3D Vision Blog

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

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HP ENVY 17 3D a 3D-capable Multimedia Laptop by the End of the Year

September 1st, 2010 · 5 Comments · Other S3D Tech

It is now official as HP has announced their plans to release the HP ENVY 17 3D, a 3D-capable multimedia laptop for the holiday season this year. There were a lot of rumors going on about HP getting a 3D-capable laptop since quite a lot of time, at first for a professional solution, but now we actually get a quite powerful consumer laptop. And if we are lucky enough we may also see the HP 2310g 120Hz LCD monitor too, as apparently HP is finally ready to also jump on the 3D wave.

It is interesting to note the fact that the HP ENVY 17 3D is actually the first 17-inch notebook to support 1080p 3D, meaning Full HD 120Hz screen for gaming and Blu-ray 3D movie playback apparently. But more interesting is the fact that the laptop is based on an ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5850 graphics card and that means no Nvidia 3D Vision, but an alternative solution also based on active shutter glasses. So that can either be some HP solution developed on their own, or more likely the AMD/ATI stereoscopic 3D solution that we’ve been waiting to see for quite some time now. The powerful video card should be backed by a quad-core Intel Core i7 processor, so there should be no problems in using this laptop not only for watching multimedia content in 3D, but also playing games in stereo 3D mode.

Also as a part of HP’s ongoing partnership with the National Basketball Association (NBA), select models of the HP ENVY 17 3D will include some 3D action from the 2010 NBA All-Star Game. Additionally a 3D movie trailer for the upcoming animated film “MEGAMIND” from DreamWorks Animation will be included, which is certainly Ok, but definitely we could use some more 3D video content.

The HP ENVY 17 3D is expected to be available this holiday season with pricing yet to be determined, but considering that the currently available non-3D version of the HP ENVY 17 with similar parameters starts at $1,399.99 USD, the standard configuration of the 3D version of the laptop will most likely be in the range of $1600-$1800 USD.

To visit the official website for the upcoming HP ENVY 17 3D laptop…

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ATI Catalyst 10.3a Preview Driver with Stereoscopic 3D Support is Out

March 19th, 2010 · 3 Comments · General 3D News

AMD/ATI has made available an early “preview” version of their new Catalyst 10.3 driver for download for both Desktop and Mobile users with Windows Vista and Windows 7 operating systems. The official Catalyst 10.3 driver WHQL-ed is due in a few days or to be more exact on 24th and it should not be much different than this one, just supposedly more stable and problem free. Besides the normal updates resulting issues being fixed and some performance improvement in Catalyst 10.3a there are also some improvements that will be interesting to Eyefinity users (anyone out there actually taking advantage of Eyefinity yet?). But probably what is the most interesting in this new driver release is the introduction of official Stereoscopic 3D support for 120Hz displays and shutter glasses on driver level…

ATI Catalyst support for 3D Stereoscopic glasses
AMD has updated it’s Direct3D (Quad buffer support) driver to enable 3rd party middleware vendors such as iZ3D to output stereo L/R images at 120 Hz (60 Hz per eye)

But don’t be too happy yet, as the above quote just says that ATI has introduced some new functionality to make it easier for other companies such as iZ3D and DDD to implement shutter glasses support in their products so that when they are combined with new ATI hardware and the new 10.3 driver (or later) the users will be able to play games in stereoscopic 3D mode with a 120Hz LCD monitor and a set of supported shutter glasses. Both iZ3D and DDD still haven’t announced when they will actually add this support in their products and the supported shutter glasses produced by Bit Cauldron will most likely not hit the market before summer time. So you’ll have to wait some more time before actually being able to play with active shutter glasses on ATI hardware…

It is interesting to note that DDD released an update for their TriDef software suite on the same day that ATI released the preview driver, but unfortunately the new TriDef 3D 4.2.1 package just adds more game profiles and fixes some issues. On the other hand iZ3D is keeping silent for a few months already staying at driver version 1.10 and not even releasing betas like they did more frequently in previous years, but that probably means that they are really working on some really big changes.

Download links for the new ATI Catalyst 10.3a preview driver with S3D support

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ATI Has Announced Its Open Stereo 3D Initiative at GDC 2010

March 11th, 2010 · 15 Comments · General 3D News

More interesting news coming from GDC 2010 in San Francisco, this time from ATI announcing their Open Stereo 3D Initiative in trying to work with more partners to ensure support for multiple different stereoscopic 3D solutions (learning that thanks to MTBS3D, not from ATI!). The idea of the open initiative is to offer consumers additional choices when selecting an S3D solution, more innovations and of course help in lowering the costs for the hardware and software making it easier for wider adoption. ATI (AMD) and its partners will supposedly soon announce a lineup of 3D products, including a 3D-enabled ATI Eyefinity technology (to counter Nvidia’s 3D Vision Surround), 120Hz 3D-ready displays and notebooks, active shutter glasses and passive polarized ones (have you heard of passive shutter glasses!?), S3D support for DirectX 9, 10 and 11, Quad Buffered OpenGL, Blu-ray 3D support. As you can see from the presentation slide above the 3D-gaming middleware partners are DDD and iZ3D, and for Blu-ray 3D support ArcSoft and CyberLink. ATI is also going to try to work on establishing standards that will help in having compatibility and much wider choices when building your computer and stereo 3D setup if they are adopted by others. The only thing that still remains to be seen is how soon we are going to see actual products on the market as ATI has been talking about S3D support for quite some time, but still no dates when to expect it are available… although we have multiple hints about summer availability. But being so open I still don’t see ATI joining the S-3D Gaming Alliance like two of their major partners that will make stereo 3D gaming possible on ATI GPUs (iZ3D and DDD) or any other association that is trying to openly promote stereoscopic 3D technologies?! But for that matter Nvidia is also not a member of S3DGA or any other similar independent organizations, as far as I know…

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