3D Vision Blog

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

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Reduce Motion Blur in 120Hz 2D mode on Samsung 3D Monitors

February 10th, 2013 · 4 Comments · Other S3D Tech


Some more good news for gamers interested in using 120Hz 3D capable monitors for gaming in 2D mode and not in stereo 3D, aside from the Nvidia 3D Vision-ready 3D Lightboost-capable 3D monitors it turns out that Samsung’s more recent 3D displays also use a similar strobe backlight mode that apparently also eliminate motion blur when activated even in 2D mode. Mark Rejhon reports on his blog that the Samsung S23A700D, S23A950D and S27A950D 3D monitors use a strobe backlight mode similar to 3D Lightboost that can be used on both AMD Radeon and Nvidia GeForce graphics in 2D mode and when activated you can get a significant reduction in motion blur compared to when using one of these Samsung monitors in 120Hz refresh in 2D mode. Just like the case with 3D Lightboost here the strobe backlight feature was probably originally designed to improve the stereoscopic 3D performance of these monitors, but later on users find that it can also benefit 2D gamers as well finally bringing a good alternative to CRT displays for high refresh rate gaming in 2D mode. On Samsung’s 3D monitors however the input lag seems to be more than on a 3D Lightboost monitor, still if you already have one of the compatible Samsung 3D-capable displays why not take advantage of the strobe backlight in 2D mode as well.

Instructions for Samsung 3D monitors:

– Set the refresh rate of the dislay to 120 Hz mode.
– Change “Response Time” to “Normal” from the monitor’s OSD menu.
– Turn on “3D” via the monitor’s OSD menu and select, frame-sequential mode.
– Keep using the monitor even for 2D gaming.

Note: On some computer configurations, your monitor might turn off when entering and exiting video games. If this happens, simply turn on your monitor again.

Visit Mark Rejhon’s blog for more information about motion blur elimination…

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More About Using the 3D Lightboost Technology in 2D and 3D Mode

January 31st, 2013 · 7 Comments · GeForce 3D Vision

The Nvidia 3D Lightboost technology was originally designed for use in 3D monitors together with the company’s 3D Vision technology for stereoscopic 3D gaming with reduced crosstalk and improved level of brightness as compared to the older 3D Vison-ready monitors. Lately however 3D-capable monitors with support for 3D Lightboost technology are also creating a lot of interest among users not playing in stereoscopic 3D mode, but instead using them in 120Hz 2D mode and the reason is not only the higher refresh rates that these monitors support in 2D mode as well, but also due to the fact that you can relatively easy enable the 3D Lightboost technology in 2D mode as well. The advantage of using the 3D Lightboost technology in 2D mode is that the motion blur is being eliminated, making fast movements appear much smoother now as compared to using only 120Hz refresh rate with no 3D Lightboost enabled. What the 3D Lightboost technology does is to strobe the backlight instead of having it always on like on traditional monitors (it is on only when the whole frame is drawn and off between transitions while the next frame is being built), the side effect is that you get a reduction in the maximum brightness you get when 3D Lightboost is enabled. And while the benefit of having motion blur eliminated in 2D mode is definitely a good thing, what bothers some people is the lower brightness you get, so I took an Asus VG278H 3D monitor for a spin and played a bit with the brightness settings to see what you can do to get the most out of it if using it not only for stereo 3D gaming, but also for 120Hz 2D gaming with 3D Lightboost technology enabled as well.


Here is how the default color reproduction is with the Asus VG278H out of the box settings, this means 2D mode 120Hz refresh rate, Brightness set to 90 and Contrast set to 80. As you can see the maximum level of brightness the monitor is capable of at these settings is quite high, at over 400 cd/m2 it is very bright, so lowering the brightness from this level can be noticeable, especially if it is not just a slight decrease.


Calibrating the display for better color reproduction while trying to maintain the highest possible brightness level does produce very good results and the maximum brightness remains at a high value at 285 cd/m2. Now, you should be aware that over 400 cd/m2 is really an overkill brightness level for monitor that you will be spending hours for gaming, let alone if you also use it for work and other tasks. At 285 cd/m2 the brightness level is more tolerable, but can still be more tiring for the eyes of the person using it, especially for longer periods.


If you’ve read my review of the Asus VG278H 3D monitor for stereoscopic 3D use, than you probably have also seen my recommendation to lower the Contrast level to about 55 from the standard value of 76. This will significantly reduce the level of crosstalk you will be getting in stereo 3D mode as with the default value of 76 for the Contrast the crosstalk you get is annoying. Now, the interesting thing here is to measure what is the actual brightness you get with a setting for Contrast of 55 when you are in stereo 3D mode or in 2D mode with the 3D Lightboost enabled. I’ve got 102 cd/m2 which is a bit too low, really making the image seem much darker than what you get with the out of the box settings of the monitor in 2D mode when not using 3D Lightboost – it is more than four times lower here. So while having the Contrast of the monitor set to 55 does work well in stereo 3D mode, you’ll have to consider increasing it when you are playing in 2D mode with Lightboost enabled.


