Medium (3d) monitor (10-25″)

Posted on 24 May 2012

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This post is a summary of my search for the perfect solution for 3D monitoring on set or 3D screenings on location.

Screening on set

For convergence checking on site and as a client monitor (wireless). I want it to have full-HD resolution, HDMI input, frame-packing HD as well as side-by-side HD input support, speakers (and headphone out), non-reflective screen, and a 5-15V power plug to allow for use of V-mount battery.

I would have loved to get a 10″ or 19″ screen and have been looking everywhere for one. This will just fit in my laptop bag which allows for a maximum width of 43 cm. This way I can use it easily on set as well as when visiting clients.

Small (<19″) options

  • $ 358 CineVate might be a good viewfinder hood solution for 3D watching with two eyes on the Z10000’s LCD display, with their articulating mount option. But I think it is pretty expensive.
  • $ 640 Fujifilm Finepix Real 3D v3 4:3 screen, with HDMI 7.2″ 800(x2)x600 glasses-free 3D. Unfortunately, the SDHC cardreader works with avi MJPEG only. Needs a distance of about 40-50 cm from screen. It has stereo speakers and there is a mounting screw on the back. it supports 720p50 or 1080p24 frame packing or top/bottom, or 1080i50 side-by-side HDMI signals (or is it only 60fps?). AC adapter 8W avarage. The downside: it’s not full HD and pretty expensive.
  • $ 2000 Dell alienware m17x 3D laptop. It’s the only laptop I found with a 3D LED screen and a HDMI input. Unfortunately, it’s really expensive and the input is only HDMI 1.3, so it does not support true 3D and I don’t know if it adds any latency. I have not found any other laptops with HDMI input.
  • $ 8000 Miracube (Korea) VF-101P 10″ with passive glasses (1024×600). Only HD-SDI inputs + loop-through.
  • LG D2000 glasses free 20″ screen. I’m hoping it has very small borders and will be just 43 cm width. But as far as I see it’s not on the European market or on Ebay yet. I’m also not sure if it is full-HD resolution, though. I’ve emailed LG about it but never got a reply.

These screens are not full HD, too small, too expensive or not for sale. So for now, I have to look at bigger screens. This might be an advantage as well, as the parallax budget is mostly depending on screen size.

Bigger (19″-25″) options

It seems like 23″ is the smallest on the market. These are around 34x55x5.7 cm, which doesn’t fit in my 1550 pelicase, so I will need to buy something like a 1600 pelicase for it.

Looking for a good monitor, I’ve been digging into details like passive v.s. active glasses technology. I’ve chosen passive systems, as they are more convenient, but the disadvantage is that you will loose half the resolution when watching 3D. While researching I have found a lot of other interesting things, like that plasma screens are faster and have black blacks, while LED/LCD technology struggles to get to 2ms and real blacks. Also, in LED there are different technologies, like IPS or the cheaper TN, as well as full LED and edge LED systems. Also, LCD/LED technology struggles to keep its full resolution on moving images.

The options are (in order of price):

  • $ 212 AOC e2352. 1920×1080 LED. Passive. speakers. 2ms. HDMI 1.4a. incl. 2x glasses. It has a 230V power connector so It will not be easy to use it with V-mount batteries.
  • $ 260 LG D2342P-PN – 23″. 1920×1080. LED. HDMI/VGA/DVI. Passive glasses included (2x clip-on, 2x glasses). They are shipped with the wrong glasses (see below). About this one I read bad reviews about ghosting (very tight viewing angle) and scanline effect, but on google it is #3. No speakers.
  • $ 270 ViewSonic has the V3D231 23″ LED 3D display. 1920*1080. VGA/DVI-D/HDMI. 230V/36W. Not very good reviews.
  • $ 290 HP 2311gt. Passive glasses. No speakers.
  • $ 290 Sony Playstation 3D display 24″ With speakers. HDMI. Led backlit. Too (!) glossy screen. Alternate-frame sequencing (active). 2 active glasses. Active technology is not very useful on set.
  • $ 300 Zalman has reflections on the screen. Their passive glasses are not realD compatible.
  • $ 301 LG DM2350D – 23″. 1920×1080 TN LED, passive glasses (zalman style!), 2x 5w speakers, 2x HDMI, VGA and TV tuner, headphones out, anti-glare screen, USB port, external power adapter. The bottom of this one is very ugly but there is a very positive review here.
  • $ 360 BenQ 3D Led 24″. I think it’s the 2420T, ready for Nvidia active 3D.
  • $ 400 Samsung SyncMaster LS 23″ 3D S23A700D. 1920×1080 LED, 120 Hz active shutter glasses, DVI-D and HDMI, 44W External power adapter. No speakers.
  • $ 450 Samsung SyncMaster 23″ 3D S23A750D. 1920×1080 TN LED. 120 Hz active shutter glasses, HDMI and displayport, 30 W external power adapter. Very good reviews but it doesn’t have speakers and the connectors are in the base (so it might be difficult to use it on a tripod on set).
  • $ 580 Samsung T23A750. Same as S23A750 but with speakers, TV tuner and USB port.
  • $ 7200 Panasonic 3D 25″ production monitor.
  • $ 9900 Marshall 3D 241

