3D Vision Blog

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

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Monster Vision Max 3D Universal vs Panasonic TY-EW3D10U 3D Glasses

January 21st, 2011 · 9 Comments · Other S3D Tech

As an owner of Panasonic 3D-capable Plasma HDTV I was not very happy with the design of the default Panasonic TY-EW3D10U shutter glasses that are coming with the TV, but that did not prevent me from getting a VT20E 3D HDTV, because it is still one of the best HDTVs for 3D content at the moment (and the very similar models from the same VT series for different regions with slight variations). So when I’ve got the universal Monster Vision Max 3D glasses (powered by BitCauldron technology) for testing I’ve started to compare them with the Panasonic TY-EW3D10U 3D shutter glasses, although meanwhile Panasonic also introduced the slightly improved Panasonic TY-EW3D2 (SU/MU/LU) glasses.

Comparing the Monster Vision Max 3D glasses (bottom / left) with the Panasonic TY-EW3D10U 3D glasses (top / right) you can see some of the major differences, like for example the difference in design and size. The Monster Vision shutter glasses have a bigger lenses, especially in terms of height to cover wider area, they seem more like traditional glasses and do not let that much external light like the standard Panasonic 3D glasses. And although the Panasonic TY-EW3D10U 3D glasses seem with a more futuristic design, they are not very well thought in terms of design and functionality, not blocking some of the external light that yo may have and resulting in visible flicker as well as not very convenient nose-pieces for longer use. Also, the Monster Vision Max 3D glasses are universal (can be used on different 3D HDTVs), they use RF (radio) instead or IR (infrared light) for communication and they do come with a built-in rechargeable battery that can be charged through USB. And as you can see from the photos above the Panasonic glasses have a slight yellowish tint on their lenses whereas the Monster Vision lenses are a bit more bluish/greenish.

Due to the fact that the Monster Vision Max 3D universal glasses use radio instead of infrared technology for communicating you need to connect a special infrared to radio transmitter that is a part of the with the Monster Vision Max 3D universal glasses kit. This transmitter is powered over USB, so you can easily connect it to one of the two free USB ports at the back of the VT20E 3D HDTV for example or use an additional USD power adapter, but that may require you to turn it on/off manually. When you have the transmitter connected to a USB port of the TV whenever you turn on the TV set the adapter also turns on and when you turn off the TV the adapter also powers off.

In order to be able to sync the Monster Vision Max 3D glasses with the infrared signal coming from the HDTV you will also need to connect the additional infrared adapter to the transmitter kit and place it somewhere in front of the TV’s infrared emitter so that you can get a good signal. Aside from the infrared adapter for capturing infrared signals and converting them into radio frequency that can be understood by the Monster Vision Max 3D glasses, you also have an option to use a standard VESA mini-din 3-pin stereo connector if your 3D TV has such. For example Sony’s Bravia 3D-capable TV sets that do require an external IR emitter do have a similar connector at the back of the TV, but not exactly the same, meaning that you will not be able to directly use the cable with them, so you will need Sony’s IR emitter for these models and again the IR adapter for the Monster glasses. But thanks to the presence of the standard VESA mini-din 3-pin stereo connector you will also be able to use the glasses together with professional graphic adapters that do support stereo 3D and have the right output on the back of the card. Such are usually the higher-end Nvidia Quadro and ATI/AMD FireGL professional series of video cards that are used together with the OpenGL Quad-Buffer mode by some professionals. Unfortunately the Monster Vision Max 3D universal glasses are not currently compatible with 3D Vision if some of you may wonder about that, although that would offer a nice alternative to the already a bit old as technology and performance 3D Vision shutter glasses.

But how do the Monster Vision Max 3D universal glasses compare to the Panasonic TY-EW3D10U 3D shutter glasses in terms of performance? In terms of comfort they are most certainly better designed, although they felt a bit loose on my head as compared to the tighter Panasonic glasses, but that could be due to the fact that I have an earlier sample and not the final product for testing. The Monster Vision glasses are performing better in blocking external light, especially if coming from the sides as compared to the standard Panasonic glasses. Due to the yellowish tint of the Panasonic’s lenses I thought that the little crosstalk visible on the Panasonic plasma display seemed yellow because of that, but after trying the Monster Vision Max 3D glasses I can confirm that this is not the case, as with them also the crosstalk is still absolutely the same.

