3D Vision Blog

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

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The New Windows 8 OS and the Stereoscopic 3D Support in It

November 3rd, 2012 · 11 Comments · General 3D News

The new Windows 8 OS from Microsoft has been officially out for a few days already and you can get it and upgrade to it or get it with the purchase of a new PC. The big question is if you should do it now, wait for some time before going for Windows 8 or not even think about upgrade for the time being or at all. You can say that the most worked on part of the new OS is the new interface designed for mobile devices such as tablets or computers with touch screen interface, but that can also be considered as the biggest drawback for the users of traditional computers that are used to things like the Start button and programs menu as are missing it. Sure there are other improvements as well and changes that are considered “for the better” for the user, but do all users think they can actually benefit from them. Actually the overall user impressions from the new Windows 8 seem to be more negative than positive, even though people are saying that the new OS works faster and is smoother compared to Windows 7.

And here comes another important question, does Windows 8 work well for stereoscopic 3D use, something that probably a lot of people that are into stereo 3D are asking about. There have been some changes in the video driver model used in Windows 8 and the makers of graphics processors have already implemented and released drivers supporting this, however there might be trouble with other drivers for different hardware, though drivers for Windows 7 might still work if they are digitally signed. There might be some issues for a while with games using different DRM solutions or cheat protection algorithms, preventing you from running certain games, but hopefully these will soon be resolved. Another thing that you might have trouble with if going for the new Windows 8 are all those workaround solutions and tricks that you might’ve used successfully under Windows 7 for making different older or not officially supported 3D hardware working.

My advice for now is not to be in a hurry to go for Windows 8, or at least not as the sole OS you have on your computer. If you want to check it out and try migrating to Windows 8 slowly, then you better start with it installed as a second OS, or even in a virtual machine, as you might have trouble making all your hardware work, trouble with some of the software you are used to working with, or you may not like the new concept at all and decide to skip it and wait for the next major OS release, or at least for some updates or tools to make the transition easier. I already have Windows 8 as a second OS installed, more out of curiosity an to try it out and test various things, including stereoscopic 3D support as well. If you’ve already installed Windows 8 and have tried it, you might’ve faced some issues and here you can share your trouble making things work properly in stereoscopic 3D mode, so that we can find a solution that will work in Windows 8.

I’ll start with one very useful tool that I’ve found out about, a tool that actually makes Windows 8 useable for me, it is called Windows 7 Explorer for Windows 8 (Ex7ForW8) and what it does is to replace the new Windows 8 shell with the one from Windows 7, bringing you back the Start button and menu from Windows 7 into Windows 8. You need to have an installation copy of Windows 7 as the software needs to copy the Explorer.exe executable file from it (it is not included with the installer) and you can easily revert back to the standard Windows 8 shell should you decide to do that as some point. Feel free to share not only your problems, but also some other interesting things that you’ve found out to be useful for you in Windows 8 in the comments below.

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New GeForce Beta Driver 296.17 for Windows 8 Consumer Preview

March 13th, 2012 · 3 Comments · GeForce 3D Vision

About two weeks ago Microsoft has made available the Windows 8 Consumer Preview for download, so that everyone interested can test the early preview version of the OS and now Nvidia has just released a full set of drivers for all of their GPUs. The just released GeForce Beta Driver 296.17 are available for both GeForce and Quadro GPU-based desktops and notebooks on Nvidia’s website as well as on Microsoft’s Windows Update. Windows 7, vista and Windows XP users aren’t left out either. An equivalent driver, version 296.10 (WHQL-certified) is also available from today with it and the Windows 8 version being a quick refresh in terms of features and support from the recently released version GeForce 295.73 drivers. The new GeForce version 296.10 drivers add 3D Vision support for the following games: Dear Esther – Rated Good and Deep Black: Reloaded – Rated 3D Vision Ready.

The new Nvidia Windows 8 video drivers support all the features of the new Windows Display Driver Model (WDDM) v1.2 and also support the 3D Vision and 3DTV Play products, allowing you to play more than 600 games, watch Blu-ray movies and view photos in 3D. With Windows 8’s new built-in stereoscopic 3D support in DirectX 11, 3D Vision is poised to provide users the best platform for games and applications according to Nvidia.

