If you’re an early adopter of 3D and are already tired of the Monsters vs. Aliens Blu-ray, your next content avenue might be an HTPC equipped with Nvidia’s 3D Vision and 3D TV Play hardware and software packages.
The same holds true if you’re looking for a 3D experience larger than 63 inches or below 46 inches. Unfortunately, like everything else in the world of HTPC, there are as many different hardware configurations and settings as there are 3D PC games and videos.
Hopefully this FAQ will hand-hold you through some of the basics, just enough to get you to the really frustrating setup issues that have no easy fix.
What are the minimum system requirements?
- Microsoft Windows Vista 32/64-bit or Windows 7 32/64-bit
- Intel Core2 Duo or AMD Athlon X2 CPU or higher
- 1GB of system memory (2GB is recommended)
- 100 MB free disk space
- 3D Vision-Ready Display (LCD, HDTV, or Projector)
- 3D Vision-Ready Graphics Card
Can the Nvidia Stereoscopic 3D Movie player convert 2D content into Stereo 3D?
The Nvidia Stereoscopic 3D Movie player can not convert 2D video content into Stereo 3D Video content. Third-party software, however, can convert 2D video to Stereo 3D with varying success. Freeware solutions using VirtualDub and AVISynth can do file conversion, while software like Cyberlink PowerDVD 10 can convert on-the-fly.
Can I use the Nvidia 3D Vision on my HDTV without using a computer? Can I use Nvidia 3D Vision with Gaming Consoles?
No, a PC is required for all Nvidia 3D Vision functionality. Nvidia 3D Vision is also not compatible with stand-alone gaming consoles like the Sony PS3, Microsoft X-Box 360, or Nintendo Wii.
Can I use Nvidia 3D Vision with my 3D LCD or Plasma TV from Panasonic or Samsung?
Using the Nvidia 3DTV Play software package, a free upgrade for 3D Vision owners, you can use 3D Vision with your 3D Plasma or LCD TV and your TV manufacturer’s supported glasses.
Can I use Nvidia 3D Vision with my 3D-capable DLP TV from Mitsubishi and Samsung?
3DTV Play does not work with the DLPs, but 3D Vision does. Basically, 3DTV Play is the software that lets you use the manufacturer’s glasses like with a newer LCD or Plasma display from Samsung or Panasonic, where 3D Vision is using Nvidia’s own glasses with a monitor, projector, or in this case 3D-capable DLPs. There’s a question in the 3D Vision FAQ that spells out DLP as compatible as long as you use the Nvidia 3D Vision glasses.
Can I view 3D Blu-ray content using 3D Vision and a 3DVision-capable display (LCD Monitor, Projector)?
With a capable player (such as Cyberlink PowerDVD 10), 3D Blu-ray content can be viewed with 3D Vision-capable hardware. For viewing 3D Blu-ray content on LCD and Plasma TV displays, such as those from Panasonic and Samsung, you will need the 3DTV Play software upgrade and your TV manufacturer’s supported 3D glasses.
Where can I buy extra 3D-Vision glasses?
In the future, extra 3D-Vision glasses will be available from http://store.nvidia.com
Which Desktop GPUs will support 3D TVs?
GeForce GTX 480, GTX 470 GTX 295, GTX 285, GTX 275, GTX 260, GTS 250, GTS 240, GT 240, and 9800 GT
When will Nvidia 3DTV Play be available for purchase?
Nvidia 3DTV Play will be available for purchase later this summer.
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Stephen Hopkins is chief technology editor for EH Publishing. He writes product reviews, features, and focuses heavily on 3D TV, iPhone and iPad apps, and digital content.