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nVidia 3D Vision Discover

A 3D technology from nVida which uses anaglyph glasses

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3D is the new HD and nVidia is here to help

  • Jan 19, 2010
Rating:
+3
3D technology seems to be the hot topic lately.  Avatar kicked things off with the amazing 3D IMAX presentation of an imaginary land.  Then CES followed up with new 3D projectors, bluray players and televisions.  Even ESPN announced they would be broadcasting in 3D this year.  The problem was that other than dropping $15 at a time to go see Avatar over and over, I couldn't get my 3D fix.  Everything from CES was "coming soon" or "in development" ... or was really really expensive.  Was I going to have to suffer through another year of "just HDTV" quality content until the 3D technology went mainstream?  HECK NO!

While browsing around at the local Fry's Electronics, I came across a kiosk from nVidia.  They had a product called NVIDIA 3D Vision which used expensive looking "high tech wireless glasses" to create 3D similar to the technology in the movie theaters.  (side note:  Serious?  Wireless glasses?)  The technology was essentially able to enhance just about any existing game and turn it into a true HD game.  Unfortunately, cost of entry still wasn't cheap.

3D Vision Requirements
  • Requires Windows Vista or Windows 7 -- "okay, I can do that"
  • Requires nVidia video card (8800 or newer) - "check, got that"
  • Requires nVidia 3D Vision kit $200 - "ooph.  That's a bit steep, but if it makes ALL games better.."
  • Requires specific monitors with 120hz refresh rate -- "ouch.  I'm out"
Hoping for some sort of loophole, crazy discounts, or minor miracle, I kept investigating the nVidia pathway until I came across the 3D Vision Discover technology.  This also turns games into a 3D experience, but it uses the older anaglyph glasses (the old red/blue cardboard 3d glasses... like the ones I still had from that Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue where they had some pictures in 3d.  What I don't know is why I still had the glasses but not the magazine???).  More importantly, the 3D Vision Discover had a lower cost of entry (yet still pretty steep if you were starting from scratch).

3D Vision DISCOVER Requirements

  • Requires Windows Vista or Windows 7 -- "okay, I can do that"
  • Requires nVidia video card (8800 or newer) - "check, got that"
  • Requires red/blue 3d glasses - "check!  I'm In!"
Once I realized I met all the requirements, I started loading up my computer with games.

The 3d effect from the anaglyph glasses isn't nearly as good as the technology used for Avatar in the theater, but it does add a unique element to the gaming experience.  I found that when I first put on the glasses, everything was still fuzzy and difficult to focus on, but as I let my eyes relax (kinda like looking at those old 3d puzzles at the mall), the picture began to come into focus.  After a while, it didn't look like I was looking at a computer monitor, but it felt like I was  looking out a window.  Because of the red/blue color filters, the color spectrum of games is significantly reduced, but again, after playing for a little while, it because less of a distraction and just part of the game.

I only tested a handful of games (Mirror's Edge, Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter, and Titan Quest), and each time I came away with a similar response.  I'd spend the first 5-10 minutes just looking around and trying to focus on the 3D effects, but after a few minutes, the 3D effects were lost on me and I was engrossed in playing the game.  You can use a keyboard shortcut to turn the 3D effect on and off, and a few times, it actually felt like a relief just to turn off the 3D and play the game normally.  There does appear to be a performance hit with the 3D Discover effect as Ghost Recon was nearly unplayable at my monitor's native resolution, yet it played fine when the 3D was turned off.

All in all, I got my 3D fix, but I wouldn't say I'm ready to rush out and step up to the better nVidia 3D Vision technology.  In my opinion, for 3D to really be most effective, it has to be big (like using a projector, rather than a monitor).  Staring into a monitor with 3D effects was akin to looking into a shoebox diorama, and I want my 3D experience to completely engage me.  Now that it is setup, I'm sure I'll toggle the 3D effects on and off from time to time to see how different games handle in 3D, but I wouldn't recommend anyone go out and make a purchase at this point just for this functionality.  However, if you already have all the  prerequisites, then it is definitely worth a try.

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June 13, 2010
I can't be bothered with the 3D glasses. They are not practical for personal use. I know my daughter would break those just as easily as she breaks everything else. I appreciate the concept behind the this but like you said, it not for "all the time" use. I will have to wait for a more "family-friendly" system comes out
 
January 21, 2010
Did you know that they just finished creating the standard for "Blu-ray 3D"? A future firmware upgrade for the PS3 (later this year) should make it "3D Blu-ray" compatible, and many new TV's are made to be "3D ready". There are also rumors that existing Plasma TVs are already compatible because of their fast refresh rate. So... we may all get our 3D fixes soon. I'm hoping 2010 will be the year for 3D to finally go mainstream in a big way...
 
January 20, 2010
Many years ago, the goggle type of screen viewing was launch in Japan for projecting TV images to the goggle so that it appeared you are watching a 52" screen when putting on the goggle. I thought that was cool then but didn't buy it coz I don't like wearing a goggle while watching TV! Neither did it take off in Japan and the product wasn't even launched in the world! Unless this nVidia product is going to be looking cool and light to wear, ie. comfortable enough to wear for hours, then I am not so sure about its viability. Still, nVidia sounds like a good company. Its founder was in Shanghai more than a year ago and appeared on a talk show. Former Taiwanese, I believe.
January 20, 2010
I completely agree. Watching TV is very often a social behavior. Unless I'm turning out all the lights and closing the door to watch a movie, I'm usually talking and moving around quite a bit while watching TV. I don't see myself handing out eye glasses to everyone when they come over to watch a football game or something. But for a solo distraction, like the occasional video game, a 3D experience is pretty fun.
 
January 19, 2010
Thanks for my geek-fix of the day, Andrew!  Fortunately, my eyes have cheap taste (3D makes my head hurt after prolonged viewing), so I'll be sticking to HDTV of the olden days.  But I still think this is really friggin' cool!
 
January 19, 2010
Awesome man this is cool. Did you read some guy died from watching Avatar today????? Take it easy don't get carried away. He had a stroke due to the 3d effects while watching the movie and excitement. Died after 11 days, just imagine what will happen when Roxxy hits the main stream!!
January 19, 2010
What??? Gotta Google that! And I'm dreading the release of this Roxxxy character...
January 19, 2010
Sick huh? I really don't think you are going to be affect by that foolishness. Did a micro on it yesterday it has a news link in there.
 
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About the reviewer
Andrew ()
Ranked #23
I'm a technology early adopter. I thoroughly enjoy geeking out with the latest hardware, software and electronics. I probably have as much fun setting up, tweaking, and configuring systems as I do actually … more
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Wiki

From the nVidia website:

Immerse yourself in a world where games, movies, and photos come to life on screen in eye-popping 3D. Now you can discover amazing stereoscopic 3D on your Microsoft Windows 7 or Windows Vista PC with your NVIDIA® GeForce® GPUs. NVIDIA 3D Vision™ Discover is a complete, low cost solution to start your immersive stereoscopic 3D experience that includes:

  • Custom-designed, specialized anaglyph (red/cyan) glasses
  • NVIDIA software to transform over 350 standard PC games into full 3D
  • NVIDIA 3D Movie and Video player software, along with free downloads of 3D movies, pictures, and game previews directly to your PC
view wiki

Details

Brand: nVidia
Category: 3D

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