Viewsonic’s Passive 3D Not Yet Ready

As film studios continue their push to release more and more 3D movies, it’s likely that this time round 3D isn’t a passing fad. The cinema-goer has been enjoying the newest 3D technologies, boasting reduced eye-strain and increased comfort, and these technologies are beginning to filter down to the home electronics market. The Viewsonic V3D231 is a 23″ display that utilises passive glasses to show that magnificent third dimension.

Most consumer displays use active 3D glasses, in that each lens of the glasses contains a shutter that switches on and off. Synchronised with the display, these shutters must switch themselves on and off at the same rate that the display refreshes, so that each eye only sees alternating frames. This mechanism has two major pitfalls, in that a) generally it makes the glasses heavy, uncomfortable, and expensive, and b) each eye only sees half the light – effectively halving the brightness of the monitor.

In step alternative technologies such as the passive 3D glasses used with the Viewsonic V3D231. Passive technology utilises polarised filters on each lens of the glasses, and a fixed element on the screen to send the correct polarised light to each eye. This, in theory, should solve both problems of the active glasses; the glasses have no moving parts so are cheap and light, and both eyes get more of the light (still not 100% though). Unfortunately, in practice, the v3D231 uses alternating horizontal rows of pixels to produce the two images needed, effectively halving its vertical resolution. The good people at AnandTech are of the opinion that this, combined with poor performance in other areas, render the V3D231 one to avoid.

Hopefully we’ll see more and better passive 3D displays in the new year.

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Filed in: Entertainment PCs