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  • pandemonium - Friday, December 30, 2011 - link

    I was happy to see a review from AT for a Viewsonic monitor - it's been a long time since the last one - until I saw it was this one in particular. I'm not big on 3D display technology.

    I definitely enjoy seeing the test bundle you guys throw at displays!
  • Samus - Friday, December 30, 2011 - link

    There is a reason Active 3D costs more. Passive 3D sucks outside of a movie theater with a 3DLP projector. Technical explaination aside, Passive 3D will always be a poor choice for viewing on an LCD screen. But it is significantly cheaper and the glasses are cheaper and lighter.

    But Active 3D is superior in resolution, viewing angles and overall experience at home.

    Headaches tend to be one of those things where if you get them with Passive, you'll get them with Active, and vice-versa. It isn't the shutter speed that causes the headaches, its the trick the image is playing on the brain. The shutter speed is too fast to notice. You can't even blink fast enough to catch it if you tried. 120hz is faster than you think.
  • UpSpin - Friday, December 30, 2011 - link

    I completely disagree. For me active is useless and passive is superior. If you get headache with passive you'll get with active, too. if you get headaches with active you won't necessarily get with passive.
    At the side the retina can dissolve more images in a shorter time. Thus if you use active shutter glasses it might look ok at the front, but at the sides of your eye you always see the flicker, causing headaches.
    It's also wrong that active is more expensive, contrary, it's cheaper. You can use a traditional LCD with a high refresh rate and only have to add the active shutter glasses (PS: This technology is from pre 2000 or earlier, my ASUS graphics card had this shutter glasses already, which worked with CRT monitors with a high refresh rate just as good as current LCD)
    If you want to make a good passive display, you have to double the resolution, and use two special polarizers, one of the most expensive parts of a display. And if you want a good one, you have to use circular polarizers.

    This display is so cheap because it uses the cheapest parts available, poor TN panel, low resolution, probably linear polarizers, ...
  • marc1000 - Friday, December 30, 2011 - link

    Indeed, this technology is from earlier than 2000. I had ACTIVE glasses on my first gaming console, a MASTER SYSTEM 8bit console. This is 1990 or so... long before first gen playstation...

    it worked with ANY crt television (no LCD at that time), and did have really slow refresh rates (mostly 24fps, blinking the glasses at 12fps each eye), using the interlaced nature of TVs at the time.

    So you could see the closing and opening of the lenses if you tried too. The only game I played was pretty simple (Blade Eagle 3d) but that 3d really worked.

    It worked so well that i'm pretty critic at seeing 3d movies and 3d TVs. The only TV that provided a experience similar to the one I had in childhood was an active type - passive 3d like in movie-theathers and the new TVs is not even near as godd.
  • JarredWalton - Friday, December 30, 2011 - link

    120Hz panels are more expensive generally speaking, and active glasses are substantially more expensive than polarized glasses. Ergo, active displays are "more expensive". Unless you can find me a 120Hz panel that costs less than the passive equivalents, I'll stand by the statement that active 3D costs more. Reply
  • UpSpin - Saturday, December 31, 2011 - link

    120Hz displays are available already, 1920x2400 not (which is a requirement to get the same resolution in 3D) and those will be more expensive. Active glasses are cheap to produce, just two simple LC, not more, and you can mass produce them because they can work with other models, too. Active displays don't get more expensive than 2D display with increasing size, the important part, glasses, don't need a change. Passive however becomes more expensive, because the two additional circular polarizers in the panel must get larger, too, and you need new one for each model.
    So in the end, for an active system, you only need a currently mainstream 120+Hz display and a not so expensive to manufacture active glasses.
    For passive you need a LC panel with twice the resolution, two opposite circular polarizers which must fit to each individual pixel and the glasses with two additional polarizers.

    The reviewed display is the only display I know which currently uses the passive approach in the mainstream. It's not comparable with active displays, because this reviewed model uses the cheapest parts available (poor panel, low 3D resolution, ...) and doesn't offer the quality of active models, thus a price comparison is stupid, because they aren't comparable. Wait for a 1920x2400 IPS passive 3D display. Oh, it isn't available? Mh, what could be the reason? Too expensive yet, maybe?

