3D Vision Blog

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

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No Stereo 3D Support on Acer Iconia Tab A510 Tegra 3 Tablet

July 29th, 2012 · 3 Comments · Other S3D Tech

Up until now I’ve had the impression that all Nvidia Tegra 3-based devices should have stereoscopic 3D support when connected through HDMI to an external 3D-capable TV set (or other display device supporting HDMI 1.4 3D). I’ve already played a bit and liked the stereoscopic 3D support on the Asus Transformer Pad (TF300) tablet a while ago and I’ve decided to try out another Tegra 3-based tablet that comes with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich pre-installed – the Acer Iconia Tab A510 tablet. I’ve tried connecting the tablet to multiple 3D-capable display devices such as a Panasonic 3D plasma HDTV, a 3D monitor from Acer and a 3D projector with HDMI 1.4 support, but no luck in being able to enable stereo 3D support or in seeing the HDMI menu with the settings appear. The external display works just fine and displays what is shown on the tablet’s screen, but only in normal 2D mode, so apparently the the Acer Iconia Tab A510 Tegra 3 tablet simply does not feature stereoscopic 3D support. I can say I’m a bit disappointed, though besides the lack of stereoscopic 3D support the tablet actually seems quite nice and comes at a good price…

There are probably other Tegra 3-based devices that may or may not support stereoscopic 3D output to a 3D-capable display device using HDMI, so if this is a feature that you want to have on your tablet, you better try it out or thoroughly check if it is really supported before deciding on the product. The thing that I’m not very happy about is that there is no clear information which Tegra 3 devices do support stereoscopic 3D output on an external device and though Nvidia has a list of all Tegra powered products released on the market, this list does not include that information (and device manufacturers not always make information about that support or the lack of such available). The Tegra dedicated website that Nvidia also has called Tegra Zone also does not contain a list of devices with clear information on the features they support such as stereoscopic 3D output, though you can check what Tegra-optimized games do support stereo 3D mode on it. And here I’m wondering am I the only one interested in the stereoscopic 3D features of Tegra 3-based devices, surely not, but it seems like if Nvidia does not care much about that feature that is apparently supported by Tegra 3, though not available on all Tegra 3-based devices. And stereoscopic 3D support is a feature that can really make a difference for some people when making a choice for a new tablet or a smartphone and they want to be able to connect it to a 3D HDTV and use in stereo 3D mode.

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Playing with Tegra 3-powered Tablets in Stereoscopic 3D Mode

July 5th, 2012 · 10 Comments · Other S3D Tech

Back in March I’ve posted some information on how you can play games in stereoscopic 3D mode on an Android-based tablet using the Nividia Tegra 3 platform with the help of an external 3D HDTV, 3D projector or a 3D monitor supporting HDMI 1.4 input. Recently I’ve had the chance to try out the new Asus Transformer Pad TF300 tablet with Tegra 3 for a bit and I’ve used the opportunity to do some stereoscopic 3D testing with it on a Panasonic 3D HDTV as well as on a passive 3D monitor from LG. The Transformer Pad tablet comes with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich OS and an additional dock station/keyboard which makes it a great alternative to a netbook for example. In order to use the stereoscopic 3D capabilities of the Tegra 3 inside you’d need to get an extra micro-HDMI to HDMI cable as such is not included in the accessories by default, then you need to just plug the tablet to the 3D display and enable the stereoscopic 3D functionality.

To enable the stereoscopic 3D functionality of the platform you need to go to the Settings menu of the tablet, and under System / HDMI to put a tick on “Enable 3D” and you are ready to go. Now you just need to run a compatible game that supports stereoscopic 3D output or play some stereo 3D content on the device and you’ll be able to see it in stereoscopic 3D format on the external 3D display device you’ve connected to the tablet.

In the Settings of the tablet here is an option to “Adjust game’s 3D depth” in the settings of the tablet that works pretty much like the depth slider you get with 3D Vision on PC. But you’d probably want to use the slider you have available in the quick settings menu (called from the lower right corner of screen) to be able to adjust the game’s depth level on the fly while playing it.

With the help of an external stereoscopic 3D-capable display on devices such as the Asus TF300 that are powered by Nvidia’s Tegra 3 you should be able to play games in stereo 3D mode, and also view 3D videos and 3D photos. Now the situation with the games is such that only some titles optimized for Tegra 3 will be playable in stereoscopic 3D mode, you can find the list of these on the official Tegra Zone website. In March when I last wrote about stereo 3D support on Tegra 3 the number of these games was 16 and unfortunately now, almost 4 months later that number has not increased, but even with 16 games it is quite Ok as you have a choice. The situation with 3D video playback out of the box was also Ok, you can just play a stereo 3D video in Side by Side and have it displayed on the external 3D display in stereoscopic 3D mode. For example the DEUS EX HOMINE short 3D moco time-lapse video still looks impressive even when played back trough a Tegra 3 powered tablet. With stereo 3D photos out of the box however I’ve had some trouble, the tablet was not properly playing neither JPS, nor MPO 3D photos in stereoscopic 3D format, it was showing them as Side by Side photos in 2D. So more testing is apparently required and I’m going to put that in my to do list – more stereoscopic 3D testing with Terga 3 tablets…

I’ve already mentioned that the stereoscopic 3D support found on the Tegra 3-powered Android-based tablets is similar to 3D Vision on PC and the same can pretty much be said about the level of quality of the stereoscopic 3D conversion of the supported games. Apparently there are profiles for the supported games with preset convergence and you can only control the depth level, also you are not able to kind of force the stereoscopic 3D rendering on games that are not officially supported. The stereoscopic 3D output in games does look very nice, for example in Shadowgun that is on the photos above, but there are still some minor issues that you can notice. Again things that you’d be familiar with if you’ve used 3D Vision on PC, like for example the 2D crosshair that is available in Shadowgun when running the game in stereo 3D mode. But these are all minor issues that most of the not so experienced with streo 3D users may not even notice. I’ve also tried paying Samurai II: Vengeance and Riptide GP and they also looked very nice in stereoscopic 3D mode with no serious issues in the stereo 3D rendering on the external 3D display…

So if you already happen to have a Nvidia Tegra 3 powered tablet or a smartphone for that matter I’d recommend you to try out the stereoscopic 3D output of the device with an external 3D display supporting HDMI 1.4 frame packaged 3D input. What I’m already waiting for is the next step – a Tegra 3-powered tablet with an autostereoscopic 3D display built-in, so you will not need to use an external 3D-capable display to use the 3D features. Hopefully the wait for such a tablet won’t be very long as there is one such already in the works and it is called Wikipad with the release date for the device currently set for some time in the end of the 3rd Quarter of this year, so maybe just around the corner already.

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