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How to Use Your New 3D-capable HDTV for PC Gaming over HDMI

April 29th, 2010 · 31 Comments · Other S3D Tech

We already have some of the new generation of 3D-capable TV sets using the new HDMI 1.4(a) stereo 3D specifications to get their content with Samsung kind of leading the way with worldwide availability with Panasonic closely following and then again other brands like Sony for example that are soon to follow. But even if we already have the 3D hardware to display the content, we still have quite some issues with the unavailability of 3D content to play on them. Not enough 3D videos, almost no high quality 3D movies, 3D TV still in early stages and then we are left with just games, but since it is still a bit early even for the game consoles we are going back to the PC. Nvidia’s 3D Vision active shutter glasses in combination with a 120Hz 3D-capable monitors are one of the most popular solutions for viewing 3D content just because there is more content available on the PC and especially the games. As for gaming on a PC in stereo 3D you just need the software that will render almost all regular 3D games in stereo 3D mode and such software is Nvidia’s 3D Vision Driver, iZ3D’s Driver and DDD’s TriDef Ignition. But what if you want to get your new 3D-capable TV connected to your PC and play in stereo 3D on much bigger screen than you would on a PC monitor? Unfortunately you are kind of out of luck at this moment as there is still no easy and problem free way to do that, but the good news is that we already got some positive feedback on some possible solutions to do that. So if you are one of the early adopters of the new wave of 3D-capable TVs from Samsung you may be interested in trying some of these solutions in order to get the 3D capabilities of the TV actually used for something. Of course the suggestions below might also work on Panasonic and probably other brands of HDMI 1.4(a) stereo 3D specifications based 3D television sets, so if you have one of these you are more than welcome to try and report your findings…

It has turned out that if you own a 3D-capable Samsung C7000 HDTVs you can just connect it to your PC over HDMI interface (DVI to HDMI converters from the PC to the TV also work) and output image content in a Side by Side format that can be displayed in 3D on the TV. Of course you’ll need to manually switch on the 3D mode on the TV as it will not automatically recognize that it is getting 3D content, but that is not such a big issue. You can start by trying to play Avatar the Game as it is one of the still few games that have a built-in native Side by Side 3D output that you can select from the game options, and if this works you can consider yourself lucky and continue with the experiments. Next comes the iZ3D driver that in its latest beta version 1.11 also has support for Side by Side output that works with the Samsung the same way as Avatar, but with the iZ3D driver you can get stereo 3D output in quite a lot of games. Have in mind that this has only worked with iZ3D Driver 1.11b1-1 and there is currently a newer beta 1.11b1-2 available, but with it it has turned out that the Side by Side output does not work with the Samsung. Have in mind that iZ3D has not officially announced support for 3D-capable TVs, so you should be prepared for some issues as this is also a beta driver that you’ll be using, but until a better solution comes out this is worth trying. The good thing is that this works with the active shutter glasses that come with the TV, so no need to by specific glasses or have to use any additional hardware, you just need a PC and a 3D TV…

I’m also eagerly waiting for Nvidia’s 3DTV Play software expected this summer, that should allow the owners of a newer Nvidia GPUs (both mobile and desktop) to connect their PC to a 3D-capable HDTV over the HDMI and output 3D content. But according to the already available official information this software might only work with the mandatory requirements defined in the 3D specifications part of the HDMI 1.4(a) and that means that for gaming it might be limited to 720p for 50/60 frames per eye in stereo 3D mode. However with using the Avatar and iZ3D for outputting in Side by Side format, the Samsung 3D TV was able to report 60 frames per eye at 1080p resolution which gives us good hopes for the 3DTV Play too, but we’ll have to wait a bit more to see. Meanwhile you can try with Avatar and iZ3D if you have a new-gen 3D-capable TV like Samsung, Panasonic or any other and report your results in the comments below, just have in mind that this is not intended and will not work for 3D DLP TVs.

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