of View: 30(?) degrees diagonal
– Horizontal FOV: 30 degrees
– Weight: 120 grams
– Head Tracking: Available (optional)
– Price: $749 USD
Official Website


vuzix-wrap-1200vr-hmd


Vuzix Wrap 1200VR:

– Resolution: 852×480 per eye
– Panel Type: LCD
– Video Input: VGA
– 3D Input Type: Side by Side
– Field of View: 35 degrees diagonal
– Horizontal FOV: ?
– Weight: 85 grams
– Head Tracking: Available
– Price: $499 USD
Official Website


As you can see there are quite a few different approaches, offering different features and with different specifications. What is common for most of these devices, apart from the Rift is that they all offer much lower FOV and that makes it very hard to achieve a good sense of immersion. With the implementation of the Rift for achieving a much larger FOV we see that what others needed was to change their approach, something that hasn’t been done for years in the segment of HMD devices. The side effect is that you get a device that needs a special kind of input, so you just cannot connect it to a PC and start using, something that you can do with all other devices mentioned here. And while this lack of universal support might be a bit of problem at first it also ensures that getting official support in an application or a game for the Rift can ensure great experiences and immersion, even though the resolution is lower than on some other competitive products. For example Sony HMZ-T1 and HMZ-T2, Silicon MicroDisplay ST1080 and the Carl Zeiss Cinemizer OLED all use HDMI 1.4 and rely on frame packaging for stereo 3D image support and the Vuzix Wrap 1200VR offers Side by Side support. This makes it very easy to use these devices for gaming with the help of already available software solutions such as Nvidia’s 3DTV Play or DDD’s TriDef 3D software, but what you get might not be very immersive as something that you’d expect form such a HMD, in a sense it will be much close to using a normal 3D monitor placed at a larger distance than you normally would use it from. There are other things that can be considered, but in the end it should be all about the experience you are getting, right?

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Using a 3D DLP Projector in Stereoscopic 3D Mode with a PC

February 20th, 2013 · 6 Comments · Other S3D Tech

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The 3D DLP projectors are one of the most affordable solutions to get a large screen with 3D support, whether it is for watching 3D movies at home or for playing games in stereo 3D with a better sense of immersion. There are a lots of models available on the market using various interfaces and having different resolutions and capabilities and all of these may cause a confusion and as a result you may end up with a 3D-capable projectors that does not work the way you wanted it. There are a few very important things that you should be aware of when considering buying a new 3D DLP projector or already have one, but you still haven’t used its 3D capabilities and you want to try them out. One of the most important advantages, besides the large projected screen of a 3D DLP projector is the fact that the technology does not suffer from issues with crosstalk, unlike 3D-capable monitors or 3D HDTVs. So let us see what is the most important information that you need to know.

When talking about a consumer level affordable 3D DLP projectors there are two main types of modes being used for providing support for stereo 3D, these are frame sequential input (can be over a VGA or HDMI interface) or HDMI 1.4 frame packaging. The interface and mode being used by a 3D DLP projector is very essential on what else will you need and how can you use the projector, so you must carefully choose the right interface based on what toy are going to be using the projector for and even depending on what other hardware you have in your PC. You should be well aware of the fact that there are still no affordable consumer level 3D DLP projectors capable of providing 1080p resolution in 3D mode with high-enough refresh rate for comfortable gaming. So regardless of the interface a 3D DLP projector uses and the native resolution it supports you can forget about being able to play games in stereo 3D mode at 1080p resolution for now, but you can still watch 3D movies at Full HD resolution if the projector is with 1080p native resolution. And this is just one of the examples of the limitations and features you should be well aware of when considering to use a 3D DLP projector, especially if you still haven’t purchased one. But there are a lot more specific things…


3D DLP Projector with frame sequential support:

- You can supply the frame sequential output over VGA or HDMI 1.3 interface.
– The projector is limited to 720p resolution in stereo 3D mode as maximum.
– In order to use the projector in stereo 3D mode it has to be in its native resolution (can be up to 720p).
– Besides being able to use stereo 3D mode at 60Hz per eye, you can also use 120Hz refresh rate in 2D mode.
– You can use any standard pair of DLP Link glasses with it, there is no need for any kind of emitter as the technology uses special kind of white light flashes embedded in the image being displayed.
– With DLP Link glasses you are good to watch 3D videos with the help of any software player capable of outputting 3D in frame sequential mode such as the Stereoscopic Player for example.
– With DLP Link glasses you are not able to directly play games in stereoscopic 3D mode or watch Blu-ray 3D movies without having to meet some additional hardware requirements and use extra software.
– You can use DLP Link glasses to play games in stereo 3D mode only if you have a compatible AMD-based graphics card supporting AMD’s HD3D technology (Radeon HD 5000 series and up) together with the TriDef 3D softare.
– You can use Nvidia’s 3D Vision active shutter glasses together with their specific IR emitter to play games in stereo 3D mode if you have a compatible Nvidia-based graphics card (GeForce 8×00 series and up), you can’t use DLP Link glasses with 3D Vision.
– Have in mind that both AMD and Nvidia have a list of officially supported 3D DLP projectors, so any model out of that list may or may not work, so there is no guarantee that you would be able to use it.
– If you want to be able to play Blu-ray 3D movies then DLP Link glasses are not an option and if you have AMD-based graphics you are out of luck, all of the software players supporting Blu-ray 3D playback on PC such as PowerDVD have support only for 3D DLP projectors using Nvidia’s 3D Vision technology.


3D DLP Projector with HDMI 1.4 frame packaged support:

- You need to use the HDMI 1.4 interface on the projector
– The projector should be either 720p or 1080p native resolution, you will be limited to respectively 720p or be able to use both 720p and 1080p resolutions for stereo 3D, but wit the limitation of using 720p resolution at only 50/60 Hz 3D mode or 1080p at 24Hz 3D mode.
– Even if the projector is with 1080p native resolution, the refresh rate supported at it in 3D mode is limited to 24Hz which is good on for 3D movies, for games you still have to resort back to 720p resolution where you can use either 50Hz or 60Hz in 3D mode.
– With HDMI 1.4 3D DLP projectors you are not able to use 120Hz refresh rate in 2D mode as you can with the frame sequential models.
– These projectors still rely mostly on the standard DLP Link glasses, though there are some models available offering RF glasses as well, but due to the specifics of the HDMI 1.4 3D support the type of glasses used is of not much concern as long as the projector is compatible with them.
– The 3D DLP Projector with HDMI 1.4 frame packaged support do not have support for frame sequential input.
– You cannot use the Nvidia 3D Vision active shutter glasses with these projectors, you either need a generic DLP Link glasses or any other specific model designed for the particular projector (RF glasses for example).
– You can play any kind of 3D videos and movies, including Blu-ray 3D movies as long as you have a software 3D video player and a video card capable of supporting HDMI 1.4 frame packaged output.
– All software players with support for Blu-ray 3D movie playback such as PowerDVD will be able to play 3D movies if you have at least an a second generation Intel Core processor (Sandy Bridge) in order to have support for Intel’s InTRU 3D technology, and this means Intel Core i3, Core i5 or Core i7 CPU, Pentium processors won’t do as they don’t feature InTRU 3D support. For owners of AMD-based video cards the minimum is Radeon HD 5000 series (all AMD HD3D capable video cards should work, though some may not support GPU acceleration for Blu-ray 3D) and for owners of Nvidia-based GPUs the minimum is GeForce GTX 260 or GeForce GT 320 according to Nvidia (some of supported GPUs might not have GPU acceleration).
– When talking about gaming in stereo 3D mode, using Intel’s integrated GPUs is out of the question as they are simply not powerful enough and regarding the AMD and Nvidia-based GPUs the limitation is the same as with Blu-ray 3D movie playback above – you need ca graphics card supporting either Nvidia’s 3DTV Play or AMD’s HD3D technology that can supply HDMI 1.4 frame packaged output.
– Owners of compatible AMD-based hardware with AMD HD3D technology supported need to use the TriDef 3D software (the same as frame sequential users would), owners of Nvidia-based graphics cards need to use Nvidia’s 3DTV Play software (instead of the 3D Vision for owners of frame sequential capable projectors).
– Have in mind that both AMD and Nvidia have a list of officially supported 3D DLP projectors, so any model out of that list may or may not work, so there is no guarantee that you would be able to use it.
– Projectors relying on HDMI 1.4 frame packaged input do tech do have more input lag than models using frame sequential input for stereo 3D and while this isn’t an issue for watching 3D video on them it can be a bit of a problem for some (not all) gamers playing in stereo 3D mode.