    Active is the cheapest full color 3D option, passive will be the future(almost all 3D cinemas use it already), it isn't yet, because of money.

    You're right, active 3D costs more for you at the moment, but because no real higher quality passive 3D displays are available yet, so a comparison is impossible.
  • grammatonF - Saturday, December 31, 2011 - link

    I think the point is that the passive reviewed here uses a 60hz screen and makes no attempt to double the vertical resolution and so the end result is VASTLY INFERIOR to active shutter. I've used active shutter since 2004 at least since Nvidia have supported it for a long time. Never had headaches nor have I noticed flicker.

    I can agree that a hypothetical passive 3d system using a screen with double vertical res would be better. But then why bother with that when glasses-free 3d is almost upon us.

    The "3d monitor" on review here is inferior to active shutter 3d. Do I want a 3d system with vertical res so bad I can't see small text? No way!

    I will be purchasing my shutter glasses today. I've had an LG 120hz monitor for many months now. Cost £178. My friend got the same monitor used at BT shop for £135.
  • Bownce - Tuesday, January 10, 2012 - link

    It's from WAAAY before 2000. It was available as a plug-in accessory for 3-D CAD design for the Atari Mega-ST business computers in the late 80's (working with a standard, CTR monitor). Reply
  • snarfbot - Saturday, December 31, 2011 - link

    the best passive tech in terms of crosstalk is the dolby 3d, each lens filters out all frequencies of light except for 3 specific bandwidths in each primary color range.

    the projectors project through similar lenses of course one for each eye, it doesnt require a silver screen either.

    microvision already has their pico laser projector on the market, so its just a matter of time until its scaled up for theater use. provided it can be made safe enough for the fcc. lasers can be sorta dangerous.

    anyway it would be perfectly suited to the technology, considering it can output a specific wavelength in each primary band.
  • jconan - Sunday, January 01, 2012 - link

    No, it's not the trick vision, it's that the 3D images aren't optimized for varying intra-ocular distances that vary by a few mm. There are quite a few studies out there on 3D imaging and viewer fatigue. Reply
  • MattM_Super - Wednesday, January 04, 2012 - link

    I also disagree with you about 60hz flicker not being perceptible. 60hz CRTs drove me nuts and the flicker in Nividia's 3d vision is similarly annoying. I don't seem to have any problems with theater 3d using polarized glasses.
    As far as 60hz vs 120hz LCDs go, 60hz monitors don't flicker noticeably since they are continuously lit. However, 120hz (with 120fps) has less tearing and ghosting in horizontally moving shapes and clearer textures when turning or strafing in 1st person games
  • MattM_Super - Wednesday, January 04, 2012 - link

    I should add that 60hz flicker is like a very high pitched tone. Some people can hear a loud annoying eeeeee, while others just don't hear anything at all. I know people (myself included) who instantly notice when they sit down in-front of a 60hz CRT (or any CRT set to 60hz) and others who can't tell a difference in a blind test. Reply
  • robinthakur - Wednesday, January 04, 2012 - link

    Completely agree. The first monitor I got years ago supported 60Hz, 100Hz and 120Hz. At 60, viewing was flickery and uncomfortable with ahigh pitched CRT whine, at 100 was smooth and 120 was a dream. Even if the display switched back to 100Hz without me initially realising, I soon got a feeling that it wasn't as smooth as it could be. In the same way, I find it incredibly hard to like games which play at less than 60fps. The difference is absolutely noticeable, and enhances everything about the game's animation when it is at or above 60. I probably got this from the Dreamcast with its VGA box and refused to play games that didn't support it because they were the games which didn't run at 60fps (with the exception of the Capcom fighters) lol Reply
  • robinthakur - Wednesday, January 04, 2012 - link

    I'm afraid, as an owner of both passive 3d and Active 3d TV's I would completely disagree with you. I owned a Panasonic VT30 50" Active 3D display and got absolutely sick of the headaches, eye-strain, dim images and flickering I got from my window behind the TV. In addition, you have to charge the glasses all the time and have a spare set available in case the charge goes flat whilst watching a movie. At £50 per set, they were too expensive to buy a large enough number for the family to watch TV at the same time, so the feature was used very sparingly.

