Polarized Displays: Potentially Vendor-Agnostic, But Not
One of what we consider to be the biggest potential benefits of passive polarized screens is, in theory, full support for both Nvidia’s proprietary 3D Vision standard (via 3DTV Play) and AMD’s HD3D open standard. HDMI is ample for 60 FPS gaming at 1920x1080 on a passive display because the visual information needed for both eyes is available in one frame of video. That is to say, it doesn't require 120 Hz to facilitate 60 FPS. The obvious caveat is that vertical resolution is halved.
When it comes to testing the theory behind this, AMD’s HD3D does deliver stereoscopic 3D at 1920x1080, 60 FPS over HDMI on HP's 2311 gt without a problem. Nvidia's 3D Vision/3DTV Play solution, on the other hand, does not work.
We mistakenly assumed that Nvidia’s 3DTV Play would recognize and work on the HP display. However, the recent 301.42 driver build was unwilling to enable the feature when we plugged in Nvidia's 3D Vision emitter. A little research revealed that the company's drivers are somewhat picky when it comes to the displays they'll allow 3DTV Play to recognize.
A workaround on the MTBS3D Forums and 3D Vision Blog pointed to a possible solution: force the monitor to utilize a driver from an Nvidia-supported model, such as Acer’s HR274H. To our surprise, this trick appeared to give HP’s 2311 gt full 3D Vision support, even without Nvidia's emitter plugged in. Unfortunately, even though our setup passed the built-in driver test, we couldn’t to get it working in a real-world game. The 2311 gt simply reported an out-of-range error.
As a result, we have to consider HP’s 2311 gt an AMD HD3D-only solution when it comes to stereoscopic 3D gaming. This isn’t a big surprise; it's not touted as 3D Vision/3DTV Play-compatible. Nevertheless, we're somewhat disappointed, particularly because limited compatibility narrows the market for HP's monitor.
As far as comparing AMD's HD3D initiative to Nvidia's 3D Vision standard, check our coverage on them both in Nvidia 3D Vision Vs. AMD HD3D: 18 Games, Evaluated and Stereo Shoot-Out: Nvidia's New 3D Vision 2 Vs. AMD's HD3D. To summarize them, both solutions work well, but certain titles are more refined under one solution or the other. So, if you're interested in playing a game on HP's 2311 gt, you might want to cross-reference it with the GameGrade3D database at MTBS3D.com.