Increasing the Contrast to 76, the default value you have set by default for the Asus VG278H 3D monitor for stereoscopic 3D mode does bring the brightness up to about 151 cd/m2, making it much more comfortable for use in 2D mode with 3D Lightboost enabled (this level of brightness works good for me). And while this brightness is quite Ok, there is a bit more to be desired from the level of brightness, especially if you are used to playing with higher brightness levels.


Moving to Contrast value of 90 brings the brightness level to 180 cd/m2 which should be a good choice for people that find 150 cd/m2 still a bit dark, as you can see with a Contrast value of 76 and 90 the colors are not very accurately displayed, but that should not be much of a bother for gaming needs.


Doing a color calibration at a Contrast value of 90 however seem to bring the best results for me personally, 156 cd/m2 brightness level (works great for me) and very good color reproduction, though calibrating colors is only needed if you are going to be working with colors and then this monitor is probably not the best choice even though when calibrated it can bring out very good results.


Just out of curiosity I also went out to test with a Contrast value of 100, something that is not usually recommended as it pushes everything to the max. This brings up the maximum brightness level up to 192 cd/m2, but the color reproduction suffers more.


Not to mention that with a value of 100 for Contrast even calibrating the display you will get worse results with just a slight increase in the level of brightness. But as I’ve said already, doing a color calibration on a monitor that will be used mostly for gaming is not needed anyway. And even though that the Asus VG278H 3D monitor can produce very good results in terms of color reproduction after getting calibrated it remains a gaming monitor using a fast response TN LCD panel and it is targeted at gamers, both 2D and stereo 3D ones.

So what is the most important finding in terms of the brightness level you get when you have 3D Lightboost enabled in 2D mode as well? Using the default value of 76 for Contrast should work well for most people, though when playing in stereo 3D mode you might want to get that value lowered to something like 55 for less crosstalk. If Contrast set at 76 is still low in terms of brightness for your taste, then you can bring the value up to about 90 which should be Ok, but you should avoid going all the way up to a value of 100. In the end the level of brightness even with the 3D Lightboost technology enabled isn’t so bad if you bring the Contrast up a bit, it is not going to be as high as the over 400 cd/m2 that you can get without the 3D Lightboost technology in 2D mode, but that is a bit overkill level of brightness anyway and it is not recommended to be used if you value your vision.

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Mixing Different 3D Monitors for a 3D Vision Surround Setup

July 18th, 2012 · 6 Comments · GeForce 3D Vision

I often get asked various questions about the use of different 3D monitors for building a multi-monitor setup for stereoscopic 3D gaming – 3D Vision Surround as well as for non-3D use, the normal Surround. And while the 2D surround mode is much more forgiving to the kind of displays being used, when talking about stereoscopic 3D gaming the requirements for building a 3D Vision Surround setup are much more strict. You are required to essentially use three 3D-capable monitors from the same model in order to ensure perfect compatibility and best experience and this is what Nvidia recommends, however sometimes this can be a problem, or you may find a more practical and cost effective way to get a 3D Vision Surround. So what are the options and what will work and what will not, that is exactly what I’ve wanted to test this time trying to use three different 3D Vision-ready displays in a 3D Vision Surround setup and I’ve found out some interesting things that I’ll share with you.

I have multiple 3D-capable monitors available that I use for testing, from different generations and with different features, however I don’t have three exactly the same models to use them as a 3D Vision Surround. It is not that I don’t like 3D Vision Surround, just haven’t gotten to the point in building such a setup for constant use, so far only making temporary setups for testing various things. And since the initial introduction of 3D Vision Surround as a solution Nvidia has greatly improved it and I believe that sooner I’ll have to do a permanent setup for testing. But for now and especially for the purpose of this article I’ll be using three different 3D Vision-ready monitors as this will give me all the possible scenarios to test various things in regards to compatibility between the different displays used for building a 3D Vision Surround setup.

Now, the requirement to use three exactly the same 3D monitors for 3D Vision Surround is based on a few important things. First the external features of the displays are the same – the same size, the same height, the same bezel size and all of this is very importing when you are arranging the three displays to form one big screen together. Then comes the LCD panel used in the 3D monitors, when it is exactly the same it means that you’ll be getting the same color reproduction, level of brightness and response time across all the displays. And specifically for the proper stereoscopic 3D experience there is also the importance of the same level of crosstalk/ghosting you’ll be getting across all the displays and not more on some and less on the other. You should be aware of the fact that even identical models of monitors can have some slight variation in the image they display, so a bit of fine tuning even in this cases can help in getting even better overall experience, making all three displays seem like a one wide display.

