3D Vision Blog

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

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GeForce GTS 450 and New Beta Driver 260.52 Are Available

September 13th, 2010 · 7 Comments · GeForce 3D Vision

Today Nvidia has announced a new addition to the Fermi line of GPUs, the GeForce GTS 450, a more mainstream DX11-capable product with recommended price of $129 USD. The card has 192 Stream processors (CUDA cores), 4 Polymorph Engines, and 32 Texture Units and 16 Raster Operators with a TDP of 106W, still making it quite capable solution for not so demanding gamers. The GPU is running at 783 MHz (1566 MHz for the Shaders), the video memory is 1GB GDDR5 running at a frequency of 3608 MHz with a 128-bit memory bus. Of course it also supports 3D Vision, but for gaming in stereoscopic 3D mode with that GPU you’ll probably have to sacrifice some of the high detail levels in the more demanding games in order to get better performance while playing. Some retailers like Amazon and Newegg already have the cards listed for pre-order or even are already are shipping products from some brands with wider availability expected in a few days.

But I’m sure that you’ll be more interested in the new Released 260 driver form Nvidia, as I was (enough to do some testing during my vacation). In the new 260.52 beta driver Nvidia has changed a bit the installer, making it more comfortable and maybe even faster for installation, as well as including all the additional components like PhysX or 3D Vision Driver. However the 3D Vision driver still supports only the free 3D Vision Discover anaglyph mode by default and you still need to install an additional USB driver to the IR transmitter that comes with the 3D Vision active shutter glasses in order to be able to use them. I personally liked very much the option to do a clean install right from the Custom installation menu, and after a bit of testing there are also some performance improvements over the previous driver, however on GTX 480 they are not so noticeable as probably on a slower Fermi-based GPUs like GTS 450 and GTX 460.

The new driver apparently comes with an improved 3D Vision Surround Wizard, however I’m still unable to test that due to lack of enough 3D-capable monitors, so someone with a 3D Vision Surround setup can report on that. There is also a list with information and rating of a lot of games regarding their 3D Vision Surround compatibility and the new 260.50 drivers available for download here in a PDF file.

Regarding the 3D Vision improvements, in the new drivers there is built-in support for 3D video streaming with Mozilla Firefox 4 and Google Chrome too. Apparently we are going to also have two more new 3D-capable LCD monitors, support for which is added int he new drivers and these are BenQ X2410 and NEC F23W2A, although we are quite short on any information about them so far. There is also support for Sony’s 3D Sweep Panorama picture format added to the 3D Photo Viewer as the MPO files produced by Sony’s cameras seem to be slightly different compared to the ones that were already used by Fuji’s 3D cameras. There are also updated 3D Vision game profiles for Mafia 2, StarCraft 2, Drakensang: The Dark Eye, Supreme Commander and Trine.

Nvidia is also reporting added support for playing back Blu‐ray 3D movies when connecting your GPU to an HDMI 1.4 3D TV (requires an additional Blu-ray 3D capable software player) and this apparently means 3DTV Play finally making somewhat of an appearance (nothing mentioned about gaming). However I’m still unable to try that due to the lack of the right hardware to test it with, meaning a 3D HDTV, but people have reported some success with different 3D HDTV brands over the forums by using a leaked version of the driver. Anyway, we are still waiting for official information regarding the 3DTV Play software that is supposed to be available this month according to what Nvidia was telling journalists lately. You are welcome to report about that functionality also if you have a 3D HDTV already when the new beta driver becomes officially available for download probably later today, as it is still only available to the press…

Update: Nvidia has released 3D Vision Driver CD v1.36 Beta that includes GeForce GPU driver 260.63 and NVIDIA 3D Vision Controller Driver 260.63 instead of the expected 260.52 beta drivers. Have in mind that the 3D Vision Driver available as a separate download is now just the USB driver as the rest is included with the video driver. And aside from what was already mentioned about the 260.52 driver, the new driver comes with a few more extras like for example the added support for two new 3D Vision projectors: Sanyo PDG-DWL2500 and ViewSonic PJD6251. There is also a fix for the glasses losing sync to 3D Vision IR emitter that what would cause them to flicker and loss of 3D effect. There are also a few new 3D Vision game profiles added: Arcania Gothic 4, Fallout: New Vegas, FIFA 11, Formula 1 Racing, Final Fantasy XIV Benchmark, Guild Wars 2, Kane & Lynch 2 – Dog Days, Lead and Gold, Lego Harry Potter, Live For Speed, Lost Planet 2, Moonbase Alpha, Serious Sam HD – The Second Encounter, Shrek Forever After, Singularity, Vitrua Tennis 2009 and Virtrua Tennis 3.

To download the latest 3D Vision Driver CD 1.36 beta for 32-bit/64-bit Windows…

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Nvidia 3DTV Play Software Finally to be Available in September

August 23rd, 2010 · 7 Comments · GeForce 3D Vision

August is almost over and apparently we are not going to see the Nvidia 3DTV Play software available as previously expected, but now the Nvidia guys are talking about a September release date to journalists, so the wait is almost over. According to Pocket-lint Nvidia told them that:

Nvidia’s 3DTV Play software will be available as a standalone product for around £30, with the software available for now to existing Nvidia 3D vision kit owners. It will also be bundled in with all kits sold from the date of its release, which we were told will be September.

Personally I’m a bit disappointed because of the recent long waits after the official product announcements for both Fermi, 3D Vision Surround and now the 3DTV Play. Actually I would’ve preferred to get a late product announcement soon followed by the actual product than to have an early announcement and wait for months for the products. Waiting for too long just gets your hopes higher and higher with every passing day and after that when you finally get the actual product you expect it to be much better than it actually is and this way comes the actual disappointment. I’ve already seen the 3DTV Play software in action on a short demonstration and I liked it, but I’m pretty sure that when it finally becomes available there will be more things to be desired despite the long wait. For example HDMI 1.4a support which added a few more features to the S3D specs in the format as apparently the initial 3DTV Play software release will only support HDMI 1.4 specs as reported by some people that also had the chance to play with the software during some demos. Hopefully in September we’ll all finally have a good reason (hopefully) to get a new 3D HDTV for playing PC games in stereo 3D mode on a big screen as with the current level of 3D content available for 3D HDTV owners they still do not seem that attractive.

To read about Engadget’s first hand experience with the 3DTV Play software…
To read about Pocket-lint’s first hand experience with the 3DTV Play software…

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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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