    I happened to see an LG passive screen at my mate's house a couple of months ago and had my eyes opened to the potential of 3D in the home. After having slagged off his choice for the 'halved' vertical resolution, I had to admit my mistake as it was so comfortable watching the image and at the correct viewing distance, I couldn't perceive any negative effects such as obvious line structure from the FPR. The long and the short is that I have replaced my Panasonic with a shiny new LG passive Cinema 3D set (which comes with 7 pairs of glasses) and would not go back if they paid me. We now watch a great deal of 3D OTA and Blu Ray 3D programming and it has made the format people-friendly.

    The choice might not be superior on paper, hence my original purchasing decision, but it is borderline scandalous that they majority face of 3D in the home at this time is a technology which is simply more trouble than it is worth for the majority of normal people without dedicated Home cinemas. Samsung/Sony/Pansonic et al risk the failure of the whole 3D industry with their current technology IMO.

    This Viewsonic display is not best of breed either when it comes to passive, so don't write off the technology based on it.
  • Sabresiberian - Friday, December 30, 2011 - link

    LG makes IPS panels with what they call film-type pattern retarder (FPR) technology. I'm not sure how that is different from what this monitor has, or if it's even different.

    I'm not thrilled with the idea of these monitors because they don't use or promote 120Hz screens, which is something I'd really like to see become an industry standard. I'm also rather disappointed to see interlacing make a comeback, I thought that was dead. Still it offers something for those who can't use the shutter based 3D, which is a good thing, I think.

    The most important part, for me, though is that LG is using this on IPS panels. It's the first time 3D has been sold on an IPS panel, and that is, in my opinion, good progress and I congratulate LG for that.

    Hopefully, LG will see fit to send Anandtech a panel for testing purposes.

  • Conficio - Friday, December 30, 2011 - link

    Which model is the LG IPS 3D Display? Reply
  • Death666Angel - Saturday, December 31, 2011 - link

    LG 27" DM92 will be an IPS with 3D capabilities and 1440p resolution. At least that's what the news say. We'll know more when CES comes. Reply
  • Earballs - Sunday, January 01, 2012 - link

    "I'm not thrilled with the idea of these monitors because they don't use or promote 120Hz screens, which is something I'd really like to see become an industry standard"

    + all the rep in the world
  • robinthakur - Wednesday, January 04, 2012 - link

    Why can't we have 120fps IPS passive screens? I'm holding out for that because I can't use Active 3D due to the headache inducing flicker I can perceive (the same reason I can't watch DLP projected images using a colour wheel - I see rainbows) Reply
  • imaheadcase - Friday, December 30, 2011 - link

    I don't know anyone who even cared about 3d movies, let alone to see one specifically for that. Reply
  • velis - Friday, December 30, 2011 - link


    That said, it is said that LG will introduce new high resolution passive 3D monitors at this CES. Assuming that vertical resolution really reaches at least 1600, I'd really like to see those monitors reviewed as soon as possible.
  • cheinonen - Friday, December 30, 2011 - link

    If LG has a new, high resolution, passive 3D monitor at CES I'll certainly talk to them about it, right after I look at their OLED and 4K display demonstrations. Even a 2560x1440 LCD would be able to do full 720p resolution for passive 3D and would look far better.

    I'm not a big 3D person, but typically prefer passive when given the choice. I'm testing out an active 3D projector on my 122" screen right now and it's much easier on the eyes than watching an active 3D monitor I find, but the glasses still are not as comfortable and are more expensive. I'll talk to who I can at CES about anything that I see.
  • jkostans - Friday, December 30, 2011 - link

    It's going to be 2012 very soon and we still haven't come up with a good CRT replacement.

