It seems that Optoma is almost ready to to release the much hyped 3D DLP Projector Adapter 3D-XL that will add support for HDMI 1.4a input for stereo 3D content to 14 of the company’s 3D-capable DLP projectors as well as 3D DLP projectors from other brands. Optoma has officially announced more details about the adapter as well that the 3D-XL projector adapter will be available in January 2011 and although the official price is not yet announced, Amazon has already listed the 3D-XL adapter for pre-order with a price of $499 USD. It certainly won’t come cheap, but in the price there will be one pair of Optoma’s BG-ZD101 3D active shutter glasses sold for $99 USD and based on the DLP Link technology. And if you compare the price of a 3D DLP projector plus the 3D-XL adapter to a 3D HDTV or some of the high-end 3D-capable projectors that were already announced to feature HDMI 1.4(a) S3D support, you might still be saving quite a lot of money.
But why would you need to have HDMI 1.4a compatibility for stereoscopic 3D support, when your 3D DLP projector already can receive 3D data and display it? Well, actually you might not, unless you want to be able to lets say connect your PlayStation 3 console to the projector and play stereo 3D games on it, or connect a 3D-capable set-top-box, or a standalone Blu-ray 3D player. Of course that also includes other 3D-capable devices that support 3D video output over HDMI like the Fujifilm Real 3D W3 camera, Sony’s 3D Sweep Panorama-capable digital cameras and probably a lot other that are yet to come. If you need it or not is something for you to decide, but if you already have a 3D-capable DLP projector this adapter can prove to be a good way to ensure big-screen 3D viewing…
On the front side of the adapter there are just three buttons, one for turning on and off the adapter, one for switching between 2D and 3D mode and one for using one of the two available input ports. By activating the 2D mode you are practically doing a pass through of the signal to the projector and in this mode you can send 1080p data, but in 3D mode you are limited to 720p only. And considering the fact that there are still no 3D DLP projectors with native resolution of over 1080p this is actually not such a big problem, and when the first 1080p 3D-capable ones start hitting the market probably early next year they will most likely also come with built-in HDMI 1.4a support anyway.
You should be aware of the fact that your 3D DLP projector should have an HDMI input in order to work with this adapter as the output is only in the form of an HDMI. You can see that there are two independent inputs, meaning that you can connect two different 3D devices and switch between them without having to change cables. The adapter is designed to be used with DLP Link glasses, so there is no need for an external IR emitter, although the adapter has a 3-PIN mini DIN (VESA Sync) output available.