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My First Impressions From the Nvidia 3DTV Play Software

August 3rd, 2010 · 18 Comments · GeForce 3D Vision

Last week I was able to see a live demonstration of the Nvidia 3DTV Play in action. The software was running on Sony 3D and Panasonic 3D HDTVs and demonstrated on them was playing games in stereoscopic 3D mode as well as Blu-ray 3D movie playback using PowerDVD 10 Ultra Mark II. And after seeing it in action for the first time I was able to clarify some things for myself and it yet again has sparkled my interest into 3D-capable HDTVs, because with the general lack of other 3D content the part about PC gaming in stereo 3D mode on a big-screen 3D TV is what would actually justify the purchase of a high-end television set with 3D capabilities…

The 3DTV Play software seems to act like a kind of wrapper providing 720p 50/60Hz and 1080p 24Hz per eye resolutions for 3D playback and using the 3D Vision driver that is now a part of the video drivers for GeForce video cards. Trying Just Cause 2 running at Full HD 1080p resolution and with 24 frames per second in 3D actually felt surprisingly good, fluid just like playing most games on a console, and although not like the way PC users are used to play with higher framerates it is still Ok. Of course playing in 720p resolution with higher framerates might be better and actually the difference in perceptible quality between playing in 1080p and 720p taking the framerate aside is not so easily noticeable. The software seemed to work quite easy and problem free, although it most likely wasn’t the final version that should be soon released.

The Nvidia 3DTV Play software is expected to be available sometime later this month, so the wait is almost over for the people that were early in actually buying a HDMI 1.4(a) 3D-capable HDTV and want to easily use it for gaming in stereo 3D. And since the Panasonic Viera 3D HDTVs are currently on top of my personal list on deciding which 3D TV I should probably buy for 3D testing and personal entertainment, I was more interested in how it performed in stereo 3D mode and in this case it was the 50-inch VT20E available in Europe.

Something that caught my attention was the dithering on the Panasonic, and since it is a plasma TV these flashing colorful dots on black are to be expected to some extent. Of course they are visible only when watching the TV screen from very close distance and when you get to the optimum viewing distance you cannot actually perceive them as they blend nicely creating the full image. The above image shows the dithering in normal 2D mode…

Here is another picture with the same image displayed on the screen, taken when the TV is in 3D mode, but not through the glasses. The dithering is a bit more visible from closer distance, but again when getting back a bit from the TV things are again Ok. As I already said the dithering is normal for Plasma TVs, however it is less visible on some and more apparent on other TVs, so it is actually not an issue, I just expected it to be a bit less apparent as it is with the Samsung 3D Plasma TVs for example.

Anyway, another thing that differs the Panasonic 3D TVs is the fact that they do not feature a 2D to 3D conversion algorithm built-in, which is not exactly a bad thing and I personally can go just fine without such a feature. However I’m still not to happy with the design of the glasses, sure they do look quite nice and with a futuristic design, but the functionality part is a bit neglected… in terms of best 3D shutter glasses on my personal list Sony is still at the top spot. But anyway, I will not be making a purchase of a 3D HDTV before the 3DTV Play software comes out officially and I’m able to play a bit more with it on different TVs as for me the purchase of such 3D-capable HDTV at the moment will be mostly targeted at gaming… even if it is in 720p 50/60Hz, although quite a few games should be just fine when played back even in 1080p 24Hz too.

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18 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Charlie // Aug 3, 2010 at 03:35

    Is the refresh rate a limitation of the hardware or the software? I can’t really imagine playing a fast paced game at 24 fps if I can easily do 60fps and above in non-3d mode.
    Are 1080p LCD monitors affected by the same issue?

  • 2 arnoldschwartz // Aug 3, 2010 at 03:43

    its a limitation of hdmi

  • 3 bl1nds1de13 // Aug 3, 2010 at 04:39

    Just wanted to throw a wrench into the conversation since I, like you will not buy a 3d flat panel a day before I can connect at very least 3d vision, and also having seen most of the 3d displays out now, nothing quite compares to the panasonics. I say all that because I just read an add for LG 3DHDTV in a crutchfield mag that said their 3d sets run at 480 hz in 2d and 240 hz in 3d – implying 2x their competitors. It was scarce on details and of course does not specify the shutter rate of the glasses. I would guess they are showing each frame twice, but wonder if that could reduce ghosting. A look on LG’s site and a quick google search provided no insight. I also doubt it would accept say 120 hz 3d from a pc, but does gleem that possiblilty in the future as well as the possibility of dual 3d feeds.

    As a side note for the best gaming displays I recommend Mitsubishi DLP for all my systems. It is not clearly specified anywhere, but due to checkerboard 3d used the display is for all purposes a 1080P 30 display maximum. I am using these for compatibility for now since they run all 3 3d drivers- 3d vision, tridef, and iz3d, as well as virtually all 3d video software for the pc.


  • 4 Dave G. // Aug 3, 2010 at 05:15

    I also will not buy a 3D TV before Nvidia comes out with the 3DTV Play. I’ve been eyeing the Panasonic plasmas, but just can’t make myself pull the trigger if I can’t even view my own stereo photos on the screen. The rather pathetic number of Blu-Ray titles available (less than 6) and the fact that I don’t give a rip about watching sports in 3D leaves me without any motivation to spend thousands of my hard-earned dollars.