    60Hz is choppy,120Hz should be the industry standard by now
    Viewing angles still suck (120Hz panels)
    Color quality is still a problem, especially from the factory
    Uniformity is still not great
    Resolution is fixed and there are only 1080p and lower options (120Hz)
    ANY Input lag is inexcusable

    LCD should be a very mature technology by now but it seems people would rather pay for cheap crap than invest in a nice display. No wonder the manufacturers haven't fixed any of these problems, it's not worth the R&D time. Why people are even bothering with 3D is beyond me. I got my fix in 2000 with the ELSA revelators. Pretty cool effect for a little while but nothing game changing. A 3 monitor setup provides much more immersion than a single 3D display in my opinion.
  • snarfbot - Saturday, December 31, 2011 - link

    its always going to have some level of lag with a fixed pixel display, it has to update the screen all at once so it has its own framebuffer that stores the image as it gets it from the source.

    its possible that the source say a videocard could have a general controller that supported every different type of display but then they would need a standards group and all that. also it would remove the ability of display manufacturers to provide different levels of features for their products, in effect, they would just be branding the panel and thats it. it really doesnt make business sense for them to cooperate in something like that.

    anyway, it would just move the logic from the display to the source, and might not necessarily improve anything. besides, theres already enough complexity in the display chain, without introducing yet more cost and compatibility issues.

    it would be nice to start over from scratch, get a standard that is forward thinking, drop all legacy baggage etc, (why do fixed pixel displays overscan? which basically involves cropping and upscaling? one of lifes great mysteries.) but i dont see it happening in my lifetime unfortunately.
  • Anthony RAmos - Friday, December 30, 2011 - link

    Actually Chris, display specialist, Dr. Raymond Soneira, proved that Passive actually provides full HD 3D in the study below:

    He also showed that Passive is very often better than Active 3D at resolution tests because of complex timing issues between Active glasses and the set. Read below:

    "The theory and fundamental principle behind full FPR vertical resolution and sharpness is that the 3D TV images have only horizontal parallax from the horizontally offset cameras, so the vertical image content for the right and left eyes are in fact identical – but with purely horizontal parallax offsets from their different right and left camera viewpoints. So there isn’t any 3D imaging information that is missing because all of the necessary vertical resolution and parallax information is available when the brain combines the right and left images into the 3D image we actually see. So as long as the viewing distance is sufficient so that the raster lines are not visually resolved (for 20/20 vision the visual resolution is 1 arc min, which corresponds to 6.1 feet for a 47 inch TV) the brain should fuse the images from the right and left eyes into a single full 1080p resolution 3D image. One important detail to note is that there are actually two entirely equivalent odd-even and even-odd line pairings for both the right and left FPR images, so both FPR TVs alternate between them at their full Refresh Rate. This also eliminates image artifacts that would result from picking just one pairing or the other.

    That is the theory and principle behind 3D Image Fusion for FPR, so now we need to actually test it to see how accurate it is and how sharp the 3D images actually appear. This can not be evaluated with instrumentation or cameras – only visually – but it can be done in an analytic and systematic fashion with objective quantifiable results that anyone can duplicate at home to verify our results and conclusions on 3D TV imaging and sharpness for themselves. Here’s how…"
  • JarredWalton - Friday, December 30, 2011 - link

    It sounds like that doctor went in with a desire to prove that passive was better than active. Moreover, it sounds as though he only worked with film/TV sources. Whatever the case, Chris tested this particular LCD and played games on it, and the result is that text in his opinion was more difficult to read.

    Perhaps if he was at least 1 arc minute away from the display it would have worked better. Consider this statement: "But it’s not that simple because we watch TV from a far enough distance that the lines are not resolved and we know that the brain combines the images from both eyes into a single 3D image (the one we actually see) in a process called Image Fusion." His evaluation of active vs. passive points out many of the advantages of passive (less/no flicker and crosstalk), but while all of that may be true, the vertical resolution controversy is hardly disproved by his opinion.

