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The Hardware: 3D Vision Theater Checklist

Wall-Sized 3D Gaming With Nvidia 3D Vision
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You want to build a 3D Vision projector home theater? Let's go over what you'll need to make it happen.

A Home-Theater PC with a 3D Vision-Capable Graphics Card

You're going to need a GeForce 3D Vision-capable graphics card in your PC. 3D mode will put the hurt on game performance, so you'll want a GeForce GTX 260 or more powerful graphics card if games are on the menu. If Blu-ray 3D is your focus, then you can get away with a GeForce GT 240. The CPU isn't as important, but if you're using a GeForce card that doesn't accelerate Blu-ray 3D, or if you're planning on some serious gaming, you should opt for something well-balance like an Athlon II X3 or Core i3 CPU, at the very least.

We chose the GeForce GTX 260 for our testing, giving us the ability to compare performance to our previous polarized dual-projector theater testing.


3D Vision Kit (Comes with a Single Pair of 3D Vision Glasses)

The 3D Vision kit comes with a 3D Vision emitter and a single pair of 3D Vision glasses. The kit can be purchased for $200 directly from Nvidia's Web store. A single emitter will drive a room full of people wearing glasses, and additional shades sell for $150 each.

We're going to consider this cost as $200 for the time being, but for a family of five, the cost actually adds up to $800 total. Just keep in mind that more glasses equals more money.

3D Vision-Ready Projector

The projector is critical. It has to be 3D Vision-ready. When purchasing a 3D Vision-ready projector for gaming use, you're going to be looking at three factors: brightness, resolution, and cost. Brightness is important because a substantial amount of light from the projector gets blocked when viewed through the 3D Vision shutter glasses. Resolution is important because, when you're playing on a wall-sized display, low resolutions aren't pretty at all. As for price, that's somewhat self-explanatory.

Unfortunately, there are no 1080p 3D Vision-ready projectors out there at this time, but the 720p models deliver excellent image quality, even on a 100" screen. You're going to want a model with at least 2,000 lumens of brightness because you will lose some of the light through those 3D Vision glasses.

We chose the Acer H5360 projector for this review. It's a 3D Vision-ready unit with a 720p resolution, 120 Hz refresh rate, a bright 2,500 lumen output, and a 3200:1 contrast ratio, all for $640 on Newegg. Frankly, we're surprised at the attractive price. It doesn't seem like 3D Vision-ready projectors bear the same price premium associated with 3D Vision-ready LCD monitors. And this projector works great for standard 2D content, too.

Screen

You can find a 99" pull-down projector screen for as low as $60 on Newegg. Of course, you could just use a white wall instead of a screen, but let's assume you want to put a little money into something that will reflect the light a little better. We're adding a $60 charge to the bill.

Mounting Hardware and Cables

We found great projector ceiling mounts for $15 each at Monoprice.com. DVI-to-HDMI cables are also nice to have, and we paid about $25 total for a 25 ft. cable. The mounting hardware and cable adds up to $40.

What's the Total?

We're going to leave out the price of the PC from this setup, as folks may opt to use their existing PC to drive the wall-sized 3D display. All of the other costs add up to a final total of $920 for 3D Vision-display hardware.

This costs far less than our polarized dual-projector system, which weighed in at about $2,500. The financial advantage for the polarized system is, of course, that additional glasses can be purchased for under $1 each. Then again, you can buy a lot of $150 3D Vision shades for the $1,500 price spread between these display technologies.

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Top Comments
  • 15 Hide
    hemburger , August 2, 2010 6:06 AM
    I'd rather wall sized 1080p playback than wall sized 3D playback. = )
Other Comments
  • 15 Hide
    hemburger , August 2, 2010 6:06 AM
    I'd rather wall sized 1080p playback than wall sized 3D playback. = )
  • 9 Hide
    Lmeow , August 2, 2010 6:09 AM
    I would love to have a 3D system like this, unfortunately it's nCredibly expensive...
  • 5 Hide
    Tamz_msc , August 2, 2010 6:14 AM
    I don't care about 3D.
  • -4 Hide
    infodan , August 2, 2010 6:57 AM
    What about DLP 3D? the projector supports it, DLP-link glasses are cheaper and dont require a transmitter like the nvidia glasses.
  • 2 Hide
    TheStealthyOne , August 2, 2010 7:28 AM
    "The whole experiment consisted of about $2500 worth of hardware and software, NOT including the PC driving the displays."

    I cringed.
  • 6 Hide
    kolsky , August 2, 2010 8:07 AM
    I own a acer h5360 and I agree, it is awesome watching 3d movies on it. 1080p? Dont even notice pixellation at 115 inch screen. 720p is fine and at a great price. 1080p 3d projectors will be extremely expensive for average consumers.
  • 7 Hide
    proxy711 , August 2, 2010 8:18 AM
    kolsky 3d is extremely expensive for average consumers.


