Up until recently all 120Hz+ LCD monitor intended for gaming (regardless if for stereo 3D use or not) were using TN-based LCD panels due to the fact that this technology provides the best results in terms of pixel response and that is something you need if you want to have a higher refresh rate. TN LCD panels may be the fastest in terms of response, however they have other no so good aspects when compared to VA-based and IPS-based panels, but fortunately we now have what seems to be the first gaming oriented 120Hz LCD monitor with a VA-based panel from Eizo (it does not support stereoscopic 3D!). If you are not familiar with the name Eizo it is probably because up until recently the company was focused on professional monitors and it just recently started making monitors targeted at gamers.
EIZO Foris FG2421 is actually is not their first gaming monitor, but is the first one that is able to work at 120Hz refresh rate and as already mentioned it is nt with a TN panel. Eizo markets this monitor as a 240Hz gaming monitor, however this can be a bit misleading if you don’t read the details, in fact it is a 120Hz monitor that has a built-in processing to simulate 240Hz. Eizo calls this function “Turbo 240” and you can enable or disable it from the OSD menu of the monitor, what it does is doubling the frames (not interpolating, but doubling) and strobing the backlight in between them and the end result is a significant reduction in motion blur. This is pretty similar to how the 3D Lightboost technology on more recent 3D Vision-compatible monitors functions, although there is no frame doubling with them. Definitely an interesting thing to see as this Eizo monitor can turn out to be a great alternative to buying a 3D Vision-ready monitor that you may not use in stereo 3D mode at all, especially considering the fact that there are no other 120Hz displays out there that use better LCD panels than TN, so if you are not into 3D and hacking Lightboost to work in 2D mode you might want to check the EIZO Foris FG2421 out. Eizo also promises low input lag (less than 10ms) and no noticeable flickering with reduced brightness by using DC control and high rate PWM (Hi-PWM) control for driving the backlight instead just PWM.
By now all of you should be aware of the fact that the newer 3D Vision ready monitors (including 3D displays in gaming laptops) supporting the Lightboost technology are a much better choice for stereoscopic 3D gaming than the older models, but it turns out that going for a Lightboost-enabled 3D monitor can benefit 2D gamers that want to take advantage of the supported 120Hz refresh rate. What the Lightboost technology does is to strobe the backlight instead of having it always on like on traditional monitors, and while this leads a lower overall brightness in 2D mode (actually making it look brighter in stereo 3D mode and with less crosstalk). The strobing of the backlight with Lightboost enabled makes the backlight turn on only when the pixels have reached their final stage in building the new image and the backlight stays off while the pixels transition from one stage to another. As a result all motion blur is being eliminated, making fast movements appear much smoother now. You can see how the image is being shown on the display without Lightboost enabled and with Lightboost on on the slow-motion video above made by Mark Rejhon who has experimented a bit with Lightboost and shared his interesting findings in our forum.
If you already have a 3D Vision ready setup and are using Acer HN274H B, ASUS VG728H or BENQ XL2420TX Lightboost-enabled 3D Vision ready monitor with integrated IR emitter, or have ASUS VG248QE, ASUS VG278HE, BENQ XL2420T or BENQ XL2411T along with an external 3D Vision IR emitter you can easily enable Lightboost in 2D mode as well. In fact some of you may have unintentionally seen this happen after exiting a game played in stereo 3D mode with the monitor remaining in 3D mode when back in the desktop (it seems darker than normal). All you have to do is set the Nvidia driver to always have the 3D monitor set in 3D mode from the Stereoscopic 3D panel int he Nvidia Control Center. The only disadvantage of having Lightboost enabled in 2D mode (have the monitor always run in stereo 3D mode) is that the brightness is lower than it is with Lightboost not being enabled, so you may need to increase the contrast more than you need it in stereo 3D mode. And while the lower brightness caused by the backlight not being constantly on due to the Lightboost being active can be considered as a disadvantage, these 3D monitors have way too high brightness in 2D mode anyway, so the reduction isn’t that bad, it actually brings the level of brightness closer to the level that won’t tire your eyes that much over a long periods of use… and you have no motion blur anymore.
And if you are not using 3D Vision and only have a 3D Vision-capable display, but no integrated IR emitter or an external one you would have to resort to using and EDID INF override driver to make the Nvidia drivers think that you actually have a compatible 3D monitor with full support for 3D Vision. This actually makes the ASUS VG248QE, ASUS VG278HE, BENQ XL2420T or BENQ XL2411T 120Hz capable monitors a lot more interesting for people that are willing to be able to play games in 120Hz 2D mode and don’t care much about stereoscopic 3D gaming. The reason you need to trick the video drivers you have 3D Vision is that the Lightboost technology has been developed for use in stereoscopic 3D gaming, and though it can also benefit people playing in 2D, probably nobody though about that at the time is has been developed. So without the drivers thinking you have support for 3D Vision (even if you don’t actually have IR emitter) you can still enable Lightboost in 2D mode.
Are 3D Vision 2 glasses compatible with 3D TVs?
No, 3D Vision 2 glasses are designed to work with 3D Vision monitors, notebooks, and Nvidia IR emitters.
How does 3D LightBoost technology work?
NVIDIA 3D LightBoost works by controlling the panel backlight to only turn on when the LCD screen contains a ghost free-image. Since that is a short period of time, the NVIDIA GPU can turn the backlight on with higher energy which results in increasing 3D brightness.
Will the first-generation 3D Vision wired/wireless glasses work with 3D LightBoost monitors and notebooks?
Yes, all 3D Vision glasses work with 3D LightBoost and will receive the benefits of brighter 3D. Also all glasses are 100% compatbile with all existing NVIDIA IR emitters.
Can existing 3D Vision monitors or notebooks be updated to support 3D LightBoost, via a firmware update, for example?
No. 3D LightBoost technology needs to be designed into new monitors and notebooks, it is not only done with new firmware.
Does NVIDIA 3D LightBoost work over HDMI 1.4 3D when connected to a Sony PlayStation 3, Blu-ray 3D Player, or set top box?
Yes, the 3D LightBoost technology will work over HDMI 1.4 3D as well and all content will receive the benefits of brighter 3D – games, movies etc.
Will 3D Vision 2 glasses work with existing 3D Vision Ready monitors, notebooks, and USB IR emitters?
Yes, users will be able to use the new 3D Vision 2 glasses with existing 3D Vision Ready monitors and Nvidia IR emitter. However, to experience NVIDIA 3D LightBoost, they will need to purchase a new a 3D LightBoost compatible monitor or notebook. Without a 3D LightBoost compatible monitor the glasses will perform no different from the first generation of 3D Vision.
I currently own a Toshiba Qosmio X750/X755 notebook, and the display seems brighter than typical displays. Is this 3D LightBoost technology?
Yes, Toshiba included 3D LightBoost in the Qosmio X750/X755 notebook. However, they decided to ship this notebook before the availability of 3D Vision 2 glasses, which means that users will not be able to fully experience the technology. This is why Toshiba didn’t announce 3D LightBoost support at the time of launch.