|Apr 28, 2010, 02:47 AM||#1|
Edimensional 3D Glasses Review - ATI + LCD
Here is a review done by some guy with ED 3D glasses..
Relevant Test Hardware:
ATI Radeon X1300
Gateway LCD 1400x900 monitor at 75hz
It seems every review I read for Edimensional’s glasses came in one of two flavors. People either loved them and thought every gamer should own a pair, or absolutely hated them and said they didn’t work.
My first few hours with them explained why this is:
I spent my first half hour with these glasses cursing them and thinking I’d have to send them back because they wouldn’t work. I spent the next half hour thinking they worked but the effect was no-where near the price…and 6 hours later when I had them finally figured out I was almost leaping out of my chair to avoid enemy rockets from hitting me in the face.
You see, while the hardware is purely plug and play (you just put a dongle between your graphics card and monitor, if you can put a square peg in a square hole you can install this product), setting them up for individual games takes a while until you get used to it.
This is mostly down to the terrible manual. With the ED drivers (Nvidia card owners can use Nvidia drivers which are much more intuitive), you have 2 controls that are labeled ‘More/Less 3D’ and ‘More/Less 3D close up’.
These controls are frankly mislabeled. The ‘More 3D’ control increases the distance between the two in game cameras that represent each eye. The ‘More 3D close up adjusts the distance from you at which these views ‘converge’ (The focal point, basically).
I think this ‘mislabeling’ was an attempt to not confuse the average user who has little or no idea of how stereoscopic 3D works. Unfortunately, this means your first instinct is to ramp both controls up as high as they will go. All this does is exaggerate the 3D on a very specific plane and result in crazy double images for everything not at that exact distance.
For example, I put on a flight simulator, paused the game and adjusted the settings until the plane in front of me just leapt out of the screen…but as soon as I unpaused and the game resumed, everything broke into ‘double vision’. At first I blamed the hardware, thinking the shutters were out of sync.
In reality I’d done the equivalent of setting my ‘eyes’ to a few feet apart, then crossed them to focus on that one object. (To understand this, put your finger a few inches from your nose and focus on it…now focus on an object in the other side of the room…see how your finger breaks into 2 images? That’s what’s happening in the game.)
Basically, once you understand the controls, setting up games becomes a snap.
There are a few downsides however.
The first is that the picture gets significantly darker when the glasses turn on. You’re basically playing a game with the brightness turned down through sunglasses. Having said that, the game was still playable in a brightly lit room, and if you’re playing in a darkened room, you quickly get used to it. In fact, after playing with the glasses for an hour, it felt like the picture was good with them on too bright when I turned them off.
Secondly, if you have an ATI card, the only 3D support you have is interlaced 3D. This results in an interlaced image, but I have to say it isn’t really intrusive.
My only other real negative is that this technology is limited in a few ways.
Remember what I told you about the double images? In real life your eyes will cross slightly to focus on the object you’re looking at. Because you have to set a fixed focal point for your games, objects that get extremely close to you can double-image no matter how you set up the game.
To be fair, once I worked out the controls, I only got a tiny amount of double imaging on objects, and the object had to be extremely close for you to see this (and how often do you stand on a combine cop’s toes in HL2?)
The only time this becomes a real issue is with the HUD objects in some games, such as cross hairs and health bars. Again, if you have an Nvidia card, you can set an ‘Nvidia crosshair’ that gets rid of this by rendering the crosshair in 2D.
I don’t really hold this as a black mark against these glasses, because the only real solution I can see for it is if the glasses had independent eye-tracking built in so they could tell what part of the screen you’re looking at. This is advanced and expensive technology, so you can’t really expect it in a pair of glasses that cost around 70 bucks.
Luckily you can adjust your 3D settings ‘on the fly’, and it’s just a matter of setting your focal point so it works for the majority of the distances you’re dealing with in the game. Like I said, I got to the point where I only experienced double images when an object was ridiculously close.
One thing that isn’t really a negative, but takes some getting used to when it crops up, is when you get ‘contradictory’ depths.
