When Samsung announced a series of 3D-Ready plasma TVs at last year’s CES, our expectations were high, but tempered with a healthy dose of skepticism. After all, it is commonly understood that plasma display technology suffers from less-than-excellent refresh. When the first sketchy reviews emerged for 3D plasmas, we were disappointed, but not surprised, to hear that ghosting was an issue.
When the Sammy plasmas started streeting at incredibly attractive prices, 3DRoundup decided to put one through its paces. Our test setup was a 42” Samsung 42A450 Plasma 720P HDTV ($689 delivered), a big honking PC with a recent nVidia card running Peter Wimmer’s excellent Stereoscopic Player (if you don’t have it, you don’t get it) and Samsung’s own SSG 1000 shutterglasses. The test images were shot through the lenses of the Samsung shutterglasses with a fixed exposure point-and-shoot digital camera.
If anything could dethrone the Samsung DLP HDTV as the 3DRoundup gold standard in 3D displays, it just may be a Mitsubishi LaserVue. This 10" deep, wall-mountable, DLP rear-projection display uses red, green and blue lasers to generate the projected light. According to Mitsubishi, the lasers save power over LCD and Plasma TVs while delivering substantially more color information than conventional HDTVs. The best part is that the TI SmoothPicture technology built-into Mitsubishi DLP HDTVs makes it possible to get stunningly good 3D. What could better than having 3D frickin' laser beams shooting at your face? Mitsubishi claims that the lasers will work indefinitely without burning out or fading.
Better start saving those pennies now. The 65" LaserVue will set you back $6,999 and begins shipping at the end of September. A 73" model (pricing TBA) will ship later this year. These do represent a substantial premium over other 3D-Ready DLP HDTV's. A comparable 65" 3D-Ready Samsung LED-based DLP streets for about $2,000.
iZ3D has released a beta 3D gaming driver that supports HMDs, DLP TVs, duel-input displays and the Zalman, as well as other interlaced displays. Owners of iZ3D's gaming display have raved about the included driver and its extensive game support - so much so that iZ3D decided to sell the driver as a stand-alone product. Notably, the driver supports both ATI and nVidia cards under XP and Vista.
This is welcome news for stereo 3D gaming enthusiasts who have seen support from nVidia wax and wane in the last few years and have had few other options. Although gaming is best left to the pros over at mtbs3d.com, we'll give this bad boy a spin soon and report back.
Against this, others will be judged and found wanting… That’s how 3D-Ready DLP HDTVs stack up at 3DRoundup. The Samsung HL-T6187S Rear Projection DLP HDTV has become our reference standard for high definition stereo 3D display quality. The underlying Texas Instruments SmoothPicture DLP Technology accomplishes what consumer-level single-screen CRT, LCD and Plasma solutions have all failed to do so far – deliver a bright, clean, high-resolution, well color-balanced, 3D image with a wide viewing angle and without a hint of ghosting or flicker. The quality is stunning – as good as the most meticulously configured and maintained 2-projector setups that we’ve had the good fortune to eyeball.
ViewSonic showed a prototype 120Hz 22” LCD display at nVidia's NVISION event last week. The word on the street is that this display, coupled with active shutterglasses, rocked out a darn-close-to-flawless 3D image.
Does the Zalman ZM-M220W 22" LCD live up to it's manufacturer's claim of "Ultra Clear 3D Imaging?" Yes... for a single viewer who's noggin is exactly in the correct vertical position for viewing. With that caveat, the Zalman’s integrated XPOL micro-polarizer filter, combined with the included circular-polarized passive glasses deliver a nearly ghost-free, bright, well color-balanced 3D image.