3D Vision Blog

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

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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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Nvidia Verde Notebook 3D Vision Driver CD v1.24 Was Just Released

March 29th, 2010 · 7 Comments · GeForce 3D Vision

It seems that Nvidia has decided to finally update the notebook drivers to the latest version 197.16 to have the latest features and performance improvements and to bring official support for the GeForce 300M series GPUs that are starting to appear. Also the mobile drivers now seem to be called Nvidia Verde Notebook Drivers, probably to have something to differentiate them from the desktop drivers. Along with that Nvidia has released an updated driver CD version 1.24 that includes the latest GPU driver version 197.16 along with the 3D Vision Driver version 197.16. What is interesting in this driver is the first to officially support 3D Vision usage on a laptop (other than the 3D-ready Asus G51J 3D) with the help of an external display. This driver also supports the Asus G51J 3D laptop that has a built-in 120Hz LCD panel, so you should update if you already have one of these laptops as the latest driver CD for it was 1.17 which is already quite old.

Now what came as a bit of disappointment is the fact that the new Nvidia Verde Notebook 3D Vision Driver CD v1.24 is intended for supporting only notebooks using the latest GeForce 200M and 300M series GPUs (but that is according to Nvidia). Another interesting bit of information on the support page for the new driver CD suggests that the Blu-ray 3D playback (3rd party software required) is going to work only on the mobile 300M series of GPUs. I’ve tried to install the new driver on my Dell XPS M1730 laptop with dual 9800M GT in SLI and I everything installed smoothly and worked like a charm. The GPU driver recognized the video cards and installed without problem, then the 3D Vision driver complained (before connecting the external 120Hz display) of not finding a compatible panel. The interesting thing is that after that there was no Stereoscopic 3D panel present in the NVIDIA Control panel, but after connecting an external 120Hz LCD monitor the Stereoscopic 3D control panel appeared and the stereo 3D mode was working just fine.

Currently the 3D Vision driver for notebooks supports the usage of external 3D projector, 3D-ready DLP HDTVs or 120Hz LCD, but with the upcoming availability of the NVIDIA 3DTV Play software we are probably going to get support for also using our notebooks as a source for 3D content after connecting them through HDMI to the TV set (no need to have HDMI 1.4 on the laptop, only on the TV). This will however probably require you to purchase the 3DTV Play software, although this is still not very clear as Nvidia has promised to provide the software for free to current 3D Vision owners.

And the stupid thing of actually not being able to enable the free 3D Vision Discover mode on your laptop is still present as you get the quite well known error message that your laptop LCD panel is not qualified for 3D Vision as it is not 120Hz. But then again for anaglyph mode you don’t need a special panel, so forget about trying out the “free” anaglyph mode with the 3D Vision on your laptop once again (or go for an older 3D Vision drivers and modify them to work on your laptop)… but then again it is easier to go for other alternatives also offering free anaglyph mode that actually does work!

To download the latest Nvidia Verde Notebook 3D Vision Driver CD v1.24…

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Nvidia is Getting Ready for 3D HDTV Support With 3DTV Play

March 15th, 2010 · 14 Comments · GeForce 3D Vision

Recently with the non-stop talk about the upcoming 3D-ready HDTVs there was a lot of talk and questions if 3D Vision will work on these or not and Nvidia has just answered to that question, at least partially. The company has just announced its software solution called 3DTV Play that will supposedly enable Nvidia GeForce GPU-powered PCs or notebooks to be connected to 3DTVs over the new HDMI 1.4 interface and play games in stereoscopic 3D mode just like what currently the owners of 3D Vision active shutter glasses and 120Hz LCD monitors are able to do on their computers. Besides being able to play games in S3D mode you should also be able to watch upcoming Blu-ray 3D Hollywood blockbusters, view digital 3D photographs, and even streaming 3D movies according to Nvidia. The 3DTV Play software will be available later this spring and sold separately with an anticipated U.S. MSRP of $39.99, but it should be available for free for current 3D Vision customers (with a free future software update of the 3D Vision drivers)…

For the launch of 3DTV Play, Nvidia has teaming up with Panasonic on its coast-to-coast 2010 “Panasonic Touch the Future Tour,” where consumers can test drive 3DTV Play-based PCs running on the new Panasonic VIERA Full HD 3D TVs, that just launched this month, but the solution should work with other brands of 3D-capable HDTVs with HDMI 1.4 interface. The active-shutter glasses bundled with each Panasonic VIERA full HD 3D TV are supposed to work seamlessly with Nvidia GPUs and off-the-shelf PC gaming titles and other 3D entertainment content already available or released in the future. This means that you will not have to rely on the Nvidia 3D Vision active shutter glasses to have the same features available on a new generation of 3D-ready HDTV that ships with its own active shutter glasses. According to the information 3DTV Play can be run on GeForce GPU-based desktop or notebook PCs equipped with an HDMI or DVI connector (over an adapter to HDMI most likely), although it will most likely not work (not confirmed yet) with the 3D Vision kit, although the owners of 3D Vision will get the 3DTV Play software for free. The 3DTV Play software supposedly offers support for HDMI 1.4 equipped TVs and can provide support for the 1080p24, 720p60, and 720p50 3D formats specified in this version of the HDMI specifications. The first one obviously is for Blu-ray 3D as you probably would not want to play games with 24 frames per eye even if it is in Full HD resolution, so for gaming you’ll probably have to go for 1280×720 resolution with either 50 or 60 frames per eye (100/120Hz).

If you want to visit the official Nvidia 3DTV Play product page…

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