    Fixed.
  • -1 Hide
    Rickyw972 , August 2, 2010 8:41 AM
    Is this projector better than the Mitshibshi 73" 1080p dlp for $1100?
  • 5 Hide
    kolsky , August 2, 2010 8:56 AM
    Im sorry, but 3d is NOT expensive. The acer 5360 can be bought for as low as 580 and the nvidia vision glasses kit can be bought for as low as 150. That is under 1,000... less than the cost of a 3D TV.
  • 1 Hide
    DaFees , August 2, 2010 9:08 AM
    Interesting read, but ultimately all this 3D talk leaves me with a big question. I have a PS3 and if I upgrade my PC to a 3D vision enabled PC is there a projector (perhaps the one discussed in this article) that would allow me to enjoy the 3D from my PS3 and my PC? I understand if I would need a switch between devices or manually switch cables. I know NVIDIA is working on a 3DTV play tech that let's you use the glasses of 3D enabled HDTV to enjoy NVIDIA 3D Vision, but is there a similar option for projectors?
  • 2 Hide
    scrumworks , August 2, 2010 9:22 AM
    kolskyIm sorry, but 3d is NOT expensive. The acer 5360 can be bought for as low as 580 and the nvidia vision glasses kit can be bought for as low as 150. That is under 1,000... less than the cost of a 3D TV.


    ATI/AMD will make it a lot cheaper without proprietary hugely expensive crap like nvidia.

    http://www.digitalversus.com/3d-films-and-games-with-glasses-from-ati-before-christmas-article-1086.html
  • 0 Hide
    TheGreatGrapeApe , August 2, 2010 9:53 AM
    Saddest thing in the review: "and the software developers we've talked to have indicated that the dual-projector option is too fringe to justify development."

    D-bags once again focusing on their limitations rather than options.

    Glad I didn't waste my money on that 3D upgrade for PowerDVD or others until they get their act together to support both methods.

    It's obviously already possible as shown by JVC last year (see end of clip);
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qbm0VoL845k&feature=channel_page
    but once again leave it to the small minded accountants running the companies to keep it held back.

    Nice look as always though Don. :sol: 

  • 0 Hide
    TheGreatGrapeApe , August 2, 2010 9:57 AM
    Quote:
    Im sorry, but 3d is NOT expensive. The acer 5360 can be bought for as low as 580 and the nvidia vision glasses kit can be bought for as low as 150. That is under 1,000... less than the cost of a 3D TV.


    That's for one viewer, and then it's X amount for each additional viewer to have shutter glasses, expensive if you have friends, cheap if you're a loner.

    Polarization is the way to go for a bunch of people.
  • 0 Hide
    Jerky_san , August 2, 2010 12:09 PM
    I actually have a setup like this but I used a optoma GT700 and did a little messing with drivers to get the nvidia glasses to see it.. I don't really see a whole lot of "3d" though I guess maybe my eyes don't work well with the system.. I got to say though having a 135' screen to watch movies on is fun..
  • 3 Hide
    hixbot , August 2, 2010 12:20 PM
    scrumworksATI/AMD will make it a lot cheaper without proprietary hugely expensive crap like nvidia. http://www.digitalversus.com/3d-fi [...] -1086.html

    Well Nvidia's 3DTV Play will offer the same thing. HDMI 1.4a compatibility, no need to buy the Nvidia Vision kit, works with glasses provided by the display etc.
    It's odd, that article you posted doesn't mention that.
  • 1 Hide
    allrock , August 2, 2010 12:20 PM
    Most Cinemas I have seem do not use 2 projecters to display 3D movies they use a single digital projecter that displays alternate frames, the Dolby system uses A spinning filter wheel betwean the projectors lamp and Imager, it alters the light up and down in frequency synced to the proper frame and passive RGB filter glasses allow only the corect eye to see the corect image (no special silver screan required because the light is not polerized ) RealD uses a switching circuler polarizer (called Z screan ) placed in front of the projecter and synced to the proper frame this system like all polerized systems requires a silver screan to mantain polarization of the image and is viewed with cicular polarized glasses (inexpensive) both systems use a single projecter and alternating frame sequence of the image projected, and passive glasses there are Active glasses systems as well but they are less comon.
  • 1 Hide
    Jerky_san , August 2, 2010 12:34 PM
    Rickyw972Is this projector better than the Mitshibshi 73" 1080p dlp for $1100?

    look up the gt700 its 720p but the nice thing about it is that its short throw. So you can put it in a 10x10 room and still get a really large picture..
  • 0 Hide
    hixbot , August 2, 2010 12:35 PM
    Lets not forget that HDMI 1.4a does not have a mandatory standard for 3d at 1080p60. The HDMI chips are just too slow to handle the bandwidth. It's limited to 1080p24, 1080i60, or 720p60. So 3d Bluray playback will be fine on HDMI, but 3d gaming will be very limited on HDMI.
  • -4 Hide
    faraz1010 , August 2, 2010 1:27 PM
    heads up for 3d vision..bt nVidia sucks for making it only geForce card compatible..
    ATI cards would have given lot bttr results
  • -4 Hide
    xsamitt , August 2, 2010 1:40 PM
    Not interested in this.Your mileage may vary.
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