You should note that the newer 3D DLP projectors using HDMI 1.4 for 3D support are not suitable for some owners of older Nvidia-based hardware that would work with frame sequential models for example such as the GeForce 8800 which although old is still quite popular and widely used product and quite capable for gaming in the not so demanding 720p resolution even in stereo 3D mode. And with regards to the increased input lag required for the processing of the frame packaged 3D input and the lack of support for 120Hz 2D mode the frame sequential models might still be more attractive for people that are going to be using them mostly for gaming. On the other hand 3D DLP projectors using frame sequential mode are more restrictive and hard to setup for users that are going to be using them mostly for watching movies in 3D whereas the HDMI 1.4 interface makes it much easier. For gaming in stereo 3D mode on a 3D DLP projector there is still not way to get 1080p resolution, so the far that some 3D DLP projectors with HDMI 1.4 interface are with native resolution of 1080p does not help at all as you’d still have to resort to 720p resolution when playing games in stereo 3D mode anyway due to the limited refresh rate at the higher resolution.

DDD is offering a trial version of their TriDef 3D software and Nvidia also does offer you to download a 14-day trial version of the 3DTV Play software from their website, so you can get these to try things out and if everything works then you can buy a license for the software. There is no trial version of the 3D Vision software as it is a part of the Nvidia graphics driver now and it includes only free anaglyph 3D mode, the 3D Vision functionality is tied to hardware requirements as well anyway. If you already have the IR emitter of a 3D Vision kit connected to a PC you get free 3DTV Play functionality, so there is no need to buy a separate license for that.


AMD HD3D supported 3D DLP projectors (frame sequential):

- BenQ MP777, MP776, MP626, MP782 ST, MP772 ST
– Dell S300, M410HD, M210X
– Infocus IN3116, IN2116, DepthQ-WXGA-HD, IN104, IN102
– Mitsubishi EW270U, XD600U, XD280U, EX240U, XD221U
– Optoma GT720, PRO350W, HD67, HD66
– Sharp PG-D45X3D, PG-D3010X, PG-D2500X
– Viewsonic PJD6531W, PDJ6251, PDJ6241, PDJ6221, PDJ6381, PDJ6211, PDJ6220-3D, PDJ6210-3D, PDJ5111-3D

Nvidia 3D Vision supported 3D DLP projectors (frame sequential):

- Acer X1261P, X1261-3D, X1130P, X1111, H5360, X1110
– BenQ W700, W710ST, MS612ST
– Canon LV-8235UST
– LightSpeed Design DepthQ HD 3D Projector, DepthQ HDs3D-1, DQ-3120
– NEC V300X, V300W, NP216
– Optoma GT360, GT720, HD67, HD66, HW536, IS500, XE149
– Sanyo PDG-DXL2000, PDG-DWL2500
– ViewSonic PJD6531w, PJD6220-3D, PJD6210-3D, PJD5351, PJD5111, PJD6381, PJD6211, PJD6241, PJD6251, PJD5112
– Panasonic PT-CW230, PT-CX200

Nvidia 3DTV Play supported 3D DLP projectors (HDMI 1.4):

- Acer H5360BD, H6510BD and H9500BD
– BenQ W1070, W1080ST, W7000
– Epson EH-TW6000, Home Cinema 3010, Home Cinema 5010
– JVC DLA-X3, DLA-X7, DLA-X9, DLA-RS40, DLA-RS45, DLA-RS50, DLA-RS55, DLA-RS60, DLA-RS65, X30, X70, X90
– Mitsubshi HC7800D
– Optoma GT750, HD33, HD83
– Panasonic PT-AE7000U
– Sharp XV-Z17000
– Sony VPL-HW30ES, VPL-VW90ES, VPL-VW95ES, VPL-VW1000ES

As you can see 3D DLP projector support overlaps quite a bit in the frame sequential models, though there are some models and brands covered by official support only by either AMD or Nvidia. Unlike Nvidia however AMD is much more open to support for projectors supporting HDMI 1.4 frame packaging as there is no official list of devices on their website. Now, if you already own a 3D-capable DLP projector that is not on the list don’t worry, there is still some chance that you might be able to make it work via a workaround solution, however you should be warned that things like IR emitter emulators, or EDID override drivers may or may not work in your case and even if they tend to work you might face different issues or problems and you never know if they won’t stop working soon. So resort to trying the different workarounds (some of which are also being discussed on this website) as a last resort if you already own a device that is not on the officially compatible list, if you are making the decision on what to buy now, better choose a compatible model fitting your needs and requirements, as this can save you a lot of trouble later on.

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