3D Vision Blog

A normal user's look into the world of 3D Stereo Technologies

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Buying Extra 3D Glasses for HP Envy 17 3D and Sony Vaio F Series

September 9th, 2011 · 3 Comments · Other S3D Tech

From time to time I’m getting questions about the glasses bundles with the HP Envy 17 3D and Sony Vaio F Series 3D laptops and what extra pairs of active shutter glasses should owners of these get in order to have a more flexible solution that won’t work only with the laptop, but other 3D-capable hardware as well. That is why I’ve decided to post some advice about that, but before that let me point to you the reviews of these two 3D-capable laptops that I’ve done here, so that you may learn a bit more about them if you haven’t been interested in them so far:

Review of the HP Envy 17 3D Laptop for Stereoscopic 3D Use
Sony VAIO F Series 3D-capable Multimedia Laptop Review

I’m starting with the HP Envy 17 3D laptop that uses a pair of glasses based on the Xpand X103 universal 3D glasses. You should have in mind however that the pair that you get with the HP laptop and extra pairs specially designed for it are only compatible with the laptop as you don’t have an option to switch the glasses to another mode so that they may work with other 3D-capable devices such as 3D HDTV. So if you plan to buy extra pair of active shutter glasses besides the one you get bundled with the laptop, you better go directly for a pair of Xpand X103 universal 3D glasses as they are perfectly compatible with the HP Envy 17 3D laptop, but will also work with pretty much any other major brand making 3D HDTVs that use infrared communication with their glasses.

If you happen to own a Sony Vaio F Series 3D laptop, then you’ve got the device with a pair of Sony’s active shutter glasses that is essentially the same as what the company uses with their range of 3D HDTVs. That simply means you can use the 3D glasses you got with the laptop with a Sony 3D HDTV without anything special required and also if you happen to own a Sony 3D HDTV you can use the glasses from the TV with the laptop. This is a good solution if you happen to own different 3D-capable Sony products or plan to have such, but what if you have another brand of 3D TV and you are considering to buy an extra pair of shutter glasses? Here you have the option again to go for the Xpand X103 universal 3D glasses that will support the Sony Vaio F Series 3D laptop as well as any 3D HDTV, Sony included of course, but you are not limited only to them. You can pretty much get any universal pair of active shutter glasses that works with Sony 3D HDTVs and it should be able to work pretty much the same way with the 3D laptop.

You can get the Xpand X103 universal shutter glasses for less than $80…

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Monster Vision Max 3D Universal vs Panasonic TY-EW3D10U 3D Glasses

January 21st, 2011 · 9 Comments · Other S3D Tech

As an owner of Panasonic 3D-capable Plasma HDTV I was not very happy with the design of the default Panasonic TY-EW3D10U shutter glasses that are coming with the TV, but that did not prevent me from getting a VT20E 3D HDTV, because it is still one of the best HDTVs for 3D content at the moment (and the very similar models from the same VT series for different regions with slight variations). So when I’ve got the universal Monster Vision Max 3D glasses (powered by BitCauldron technology) for testing I’ve started to compare them with the Panasonic TY-EW3D10U 3D shutter glasses, although meanwhile Panasonic also introduced the slightly improved Panasonic TY-EW3D2 (SU/MU/LU) glasses.

Comparing the Monster Vision Max 3D glasses (bottom / left) with the Panasonic TY-EW3D10U 3D glasses (top / right) you can see some of the major differences, like for example the difference in design and size. The Monster Vision shutter glasses have a bigger lenses, especially in terms of height to cover wider area, they seem more like traditional glasses and do not let that much external light like the standard Panasonic 3D glasses. And although the Panasonic TY-EW3D10U 3D glasses seem with a more futuristic design, they are not very well thought in terms of design and functionality, not blocking some of the external light that yo may have and resulting in visible flicker as well as not very convenient nose-pieces for longer use. Also, the Monster Vision Max 3D glasses are universal (can be used on different 3D HDTVs), they use RF (radio) instead or IR (infrared light) for communication and they do come with a built-in rechargeable battery that can be charged through USB. And as you can see from the photos above the Panasonic glasses have a slight yellowish tint on their lenses whereas the Monster Vision lenses are a bit more bluish/greenish.

Due to the fact that the Monster Vision Max 3D universal glasses use radio instead of infrared technology for communicating you need to connect a special infrared to radio transmitter that is a part of the with the Monster Vision Max 3D universal glasses kit. This transmitter is powered over USB, so you can easily connect it to one of the two free USB ports at the back of the VT20E 3D HDTV for example or use an additional USD power adapter, but that may require you to turn it on/off manually. When you have the transmitter connected to a USB port of the TV whenever you turn on the TV set the adapter also turns on and when you turn off the TV the adapter also powers off.

In order to be able to sync the Monster Vision Max 3D glasses with the infrared signal coming from the HDTV you will also need to connect the additional infrared adapter to the transmitter kit and place it somewhere in front of the TV’s infrared emitter so that you can get a good signal. Aside from the infrared adapter for capturing infrared signals and converting them into radio frequency that can be understood by the Monster Vision Max 3D glasses, you also have an option to use a standard VESA mini-din 3-pin stereo connector if your 3D TV has such. For example Sony’s Bravia 3D-capable TV sets that do require an external IR emitter do have a similar connector at the back of the TV, but not exactly the same, meaning that you will not be able to directly use the cable with them, so you will need Sony’s IR emitter for these models and again the IR adapter for the Monster glasses. But thanks to the presence of the standard VESA mini-din 3-pin stereo connector you will also be able to use the glasses together with professional graphic adapters that do support stereo 3D and have the right output on the back of the card. Such are usually the higher-end Nvidia Quadro and ATI/AMD FireGL professional series of video cards that are used together with the OpenGL Quad-Buffer mode by some professionals. Unfortunately the Monster Vision Max 3D universal glasses are not currently compatible with 3D Vision if some of you may wonder about that, although that would offer a nice alternative to the already a bit old as technology and performance 3D Vision shutter glasses.