And now for some more details about what features are supports and what not in the new Windows 8 Consumer Preview drivers from Nvidia based on the information available form Nvidia:

What 3D Vision features are available right now on the Windows 8 Consumer Preview?
Currently all fullscreen 3D Vision and 3DTV Play functionality is available on Windows 8 Consumer Preview. This include games, 3D Vision Photo Viewer, 3D Vision Video Player, and Blu-ray 3D. 3DVisionLive.com and 3D Vision window mode support will be available at a later date.

I read that Windows 8 now natively supports stereoscopic 3D. What applications can I use to test that?
Please use the samples from MSDN to test Windows 8 native 3D support: Direct3D stereoscopic 3D sample

I noticed Microsoft now has a stereoscopic 3D option on their display properties control panel. How do I enable 3D Vision on Windows 8 Consumer Preview?
Please use the traditional NVIDIA Control Panel > Set up stereoscopic 3D options to enable 3D Vision and 3DTV Play.

What 3D Vision features are enabled on Windows 8 Metro user interface?
The current NVIDIA Windows 8 Consumer Preview drivers do not support these products. We are working on drivers to support these products later this year. The feature support will include 3D Vision Photo and Video Player applications and also 3D applications.

Is NVIDIA 3D Vision Surround supported on Windows 8 Consumer Preview with the current 3D Vision drivers?
Yes, 3D Vision Surround is fully supported with the latest drivers.

Are “Optimized for GeForce” products such as glasses free 3D notebooks and passive 3D monitors supported on Windows 8?
The current NVIDIA drivers for the Windows 8 Consumer Preview do not support these products. We are working on drivers to support these products later this year.

Are 3D Vision DLP HDTVs 3DTV Play supported in the Windows 8 Consumer Preview?
The current NVIDIA Windows 8 Consumer Preview drivers do not support these products. We are working on drivers to support these products later this year.

I do not see a checkbox for stereoscopic 3D in the Microsoft Control Panel. How do I enable it in Windows 8?
After a clean install of the NVIDIA drivers, please reboot the system and the checkbox should show up.

I updated to Windows 8 and I can no longer play Blu-ray 3D movies. How can I fix this?
Blu-ray 3D players – such as Cyberlink, Roxio, and ArcSoft – need to be updated to support Blu-ray 3D playback on Windows 8. Please consult your software manufacturer to ensure you are using a version that supports Windows 8.

You can download the latest Nvidia GeForce video drivers form here…

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Windows 8 Consumer Preview Version Now Available to Try

February 29th, 2012 · 8 Comments · General 3D News

Today Microsoft has officially released Windows 8 Consumer Preview version of their multi-platform upcoming operating system that will be able to work not only on traditional x86-based platforms, but also on mobile devices. Have in mind that this is a pre-release operating system or something like a beta software and you may have issues with it should you decide to try it out, do not try replacing your current operating system with this one, you have to install it separately just to test it out and not over your existing Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7. There may be some issues with no drivers available for some of your hardware, although drivers from Windows 7 might also work, the same goes for the video drivers as well, although the new Windows 8 will have a new driver model that will be required to support all the new features, including native stereoscopic 3D support.

Currently Nvidia has not yet made available any beta drivers intended to be used with the just released Windows 8 Consumer Preview, what they recommend however is to install the R295.73 display drivers for Windows 7/Windows Vista on Windows 8, they should work, but again you may not get all the features available with them. On the other hand AMD has just released AMD Catalyst Drivers for Windows 8 Consumer Preview that you can download and install. And although these beta drivers from AMD are supposed to offer Full WDDM 1.2 support, including the native stereo 3D support, they are not compatible with the latest generation of AMD Radeon HD 7900 Series, and AMD Radeon HD 7700 Series video cards, but only with the older models.

Feel free to download and try the new Windows 8 Consumer Preview version and to report how well it works for you and on what hardware, and also if you’ve tried playing in stereo 3D mode on your stereoscopic 3D-capable system. I’m already downloading it and am eager to check out the Native Stereo 3D support with the AMD Catalyst Driver 8.93.7 RC10 while waiting fro Nvidia to have a WDDM 1.2 beta driver released to also try it out.

To download the Windows 8 Consumer Preview as an ISO image for burning on DVD…

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