After comparing for a while I could not find any difference between the levels of crosstalk on the 3D HDTV with both pairs of glasses and this simply means that the level of crosstalk on the Panasonic’s plasma 3D HDTVs is probably not related to the glasses and cannot be further decreased with improvements in the shutter glasses. And besides the same level of crosstalk, although quite minimal and quite hard to notice in normal use, the visual quality is the same as I could not find any significant visible difference between the two pairs of glasses. The only thing I could notice visually was a very slight difference in color saturation, but normal people probably won’t be able to notice any difference at all. This slight difference can be caused by either the difference in the tint of the lenses or due to the fact that the Monster Vision Max 3D glasses are a bit brighter as compared to the standard Panasonic glasses. That difference in the level of the light blocked by the shutter glasses is hardly visible at all, however it can be measured to about 10-15% in favor of the Monster Vision Max 3D glasses with the help of a lux meter.

And now a bit about the prices of the different types of shutter glasses:
The Monster Vision Max 3D universal kit will be available for $229.95 USD.
The Monster Vision Max 3D universal glasses only will be available for $159.95 USD.
The Panasonic TY-EW3D10U standard shutter glasses are available for $96.17 USD.
The new Panasonic TY-EW3D2 (SU/MU/LU) glasses are available for $149 USD.

The Monster Vision Max 3D universal glasses are not yet on sale, so currently you can only pre-order them, but they should soon be available and as you can see their prices are not much different as compared to non-universal brand specific 3D glasses with similar features (rechargeable battery). The only difference is that you will need to get one full kit that includes the RF transmitter and then you can get only additional pairs of glasses. And the only thing that is kind of missing from the Monster Vision Max 3D universal glasses, the thing that can make them truly universal and not just universal for use with 3D HDTVs is if a user controlled learning mode is added. This way you will be able to make the glasses work with all of your 3D-capable equipment, so that you will not have to have multiple different pairs of 3D glasses for your computer, laptop, television set etc. Meanwhile next in line is a comparison between the Monster Vision Max 3D universal glasses and Samsung and especially Sony’s glasses which I still consider to be one of the best among all currently available shutter glasses…

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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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Time to Upgrade the Stereo 3D Testing Systems to Water Cooling…

June 13th, 2010 · 8 Comments · General 3D News

The summer is coming and it is time to get hot, really hot outside (depending on where you live of course), but with the temperatures increasing and all the hot hardware he have into out computers playing in stereo 3D can bring some issue. You should know that playing games in stereoscopic 3D mode is more demanding for your hardware and that does not mean only the GPU, but all other components and they all generate more heat. And with the the high-end video cards like GeForce GTX 4xx Fermi and Radeon HD 5xxx the heat dissipated is already quite a lot and the air cooling might sometimes give you quite high temperatures reaching even over 100 degrees Celsius or 212 degrees Fahrenheit and that is not good…

I’ve already started working on upgrading my stereoscopic 3D test PC using GeForce GTX 275 and Radeon HD 5970 to water cooling for the quad-core AMD CPU and the Radeon HD 5970 GPU and removing the GTX 275 card (to be used for iZ3D testing). The other project I’ve started working on is building a new Nvidia-based water cooled PC that will use single GeForce GTX 480 videocard and and Intel i7 quad-core processor with everything stuffed inside a Big Corsair Obsidian 800D case (great and big case, on the photo above, ideal for more serious water cooling projects). I think it is about time to get a GTX 480 card for stereoscopic 3D gaming with 3D Vision, because the GTX 275 is a bit old already and the GT 9800Ms in SLI inside the test Dell M1730 laptops is even slower. But thanks to a lot of money going into the upgrade and new system, I’ve postponed the purchase of a new 3D HDTV for testing at least for the end of the year hoping for some better prices and more content and easier PC connectivity for gaming in stereo 3D by then. I’m planning to get a Panasonic VT20E Plasma 3D HDTV as this is what is currently available and the best choice so far from what I’ve seen, unless other competitors manage to offer something better meanwhile.

Say tuned for some more information about the water cooling upgrade for my current test 3D system and the new PC built especially for stereoscopic 3D gaming coming soon… and I do hope to have some benchmarks in stereo 3D with the GTX 480 in stereo 3D mode on some of the newer and popular game titles… ;)

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