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3D LCD Monitors Getting HDMI 1.4(a) Support, But is it All That Good?

November 7th, 2010 · 10 Comments · Other S3D Tech

We already know that the new wave of 3D-capable LCD monitors will get support for HDMI 1.4(a) as all currently available monitors that have HDMI input only use 1.3 version of the specification and that does not allow them to receive 3D content other than through the Dual-Link DVI. So getting new 3D LCD monitors available with HDMI 1.4(a) support sounds like a good thing as it will allow you to also connect consumer devices with 3D-capabilities that do use this industrial standard. However I’m getting a bad feeling about this, as some manufacturers might decide to go only for HDMI 1.4(a) and ditch the support for DVI at all, and that will not be a good thing at all…

Maybe the frame sequential mode that we are currently using to get Full HD resolution with 120Hz over the Dual-Link DVI interface is not the best choice and not widely supported as it is happening with the industry standard that is HDMI 1.4(a), but that should not mean to ditch it in favor of only supporting the HDMI for stereo 3D content. Just to remind that HDMI 1.4(a) is using frame packing and is limited to 1080p 24Hz 3D mode as well as 720p 50/60Hz 3D mode, so you will not be able to use the native 1080p resolution with 60 fps per eye like you can currently do over DL DVI. Supporting both DL DVI and the frame sequential mode as well as HDMI 1.4(a) and its frame packing method for sending stereo 3D content to a monitor might make it a bit more expensive, but is a much better choice than getting only HDMI 1.4(a) support. The support for the later one will also mean that you will not be able to use 120Hz refresh rate at all when not in stereo 3D mode, but instead will be limited to only 60Hz… and I’m sure you will not like to be further limited with a new monitor than you are with the current generation of 3D LCDs already available. I hope I’m wrong here, we might soon start seeing the next generation of 3D LCD monitors with HDMI 1.4(a) and no DVI connectors at all.

The release of the firs 3D-capable monitors with DisplayPort might be the resolution to the situation we are facing with getting HDMI-only 3D monitors, however DP is not yet that commonly available on video cards, so you might also need an adapter from DVI to DisplayPort. AMD gave us a hint about getting 3D-capable monitors with DisplayPort sometime in 2011 and their video cards in general have a DP than HDMI connector, but Nvidia is still focusing mostly on HDMI along the traditional DVI connectors. But talking about next generation of 3D-capable LCD monitors we should not forget that we also need better and with a faster response time LCD panels in order for the users to get better 3D experience and have less issues…

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