    Again, a quote: "Because they split the odd and even lines between the right and left eyes it’s easy to see why many people (and some reviewers) conclude that FPR technology delivers only half of the HD resolution. Although unsubstantiated it still seems to have evolved into some sort of myth based on hearsay instead of actual scientific visual evaluation." Scientific visual evaluation seems to me to correspond to "personal subjective evaluation", with science not necessarily involved. More importantly, what happens if you're not far enough away? Then suddenly you see the reduced vertical resolution show up. I still use a 1080i HDTV for my home, and while it works fine for video content, it's horrible for text unless the text is very large (e.g. 10 foot UI).

    Ultimately, I also prefer passive 3D for viewing 3D content, but I'd prefer to have 120Hz LCDs more than passive 3D. 120Hz helps in non-3D use (quite a bit actually, in my opinion), and I still feel 3D is largely a gimmick that I don't need or even want. But then, you know what they say about opinions. :-)
  • robinthakur - Wednesday, January 04, 2012 - link

    It's an interesting (and evolving) subject. On LG's bigscreen Cinema 3D TV's with the latest firmware you can now select what format the passive 3D is displayed in. One displays native passive 1080i to both eyes meaning that you actually don't lose any resolution because the eyes de-interlace them. The other mode displays with half vertical resolution 540p to both eyes. However, in terms of which looks better when you are watching it, I have to say that I see very little difference with either, so alot of this is entirely perceptual. I concede that on a small screen monitor, the negative effects will likely appear far larger than it would be a on a larger screen, but the technology itself is not inherently worse than active, just from the specs on paper. Reply
  • cheinonen - Friday, December 30, 2011 - link

    The ViewSonic has now left my possession, but as both it and the previously reviewed Samsung are targeted at gamers for 3D, the ViewSonic just did not work for games with heavy text levels. The screenshot I attached did a decent job of replicating the effect, but often text was totally illegible and I had to get away from 3D to read it. This was not an issue with the Samsung, but the active 3D caused me other issues.

    I've reviewed a fair number of active and passive TVs as well, and while I have preferred the passive 3D for watching, the lack of resolution made titles like Tron Legacy harder to watch with the aliasing, but also easier on the eyes due to the passive nature. The most enjoyable 3D experience I've had so far at home is with the JVC X30 projector on a 122" projection screen, as I found I had no headaches or anything else from it. The JVC can run at 96 Hz natively, but I am not sure if that is what they are doing with 24p film content or not, but plan to find out. Even a 50" plasma with active 3D started to give me a headache after some time.

    I think the eventual future of 3D is 120 Hz or 240 Hz passive displays with enough resolution (or the Real3D projector that Samsung was working on but abandoned this year) to provide the 1080p experience with passive glasses. The cost benefits, and and more relaxed viewing, make it my preferred choice, but the loss of resolution is a killer for me right now. I also think they need to find a way to deal with the texture from the patterned retarder, as when I notice it, I am driven absolutely crazy by it.
  • OCNewbie - Friday, December 30, 2011 - link

    I had recently heard about this monitor through the AT forums, and had been looking for a review without any success. I had been considering getting it anyway, but now my purchasing (or not purchasing) decision will be made with much higher confidence thanks to this review. Reply
  • mggstechco - Friday, December 30, 2011 - link

    So far, LG has the fastest growth in 3D Experience and customer-acceptance in the world. Though they may not be the biggest market share now.
    Most Favorite 3D Experience LED TV
  • thebeastie - Friday, December 30, 2011 - link

    So what is technically over say 1 second the effective resolution?
    Does it flick between the half res to provide a full resolution over 2 frames?

    If so does it seem we are over complaining about ithis type of 3d passive technology since technologies like CRT actually only have 1 pixel on the screen in a single point in time but I don't see people ever complaining how crap the resolution is on CRT simple because there is only 1 dot on the screen if you use a super fast camera to capture it.