To conclude it was between the LG DM2350D, the Samsung T23A750 or the new kid on the block: the AOC d2357Ph. This new 1920×1080 LED-TN screen has a beautiful frame, 2x HDMI, ext. power. This review also states what I think: it is a great option if you need a cheap, stylish 3D monitor with HDMI input only. But I found that the new AOC is not on the market yet, so I bought the LG DM2350D.

Screening with clients

To view the 3D content later with clients, there also are a few options:

  • Anaglyph. I found that it will NOT sell S3D to the client.
  • $ 25 Hasbro my3D viewer for iphone. It can be easily used to view side-by-side video’s on the iphone (Dashwood Stereo 3D lite has a preset for output). On amazon I can only find the white one at this moment. I’ve bought it but it really only fits on child noses.
  • $ 600 17″ Dell XPS 17″ 3D laptop or the more expensive HP Envy (active shutter) laptop. See all options here. Is there one with (realtime) HDMI input?
  • $ 300 Nvidia active glasses system. Can’t find them for mac os, only the (vista and windows 7) system. So i’ll need to get myself a windows 7 license. It needs a 120Hz screen and only works on a computer with an USB connection to an infrared sender. You might be able to use it on 50 or 60 Hz systems, but your eyes will be tired quit quickly. It could be used with the free bino3d player for mac.

I would love to have a passive glasses solution for my MBP 17″. But for now, I will use the LG screen playing my content from USB or the HDMI out of the MBP.

Alternatives

The LG TV is a very nice solution for now, but it’s not perfect. The best solution would be to find a cheap tablet with a passive 3D display and a HDMI input without latency, to use on set. There are several options for tablets with 3D LED display and HDMI input (preferably also SDXC cardreader), unfortunately they are on alibaba and I think most of these chinese manufacturers mean it has a hdmi output instead of input.

Another great solution would be to find a HDMI input device (without latency!) for the MBP, together with a lenticular or polarizer sheet for the MBP display and the the Dashwood 3D CAT application to display different types of 3D. I’ve emailed this seller of $ 130 spatial view screen-skins for 15″ MBP about the sheet but he couldn’t make them for the MBP 17″ (yet). For the HDMI input I only this DigitalFoundry HDMI to expresscard converter (1080i, Due Q1 2011), I’ve emailed them about it but never heard from them. The only input solution might be the $ 1000 Blackmagic converter.

Stereomirror with 2 monitors

Planar has StereoMirror Techology for real full HD delivery with passive glasses. But I guess this will be pretty expensive. It might be interesting when working with two camera’s though (one monitor can act as sunhood).

Small laserprojectors

Microvision has a $ 135 SHOWWX laserprojector 848×480 in the size of an iphone, that connects with HDMI. Might be possible to hook up two of those with pola filters in front of them. Found it on amazon. Microvision is also are developing mobile device eyewear.

Active shutter system for normal display

3d-VIP seems to have a $ 530 solution with their universal 3D converters for all conventional 60Hz/120Hz displays, with active shutter glasses. USB or HDMI powered with a sync port for the RF active glasses. This takes the v1.4 (720p frame packing) input and converts it to 720p50, 720p100 (0r 120) field interleaved. It seems to add a little latency (less then one frame). I don’t think it supports side-by-side or any other 3D format output. The more expensive 3D theater version also supports 1080p24 input.

2x HD to 1x 3D converters

I don’t know why I’m putting this here but here it is:

Miracube has a 2x HDMI input, Matrox MC100 has a 2x HDSDI input, to output to single 3D HDMI and/or HDSDI with syncing. These converters are interesting for setups with two camera’s, or when you want to watch different types of views.

Or it is possible to hook your two camera’s up to a cheap Un-Branded N450 10.2” Tablet PC with two EZCAP 116 USB capture cards and the 3dtv Stereoscopic player (see this article). This option has some delay as well as non-hdmi and anaglyph only monitoring, you might need a hdmi to composite converter with this system, like the Atlona (they also have nice HDMI extenders and test equipment) or Blackmagic systems. If you get this setup to work with a 3D PC laptop it might be the perfect solution.

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Posted in: Gear, S3d