  • 5 josh // Aug 3, 2010 at 06:19

    with 3DTV Play software do you use the glasses that come with the tv or nvidia 3d vision glasses when playing a pc game with 3d enabled?

  • 6 StarKnight // Aug 3, 2010 at 09:49

    What I still do not understand is whether every GeForce graphic card will be compatible with 3DTV Play or only the Fermi ones…
    I have a not so old GTX 295 model and as far as I know the HDMI output is not 1.4. Is it possible to upgrade it via software like the PS3 or will I need to buy a new graphic card to use 3DTV Play with a brand new 3D Ready TV ?

  • 7 Bloody // Aug 3, 2010 at 11:32

    The 24 Hz for stereo 3D at 1080p is a limitation of the HDMI 1.4(a) standard and thus the TV’s comply with it. So maybe in 1.5 we can actually get 1080p at 50/60 Hz per eye, but this may as well take another 3-5 years for the new standard to be approved and the hardware using it to become available…

    When using the 3DTV Play software you are using the shutter glasses that come with the TV, you don’t need 3D Vision glasses as they will not work.

    In theory everything since GeForce 8xxx series should work, with DVI to HDMI adapters too, since the software just outputs the frames packed according to HDMI 1.4(a) stereo 3D specs, so it can do that over HDMI 1.3 hardware too. So the GTX 295 should work for sure…

  • 8 Rhialto // Aug 3, 2010 at 15:26

    Dave: the VT25 series will show .MPO files right from a SD card or USB stick. That is if you own the Fujifilm 3D W1. If you have your own hardware and creating your own JPS file, this had to be verified since I haven’t tested it.

  • 9 Nanite // Aug 3, 2010 at 19:12

    Finally the wait is soon over.
    Panasonic cant play 3D videos from USB afaik. Cant enable side-by-side etc 3D modes.
    Sony good 3D? I heard u cant tilt your head at all, ghosting otherwise.

    I think I am going for Samsung plasma. Much cheaper than Panasonic; thinner, nicer looking, 2d->3d, can be calibrated to very close to same pq. Blacks not as good but close.

  • 10 Alistair // Aug 3, 2010 at 23:24

    I’ve been using my Panasonic P50VT20 in side-by-side mode using nVidia’s 3D player to make do (so yes you can already view stereo photos etc – 3D porn is amazing!). PS3 3D games at 60fps 720p are absolutely amazing.

    Can’t wait for 3DTV Play.

    By the way I’ve tried all the 3D TVs, to me by far the Panasonic was my favourite. I did completely ignore any bells and whistles because I can just use my PC or PS3 to do any such jobs to a better standard.

    If ghosting is a concern definitely go for the Panasonic, I still see it from time to time and it annoys me like crazy and it has the best ghosting performance of the group.

    The GTX 295 will be fine with 3DTV Play.

  • 11 Daniel Joy // Aug 4, 2010 at 03:55

    cool tv’s- i just wish they had full 1080p60 3d… it kinda hard justifying the price for the panny when Mits DLP offers a really similar experience in 3d pc gaming. It just does not seem like a upgrade over what i have now….

  • 12 Boof // Aug 4, 2010 at 10:52

    The VT25 (VT20 in Europe I think) are by far the best 2010 HDTV’s so far. Not only in 3D but 2D as well.

    Check out the AVS thread if you need more convincing of people trading in their Samsungs for it.


    So far any SIDE-BY-SIDE file plays great on it straight from a DVI->HDMI PC hook up and plain VLC. PS3 also has a few games you can try out which look great.

    I am looking forward to trying out 3DTVPLAY on it and hope you don’t need nvidia 3D kit/glasses to use it.

  • 13 ion // Aug 5, 2010 at 23:18

    I have a question. With 3DTV Play can you adjust depth and convergence in the games? I didn’t find this info on google.

  • 14 Bloody // Aug 6, 2010 at 00:34

    Yes, the same way as with 3D Vision as you are basically using 3D Vision too… and the 3DTV Play acts more like a kind of wrapper – you get is as an option in the 3D Vision output type. Then you also need to select the right 3D mode (720p 50/60 Hz or 1080p 24Hz) and you are ready to go.

  • 15 jacob pederson // Aug 7, 2010 at 14:06

    The lack of 60 Hz 1080p is HUGE. I’ll be sticking with my Mitsubishi.

  • 16 jacob pederson // Aug 30, 2010 at 21:57

    Any comment on this impression of the Sony’s ghosting issues?


  • 17 Sergio // Jul 25, 2011 at 22:11

    Hello i have question,
    How to install 3dTv play ?
    i have only 2 files in
    3DVSerializeR.DLL and 3DVSerialize.EXE. How to lounch play with 3dtv play ?

  • 18 Bloody // Jul 26, 2011 at 18:03

    Sergio, it appears you already have it installed.

    Check the Nvidia control panel for a Stereoscopic 3D option.

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