So lets see what will happen if we use different 3D monitors inorder to build a 3D Vision Surround setup. I went for three completely different models in size and capabilities, these are: the 23-inch Panar SA2311W, the 24-inch Asus GN245HQ and the 27-inch Asus VG278H. Due to the various sizes of the displays it is really impossible to physically match the three screens in a one seemingly vertically continuous screen – these have different height, not all have height adjustments, different screen sizes, different bezel sizes. But still putting the 27-inch screen at the center and the two smaller ones on the sides does make the setup useable – you still have nice peripheral vision coverage with the two side monitors and your attention is focused on the center display most of the time anyway. The Planar does not have a built-in IR emitter, the Acer has one and the Asus also has it, but the major difference here is that the Planar and the Acer do not support the new 3D Loghtboost technology for ensuring increased brightness levels like on the newer Asus 3D monitor. The 3D Lightboost technology is a monitor technology, but when you use a display supporting it the active shutter glasses also work in a different way than on older 3D Vision monitors that don’t have support for that technology. This essentially should mean that you’ll not be able to make a 3D Vision Surround setup mixing older 3D Vision monitors with models from the latest generation, it should…

So what happens when you connect three different 3D monitors and enable 3D Vision Surround mode? Actually you can do that, even though the drivers will detect that your 3D monitors are different models, as long as they support 3D Vision you can go over the 3D Vision Surround setup wizard and enable the technology. It is a completely different thing however if things will work properly after that in stereoscopic 3D mode, because the 3D Vision detects the first monitor connected as the one being used and assumes that all three 3D displays are the same make and model. So if it is the Planar you will not be able to use anything else besides 3D Vision discover mode, unless of course you plug in an external IR emitter for the glasses, and that happens even though the other two displays actually do have built-in IR emitters. In this situation if you plug-in an external IR emitter and you run something in stereoscopic 3D mode only the Planar and Acer monitors show 3D and the Asus monitor remains blank when in 3D mode. If you connect the Acer 3D monitor first then when you activate stereoscopic 3D mode you’ll see that the Asus will show in stereoscopic 3D mode and the Acer and Planar monitors will show 2D image. If the Asus 3D monitor is connected first the Planar shows the image in 3D mode with a serious level of ghosting and the Acer 3D monitor shows only 2D image, regardless if you use the built-in IR emitter or an external one. So apparently neither of these variants is a good choice, though if you have the center display running in stereoscopic 3D mode and the two side ones show the same image in 2D it is not that bad as actually with your peripheral vision you can hardly get depth information anyway, so it may be a kind of an acceptable compromise (if you rotate your head however things aren’t going to be that good).

The next step was to play a bit with the monitor identification information using different EDID override drivers in order to trick the OS and the video drivers that we actually have three exactly the same 3D capable monitors available and connected, even though they are completely different in reality. Using Planar EDID override driver for all three displays requires the use of an external IR emitter, but the good news is that all three displays actually work in stereo 3D mode and there are no issues with more than usual level of ghosting shown on any of them. It seems that in this case the Asus display does not make use of the 3D Lightboost mode and works in some kind of compatibility mode with the other to displays, the image you get from it is less brighter this way, but it still works properly. Moving to the Acer EDID override driver things get a bit messy using the built-in IR emitter – all displays show stereoscopic 3D image, but only the Asus shows proper image, the other two displays have a lot more ghosting – plugging an external IR emitter however resolves the issue and you get the same good results as with Planar’s ID. And finally using the Asus EDID override driver for all three monitors makes them work in stereoscopic 3D mode, but only the Asus shows proper image, the other two have way more ghosting than usual, regardless if built-in or external IR emitter is being used.

So what is the conclusion of all this testing with mixing and matching different 3D monitors? For best experience you should stick to the recommendation to use three exactly the same 3D monitors, but if that is not an option, then you have a few somewhat acceptable alternatives available as well, but not recommended unless there is really no other choice. Either using the two side displays in 2D mode and only the center one in stereoscopic 3D mode, if the center one supports 3D Lightboost technology. Or going for a some kind of backwards compatibility mode for 3D monitors supporting 3D Lgihtboost technology to work the same way as older models that don’t support the tech, the opposite is not possible however. But these two alternatives are available only if mixing older 3D Vision displays with newer ones that support the 3D Lightboos tech, for example two Acer HN274H with one Acer HN2674H B, making all the three work like Acer HN274H without the 3D Lightboost active for example. If you have only older generation or newer generation 3D monitors with 3D Lightboost support, then things are actually much easier for you, though with serious physical differences matching them in a 3D Vision Surround setup may still not be that good idea.

And here I can now answer that a 3D Vision Surround setup using one BenQ XL2420TX with two BenQ XL2420T monitors should be something that you can make work as these two models are essentially the same with some of the extra features in the TX stripped from the T model, so this way you can save some cash and still get a great 3D Vision Surround setup. Actually starting with drivers version 304 (currently only beta) Nvidia officially allows you to mix different 3D monitors supporting 3D Lightboost without having to resort to any workarounds, so mixing BenQ XL2420TX with two BenQ XL2420T monitors should be working directly with these drivers without the possibility of having issues that may be caused by EDID overrides. Mixing and matching Asus VG278H and Acer HN274H B is also possible with the latest beta drivers, though this may not be that good idea as mixing the two versions of the BenQ that are almost exactly the same. The only problem with being able to mix a BenQ XL2420TX with two BenQ XL2420T monitors in a 3D Vision Surround setup is if you live in Europe for example where the TX version is still not available.

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