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eDimensional 3D Glasses


Real 3D from your monitor? Is it really possible?

It certainly is, using LCD shutter technology - which has been around for quite a while - it is possible to achieve a full and real depth to your gaming ( including MSTS of course!).

LCD Shutter glasses work by using an LCD shutter in front of each eye, they alternate precisely in time with an alternating image on the screen (which just looks like two slightly different images overlayed) and the result is your brain turning it in to a full 3D image with depth. The result is quite astounding and for most people the first time they see it is a bit of a shock to them just how good it looks.

eDimensional are not new to this field at all - I've personally used glasses from ELSA, a product called 'Revelator', something like 5 years ago - the problem has always been drivers, support for graphics cards and so forth. Revelator only worked with nVidia cards - the eDimensional glasses work with most cards out there. I gather Elsa eventually transferred their work on Stereo drivers over to nVidia who then made them part of the standard distribution. This has meant that they keep up with the main driver versions and you can keep using your glasses.

ASUS also bundle LCD Shutter glasses with their top of the range nVidia cards, although these are a much cheaper affair, and for those interested in personal image - there's not much to be had from the Asus glasses, they're functional and that's it :)

eDimensional have raised the bar on the overall quality, they've also built support for a wide range of cards so you aren't just limited to the nVidia cards.

In the box you will find the glasses, a pair of arms that are a different length - a very nice touch that i've not seen any one else do, it means that if your head is a different size you can still get the glasses to fit comfortably - a dongle that provides the external interface between the graphics card and the glasses ( no internal fitting required - if you can plug in a monitor cable you can install this) and some software.

As I have said, the effect is fantastic - but there are limits.

You cannot use the glasses with an LCD flat screen, only a standard CRT monitor.

You need to be able to get about 100hz minimum refresh rate out of the monitor - remember that by the time it's finished flicking the images you're halving the rate - so a 100hz refresh becomes a 50hz 3D refresh. My recommendation is to go with a 120hz minimum as that is when it no longer flashes, it just looks quite stable - below that it blinks more and more as your refresh rate goes down and you'll get a headache after a short time.

If you are not using the drivers specific to your monitor then I strongly recommend you go and find them, that way you'll be able to push your refresh rate up a bit higher - mine would only go up to 75hz until I installed the viewsonic drivers and then I could get it to about 150hz.

Would I recommend them?

If you want 3D glasses, these are the ones to go for, without any doubt they are the best ones I've used.

Do you want 3D glasses?

That's a more troubled question...

If you have a CRT that can do at least 120hz then you will be able to get a good deal of entertainment out of them.
Below that, I'd recommend only if you have the money to burn on gadgets that you might not use for an extended period of time.

I must also admit that I found myself using them less and less - but this is largely because I tend only to go in to Train Sim to test something out, rather than to spend a couple of hours driving - so I was constantly putting them on and taking them off.

I would imagine that for the average end-user who just wants to drive (the person that these glasses are ideally suited to), they'll be great. They certainly add a lot to the experience. As an example, try a route that has lots of good terrain such as Protrain Semmering or Michael Vone's Albula, the glasses will make you dizzy (in a positive way :) ) from the heights you are now much more aware of.

Drivers have now been released so that the eDimensional glasses work with the latest nVidia drivers - up until recently they were only officially out for the 30.xx drivers which I doubt too many people are using any more. While it was possible to mix and match the drivers - PC's can be unstable enough without introducing potential problems purposefully. This is now resolved however as nVidia have made the 40.xx stereo drivers available.

What about real glasses?

I wear glasses myself and can confirm that while I found it more comfortable to take my glasses off, they are designed with normal glasses in mind and sit over them quite nicely. I just don't like too much weight and the added weight of the eDimensionals on my own glasses (neither of which are actually heavy, i'm just a wimp :) ) made it just that little uncomfortable for extended periods.

The wireless version of the glasses (Which uses a transmitter you place somewhere in line-of-site to the glasses) cost approximately 75 pounds and the wired versions (a very long wire from the dongle to the glasses) are about 55 pounds. My review was done on the wired version - I have had wireless glasses in the form of the Revelator and while the lack of wire is a bit more convenient I have to say that I didn't mind the wire in the slightest so don't worry about that.

We have an affiliate link to eDimensional that should show up fairly regularly on the right hand side. When you see it, click on it and that'll take you through to their site to learn more and if you want to get hold of one you can.

Please note: As the system works by alternating two images at high speed, it is possible (especially below 120hz) that the screen will flash. This, and the very nature of the shutter glasses could cause problems to some people such as those who suffer epilepsy. It is also true to say that there are a very small number of people who simply cannot see the 3D effect through the glasses. Just as with any video game, keep your sessions short and put breaks in between so your eyes can have a rest. If you feel a headache or any other symptom coming on then stop - and if it persists, see your doctor or optician.

Operate the glasses at 120hz or higher and you shouldn't have any problems at all, but always apply common sense.

Our score:

90%

Pro's:
If you want 3D Glasses, these are definitely the ones to get.
Supports latest nVidia Drivers
Decent price

Con's:
Extra glasses on your nose can get uncomfortable
You need a pretty decent monitor to get the full benefit without the flashing



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