For example, in Star Wars : Battlefront 2, it looks like your gunsight is hovering a few feet in front of you. If an enemy or object gets closer to you than that, you get the strange phenomenon were your eyes are telling you that your gunsight is simultaneously further away than the object, but also in front of it.
The other thing I’m not holding against the glasses themselves is that there is a tiny amount a flicker when using them (and I mean tiny). The reason I’m not holding this against the glasses is because my monitor can only support the bare-minimum refresh rate of 75hz. If the flicker is so barely noticeable at 75hz, if you have a CRT capable of over 100hz, it won’t be a problem.
The only other real negative is that you do lose a bit of picture quality, and get a bit of a drop in frame rate when the glasses are turned on. Fortunately, at least for me, the drop in frame rate was barely noticeable. On the games I could actually check on, frame rate dropped by roughly 5 to 7%
Now onto the good parts:
Hardware-wise, the glasses are incredibly light and comfortable, and they also fit very easily and comfortably over prescription glasses. The lens size is also nice and large, I had no problems when looking at a 22 inch widescreen monitor at about 2 feet away…and that was with my prescription glasses on (holding the ED glasses further from my eyes than someone without prescription glasses would experience).
The other tip I’ll give you is that unless you’re planning on buying a second set so someone else can watch, go for the wired versions. I personally didn’t see the point in paying an extra 30 bucks for the privilege of losing one thin wire and having to buy batteries every 100 hours of use.
Once you have your glasses correctly set up and working, the effect is absolutely incredible. In all the shooters I tried it felt as though my weapon was really in my shoulder…and it was a genuine scary experience when a hellfire tank in Battlefront 2 released 15 rockets at me.
Believe it or not, it also makes a lot of games a little easier. I found in Combat Flight Simulator 3, I was getting a much higher hit ratio than I could without the ED glasses (25% hit rate versus my old 3%). This is because you can actually judge the distance to an enemy, and it makes ‘leading the target’ a hell of a lot easier. Landings and bombing also become easier because you can actually judge your distance from the ground.
It also leads to some amazing experiences you just can’t get without stereoscopic 3D.
I got behind an enemy plane, opened fire and with each hit debris would fly off the plane…and come right out of the screen at me. Then the pilot ejected and I got the amazing view of the pilot just missing me as his plane exploded. It’s the difference between looking at a picture of the action…and really feeling like you’re in a plane flying through a field of debris.
Also, remember that part of HL2 where you play catch with Dog? As the Soprano’s would say…fughedaboutit!
It’s really hard to explain the effect to someone who hasn’t experienced it, but if you’re playing a shooter, imagine taking the screen out of your monitor and setting up GI-Joes inside it. That’s what it looks like (albeit through sunglasses).
Another experience that sticks in my mind was I was playing Ultimate Spiderman and was jumping from rooftop to rooftop…suddenly I leapt out into space between two skyscrapers…and felt my stomach jump into my mouth. I got a real feeling of vertigo…and that’s realism you just can’t get anywhere else.
The other big positive I can mention is that even though the Edimensional driver for non-Nvidia cards is essentially a hack, it works beautifully with most games. I found the glasses worked with about 95% of my games.
If you have an ATI card and an LCD monitor capable of at least 75hz, I’d recommend these glasses. You won’t use them all the time, but they’re definitely worth owning.
Considering everything I’ve heard about how much better these glasses are with Nvidia cards and CRT monitors, I don’t see why anyone with that hardware wouldn’t own these glasses.
All I can say is don’t expect them to work perfectly out of the box. Expect to spend a couple hours playing with them and working out how to set them up before you become proficient with them. After that it’s butter.
One last point to mention is that if you own an LCD monitor, make sure you buy your glasses from the Edimensional website. I saw these for sale on Newegg.com for $50, but the $50 pair are the old ones that will only work with CRT monitors.
The drivers that were shipped with my product installed some drivers into a folder named 5.0 (implying their version number). Yet, when I hover over the taskbar icon, they are described as eDimensional drivers v4.0! They are not the same as the v4.0 drivers I was able to obtain from the eDimensional website (different filesize and a different collection of support files)! Installing the two sets of drivers along side each other (even when only one driver was active) caused major problems for me. Many games just would not work at all while others had corrupted textures within the game. The best results I had was to uninstall the v5 (v4+?) drivers that originated from my install disc and use the v4 drivers from the website. The drivers on the shipped CD still had some texture problems, in particular some sprites used on HUDs were incorrectly scaled.
