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Using Tegra 3 Devices for Stereo 3D Output on External 3D Displays

March 10th, 2012 · 4 Comments · Other S3D Tech

Lately Nvidia has been talking a lot about their new Tegra 3 platform and during MWC 2012 together with their partners they were demonstrating a lot of new products based on it that should soon be coming on the market. Meanwhile the only Tegra 3-based tablet that is already on the market – Asus Transformer Prime is getting a lot of attention, but one of the features of the latest Tegra platform, also supported on the Transformer Prime, is kind of overlooked. While there is still no Tegra-based tablet or smartphone with a built-in stereoscopic 3D display, you are able to actually use these devices with a 3D-capable monitor or a 3D HDTV in 3D mode. The Tegra 3 platform officially supports stereoscopic 3D output over the HDMI 1.4 interface, so if you connect it to an external 3D-capable display you can actually use a device such as the Transformer Prime to play 3D videos, watch 3D photos and of course play games in stereoscopic 3D format…

Actually the most interesting part is that the Tegra 3 uses a very similar technology like 3D Vision on PC to enable the stereoscopic 3D rendering of some games. Thanks to the increased performance of the Tegra 3 you are able to automatically, and in real-time, convert some OpenGL based games and apps into stereo 3D and play them on a big 3D-capable display. And the nice thing is that you also have an easy access to controlling the level of depth on a Tegra 3-based device similar to the way that the depth slider works on the 3D Vision.

Here is what you need to do to activate the 3D mode on a Tegra 3-based device:

– Connect your Tegra 3 mobile device to a 3D-capable monitor to 3D HDTV with HDMI 1.4 support.
– Look for Tegra Zone games that support the “3D Stereoscopic” feature, you can easily spot them on the Tegra Zone app or at Tegra Zone web site, use the “3D Stereoscopic” category filter.
– Start the game, the game will automatically be rendered in stereoscopic 3D mode on the 3D-capable external display as the screen of the Asus Transformer Prime or another new compatible tablet or smartphone based on Tegra 3.
– To adjust the 3D depth in game, pull up the quick settings menu (from the lower right corner of screen) and adjust the 3D depth slider left/right to decrease or increase the level of depth you are getting.

Currently there are 16 game titles optimized for Tegra that are supporting the real-time stereoscopic 3D conversion if you connect your compatible Tegra 3 device to a 3D-capable display and thanks to the ability to also use a console game controller together with your tablet you can get something that is quite close to a 3D-capable console. And thanks to the hardware accelerated video decoding and playback features one Tegra 3-based tablet could easily become a portable stereo 3D video player that would allow you to play 3D HD video clips on your big screen 3D HDTV for example. The last thing would of course need some work to make things work the way you want them to, but since there are still not a lot of options available for portable HD video players supporting stereo 3D video playback it is definitely something to dig a bit into. So maybe I should consider getting a Tegra 3-based Transformer Prime tablet to play a bit with and test and experiment with its 3D-capabilities. If you already own one of these devices and have tried the stereo 3D capabilities together with an external stereo 3D display feel free to share your feedback below…

For a list of all the Tegra-optimized games that support stereoscopic 3D rendering…

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