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About the Optimum Viewing Distance of Passive 3D Monitors

February 25th, 2013 · 5 Comments · GeForce 3D Vision

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There has been a lot of information what works best and various different recommendations what are the optimum viewing positions of passive 3D monitors, but still a lot of people are having hard time properly adjusting these displays for best stereoscopic 3D experience. There is also a lot of controversy going on around the half vertical resolution you get in stereo 3D mode and the end visual results you get. But with all the recommendations and suggestion what works and what not I ended up doing some testing of my own and decided to present what works best for me when viewing a passive 3D monitor and share this information so it might help others as well. I’ll be using a 23-inch FPR 3D monitor to illustrate this example and that monitor is the Philips 236G3DHSB that I’ve recently reviewed here on the blog. What you should be well aware of is that passive 3D monitors have a very narrow vertical viewing angle when in stereoscopic 3D mode, this angle is usually 5 to 7 degrees up and down, so a total of 10-14 degrees total. Also that when 3D mode is active you get half of the vertical number of lines composing what each eye sees from the total resolution of the display, hence the half vertical resolution of the display. The fact that the the perceived sharpness of the image displayed with half horizontal resolution per eye on a passive 3D display might look better than on a full resolution per eye active 3D display when using Full HD monitors does not necessary mean that both solutions offer the same display resolution in stereoscopic 3D mode. There are many factors that affect how we perceive sharpness of display resolution, but now we are not going to debate these here.

Let us start with a quick look on what various manufacturers of passive 3D (FPR 3D) monitors are recommending as optimum viewing angles and distance for achieving the best experience when using their products in stereo 3D mode. All of the information below is taken form the user manuals of various 23-inch Full HD passive 3D monitors, these are models that the manufacturers decided to publish such information as some manuals do not contain any recommendations at all.

AOC e2352Phz
Sit at a position at least 70 mm (they made a mistake and probably meant 70 cm, not mm!) away from the display unit. Keep the line of sight horizontal to the display unit as far as possible (with the upper and lower angle of view within 10 degrees).

HP 2311gt
For optimal 3D viewing, you should be approximately 60 to 70 centimeters (24 to 28 inches) from the computer display. Depending on the viewing angle, the operational distance from the display can vary.

LG D2342P
The optimal viewing angle of the monitor is 12° in vertical direction while 80° in horizontal direction; the optimal viewing distance is between 50 cm to 90 cm from the monitor. When you view 3D images outside the optimal viewing angle or viewing distance, the images may look overlapped or not be displayed properly in 3D.

Philips 236G3DHSB
For an optimal 3D viewing experience, we recommend that you: Sit at a distance that is at least 55cm; Watch the monitor away from direct sunlight as it may interfere with the 3D experience.

There are no surprises about the viewing angles at all here, we already know they are quite limited and this limit is not affected by the LCD panel type used in the monitor, even an IPS panel won’t help, the limit is caused by the polarizing filter applied over the LCD panel that separates the left and right eye images for stereoscopic 3D use. As for the minimum recommended distance from the 3D monitor we see different numbers from 50 centimeters to 70 centimeters (about 20-28 inches) and as for the maximum recommended distance only LG recommends up to 90 centimeters (about 35 inches). So what works best for me, neither of these recommendations are actually good for me…

A person with normal vision not wearing glasses or wearing the right diopter glasses to correct his vision achieving the same level as what is considered as normal vision would need to sit at about 90-95 centimeters away from a 23-inch passive 3D display (about 35-37 inches) or about 1.5 times the diagonal of the monitor. This minimum distance is required in order for the viewer not to be bothered by the increased distance between the vertical lines that build the image for each eye for stereo 3D content. If your vision is nt good enough to be considered “normal vision” and you wear prescription glasses with 1 diopter you might be able to reduce that minimum comfortable distance to about 75 centimeters (about 30 inches) if you are not wearing your glasses in order not to be bothered by the lines.

Moving up to about just 55 centimeters away from the 23-inch passive 3D displays you will find that this is a the about absolute minimum at which you can get into the correct vertical viewing angle limit and be able to properly perceive volume, but at that distance you will be bothered by the vertical lines building the image you will see. So manufacturers may be right that this is about the recommended minimum, but it is more like the absolute minimum distance and not the most comfortable. Actually the farther you are from the monitor the easier it is to get into the very narrow vertical angle for best results when using the display in stereo 3D mode, but there is a limit to that as well. Going to further away from the monitor will lead to the 3D image starting to look flat thus loosing the stereoscopic 3D effect and the sense of realism provided by the displayed 3D image will further diminish because of the very low FOV coverage your vision will have. Going past about 150 centimeters (about 60 inches) you will start to loose the perception of volume and the image on the screen will start to look flat, not to mention that the immersion factor won’t be that good either because of the screen covering a small part of the vision, but at least it is much easier to get in the vertical viewing angle (at the cost of the reduced perception of sharpness and thus resolution).

The optimal viewing distance of a 23-inch passive 3D monitor for me personally is around 90-100 centimeters (about 35-40 inches), a distance at which I’m not bothered with the vertical lines and the image I perceive is still sharp. At that distance the stereoscopic 3D effect (the sense of volume) is still quite good for various 3D content, and the only drawback that remains is that the feeling of immersion is not that good due to smaller part of the vision covered by the display. And at that distance from the display it is easier to stay withing the optimal vertical viewing angle when you’ve setup the display correctly even with some normal head movements. As a reference to use for a comparison I usually use a 27-inch active 3D monitor in stereoscopic 3D mode at a distance of about 60-70 centimeters for optimal sense of immersion.

If you are using a passive 3D monitor feel welcome to share what works best for you in terms of optimum viewing distance in the comments below.

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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)


epson-plw16sk-back


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.


epson-plw16sk-ceiling-mounted


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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AOC d2757Ph is a New 27-inch Passive 3D Monitor with IPS Panel

November 6th, 2012 · 7 Comments · General 3D News


Following the release of the AOC d2357Ph 23-inch passive 3D monitor with thin bezel earlier this year (5.8 mm thin frame), AOC has just announced a new larger model with the same style and functionality – the AOC d2757Ph. The new bigger model uses LED backlight IPS panel, supports HDMI 1.4 interface with frame packaging as well as row interleaved 3D and comes with built-in 2D to 3D conversion capabilities. Another interesting feature of the d2757Ph is that it comes with a detachable stand, which allows to transforms the display in no time at all into a large presentation monitor or giant digital picture frame. This also makes it a perfect second display for your notebook. The new 27-inch FPR (Film-type Patterned Retarder) 3D monitor from AOC comes with 2 pairs of polarized 3D glasses, 1 normal and 1 clip on for people wearing prescription glasses. And it is bundled with the TriDef 3D software for stereoscopic 3D gaming support on your PC.

AOC d2757Ph 3D Monitor Specifications:

- Monitor Size: 27″ (68.6cm)
– Panel type: IPS, LED backlight
– Viewing Angle: 178°/178° (CR 10)
– Response Time: 5ms
– Maximum Brightness: 250 cd/m²
– Contrast Ratio: 20.000.000:1, 1.000:1 (typical)
– Pixel / Dot / Pitch: 0.311 (H) x 0.311 (V)
– 3D technology type: 3D FPR (Passive 3D)
– Maximum Resolution: 1920×1080@60 Hz
– Video Connectors: 1x D-SUB 15, 2x HDMI 1.4
– Power Consumption: On: <29 W, Standby: <0.5 W, Off: <0.5 W

The AOC d2757Ph passive 3D monitor should be available on the market starting sometime in this month with a recommended retail price of 319 EURO or £259 (UK Pounds) in Europe.

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