Another odd problem I had was that out of the two sets of glasses they sent me one was polarized in the wrong direction! Just slipping the glasses over my ears and peering at an LCD display produced complete blackness! By tilting my head, I could see an image which became brighter as I approached 90 degrees, but obviously this is not correct and with the glasses either activated or not, they continued to completely filter the image with my head oriented normally. The other set of glasses where polarized 90 degrees to this and worked correctly. Perhaps when you order a set of glasses from eDimensional you need to tell them that you plan to use them with an LCD display. I did not tell them, but at least I ended up with one good pair. Glancing around at a few other brands of LCD displays at work with the glasses on, demonstrated that they are polarized in the same direction (at least all of the various models in our office were). Presumably, the other pair would still work normally on a CRT.
After having incredible success with the iz3D drivers (anaglyph only), I was a little disappointed with the inability of the eDimensional drivers to work with my favorite 3D games. I continue to have problems with various 3D games, but I hope that eDimensional can eventually improve their drivers.
If you want shutter glasses that work with LCD panels, I believe that the eDimensional system is the only current solution, but has limited success. Don't bother dumping your ATI card in favour of nVidia, because with an LCD panel this is an irrelevant point. Also, don't bother buying a really expensive LCD just to get a higher refresh rate. LCD persistence makes for a good flicker free image at mediocre refresh rates.
I find that this enhancement does indeed improve the 3D gaming experience of supported games and prolonged use does not cause any apparent discomfort. However, I think that eDimensional will need to spend a little more time improving the drivers so that they work with a larger number of games.
LCD issue fix for ED 3D glasses...
Shutter glasses have typically had issues with LCD displays because of the different display technologies. The individual pixels in LCD displays persist for much longer than the pixels on a CRT, which is why LCD display quality is accompanied by a response time; a term that is irrelevant for CRTs. As a result, flicker free images are actually much easier to achieve on an LCD panel. Unfortunately for 3D shutter glasses this causes a problem. After the image for the left eye has been presented, the image for the other eye immediately follows while the former image still persists on the screen.
eDimensional crew have been able to get their drivers to work by sending a blanking signal to the expired side in order to eliminate visual cross-talk. The universal eDimensional drivers (vs other drivers such as the nVidia stereo drivers) are essential for this to operate correctly. So, if you want to use these glasses on an LCD display, it doesn't matter whether you have an nVidia card or otherwise as you will need to use the universal eDimensional drivers.
so no more 120hz monitor + 200 3D vision crap.. 360+200 = 560$
ED 3D can work on a normal 75hz monitor for 99$
THIS GLASS SU**K WITH LCD..(EVEN AT 85HZ) DONT BUY IT.. I GOT THE GLASSES AND FOUND THAT THE GLASSES WORK HALF SCREEN ONLY. WHICH IS A SYNC PROBLEM.. 100$ WASTED LOL.. BUT NOW I KNOW THE TRUTH
Last edited by saikamaldoss; May 30, 2010 at 04:19 PM.
|The Following User Says Thank You to saikamaldoss For This Useful Post:|
|Apr 28, 2010, 03:19 AM||#2|
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Thanks for the write up sakamaldoss! Sounds rather interesting! Going to have to check this out!
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|Apr 28, 2010, 03:29 AM||#3|
Last edited by saikamaldoss; Apr 29, 2010 at 08:27 PM.
|May 1, 2010, 04:02 AM||#4|
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The average for a fair and just set the game close to your object, and then press the F7 key, until it looks three-dimensional. Then stay where you are in a distant object (to see if it will be a ghost), and then press the F6 key, until it converges into a single image.
That you are ready. The driver will automatically store the settings for each game, so you only need a calibration.
In short, even though I was the worst setting, if my glasses, trying to get the same results, because I can use my hardware and was told, as good as it gets. I still want to call it a good choice.
|May 1, 2010, 05:56 AM||#5|
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