But how do the Monster Vision Max 3D universal glasses compare to the Panasonic TY-EW3D10U 3D shutter glasses in terms of performance? In terms of comfort they are most certainly better designed, although they felt a bit loose on my head as compared to the tighter Panasonic glasses, but that could be due to the fact that I have an earlier sample and not the final product for testing. The Monster Vision glasses are performing better in blocking external light, especially if coming from the sides as compared to the standard Panasonic glasses. Due to the yellowish tint of the Panasonic’s lenses I thought that the little crosstalk visible on the Panasonic plasma display seemed yellow because of that, but after trying the Monster Vision Max 3D glasses I can confirm that this is not the case, as with them also the crosstalk is still absolutely the same.

After comparing for a while I could not find any difference between the levels of crosstalk on the 3D HDTV with both pairs of glasses and this simply means that the level of crosstalk on the Panasonic’s plasma 3D HDTVs is probably not related to the glasses and cannot be further decreased with improvements in the shutter glasses. And besides the same level of crosstalk, although quite minimal and quite hard to notice in normal use, the visual quality is the same as I could not find any significant visible difference between the two pairs of glasses. The only thing I could notice visually was a very slight difference in color saturation, but normal people probably won’t be able to notice any difference at all. This slight difference can be caused by either the difference in the tint of the lenses or due to the fact that the Monster Vision Max 3D glasses are a bit brighter as compared to the standard Panasonic glasses. That difference in the level of the light blocked by the shutter glasses is hardly visible at all, however it can be measured to about 10-15% in favor of the Monster Vision Max 3D glasses with the help of a lux meter.

And now a bit about the prices of the different types of shutter glasses:
The Monster Vision Max 3D universal kit will be available for $229.95 USD.
The Monster Vision Max 3D universal glasses only will be available for $159.95 USD.
The Panasonic TY-EW3D10U standard shutter glasses are available for $96.17 USD.
The new Panasonic TY-EW3D2 (SU/MU/LU) glasses are available for $149 USD.

The Monster Vision Max 3D universal glasses are not yet on sale, so currently you can only pre-order them, but they should soon be available and as you can see their prices are not much different as compared to non-universal brand specific 3D glasses with similar features (rechargeable battery). The only difference is that you will need to get one full kit that includes the RF transmitter and then you can get only additional pairs of glasses. And the only thing that is kind of missing from the Monster Vision Max 3D universal glasses, the thing that can make them truly universal and not just universal for use with 3D HDTVs is if a user controlled learning mode is added. This way you will be able to make the glasses work with all of your 3D-capable equipment, so that you will not have to have multiple different pairs of 3D glasses for your computer, laptop, television set etc. Meanwhile next in line is a comparison between the Monster Vision Max 3D universal glasses and Samsung and especially Sony’s glasses which I still consider to be one of the best among all currently available shutter glasses…

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The Monster Vision MAX 3D Glasses Powered by Bit Cauldron

January 5th, 2011 · 16 Comments · Other S3D Tech

I got my hands on a sample of Monster Vision MAX 3D glasses that are based on Bit Cauldron’s 3D HeartBeat software and technology, so you can soon expect to get a more in-depth review of these universal 3D HDTV shutter glasses that use RF instead of IR signal for synchronization. My first impressions are very good and there were no trouble setting up the glasses together with a Panasonic VT20E Plasma 3D HDTV, but you will have to wait a bit more before I can finish testing then and the review to be published and you can expect more interesting information in the next few days. What I can tell you now is that they are better than Panasonic’s standard shutter glasses that I don’t find very well designed and very comfortable for longer use, so I’ve this is a really good alternative to the original glasses for my 3D TV. And these glasses have all the requirements and the potential to be not just universal 3D HDTV glasses, but also to become your universal 3D glasses for every 3D display you may have at home, just like when you use an universal remove for all your electronic devices. The glasses will just need to be upgraded with a mode that will let the user “teach” them to work with all the 3D hardware at home, so the number of glasses for your 3D-capable computer, 3D laptop or 3D TV won’t be a problem anymore… this is what true universal 3D glasses should be like, right?

It is interesting to note that the Monster Vision MAX 3D glasses also just won an International CES Best of Innovations Award in the category of Home Theater Accessories. And the products entered into the prestigious Innovations Award program are judged by a preeminent panel of independent industrial designers, engineers and members of the media to honor outstanding design and engineering in cutting edge consumer electronics products, so it is not easy to get the award if you don’t really deserve it. The prestigious Best of Innovations Awards have been recognizing achievements in product design and engineering since 1976. It is sponsored by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), the producer of the International CES, the world’s largest consumer technology tradeshow.

And if you are visiting CES this year, starting tomorrow 6th until the 9th, you can go and visit ZigBee Alliance’s booth 21418A in the South Hall where Bit Cauldron will be present and will be demonstrating their technology and shutter glasses as well as the Monster Vision Max 3D glasses that will be on display at Monster’s booth 13006 in the Central Hall.

You can visit Bit Cauldron’s website for more details about their technology…

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