    If it similar to CRT where you see the full resolution because your eyes/brain are not fast enough to see the single dot or half resolution then it sounds like a really great technology and people are just being silly spec heads about and not 'seeing the full picture', no pun intended.
  • JarredWalton - Saturday, December 31, 2011 - link

    I believe the way passive 3D works is that two 1080p images are taken, then half the lines are dropped from each, and simultaneously the LCD displays a single 1080p image with half the lines polarized so that the left eye doesn't see them and the other half polarized the opposite direction so the right eye doesn't see them. Reply
  • Zap - Saturday, December 31, 2011 - link

    Heh, this reminds me of the 22" IZ3D monitor we have sitting in a closet here. It also used polarized glasses, but the monitor actually has two LCD panels in it so you get full resolution. Reply
  • mggstechco - Monday, January 02, 2012 - link

    Above is official link about FPR 3D Technology that have been developed and used by LG to build their 3D HDTV and monitor for all range of display size.

    Most Favorite 3D Experience 42inch LED TV
  • mr2kat - Tuesday, January 03, 2012 - link

    To be honest I am very disappointed with the slow progress on 3D both in terms of TV's and also the quality of 3D films. I am particularly horrified by the upcoming flood of converted 2D to 3D, much of which I get to review ahead of the general public.

    Anyhow the simple truth is that the best passive technology comes from DLP projectors and plasma. DLP (projection and back-projection) can support Dolby 3D which allow passive glasses. Or (in theory at least) the more expensive RealD solution (also using passive glasses).

    Most LCD technologies, even with recent improvements, are incapable of a full on-off transition across the entire display within a 1/120th of a second. It isn't just a question of switching times on an LCD element; the electronics are usually incapable of doing a full screen refresh. But in any case this isn't even as good as your average 3D screen which usually manages 144 pristine images a second (each image is alternated 3 times).

    So if you really want 3D I would snap up a DLP projection solution (or plasma) before they become extinct. They really are superb but most people look straight past them to the wow factor of LED/LCD displays.

    Personally I cannot tolerate ghosting or aliasing issues so I use a headset for when I really need 3D in a computer environment (you will see the headset I use at CES2012). For movies I use passive glasses with a circular polarized (RealD) LG TV and a Mitsubishi DLP projector.

    Of course the situation is evolving and I know there are many uses for 3D that are waiting to be tapped. However unless you have more money than sense I would limit the premium I'd be willing to pay for 3D to no more than $300.

    Most TV's that offer 3D are cynically over-priced considering the cost of adding Active 3D to the typical LCD TV set is maybe $20 in production costs. As for the glasses, well they cost less than $17 for active glasses and $8 for the best passive glasses. What did you pay for yours?
  • dorky82 - Wednesday, January 04, 2012 - link

    Hmmm LG released same monitor last year with tridef3d.
    I bought it on release day(was in korea for vacation).
    Its not worth money. You see double image if you move ur head from center. Tridef has only few titles you can play. Built in 2d to 3d function is joke.
    you must run your software through tridef to get 3d work(link games/app with tridef) and must have good config(ini sort) to get it running. You can download other people's config to run little better.
    you see lines all over and resolution is halved when you turn on 3d. Played with for week and sold it on ebay. It ran for 300 last year.
    Lol i still have full licensed tridef installed on my laptop(m17-r3 with 6970m)
  • dorky82 - Wednesday, January 04, 2012 - link

    Lg d3p series. I bought one with hdmi option(was extra 50) Reply
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  • dstigue - Monday, January 09, 2012 - link

    I know the main argument of active shutter guys is it's half resolution but I would have to disagree with you whole heartedly. When one eye gets half and the other eye the other half your brain puts it together for a full 1080.. I know you think I'm lying but try it for yourself and tell me you can't see every detail. It's actually odd.. You see more in 3D then 2D. Check out the legend of gahoole.. You see every feather on the owls it's sick.. I own a lg55lw5600.. Wish I got the 5300 don't need the apps and could have saved some money. My xbox is going to blow it out of the water in the app department soon anyway. But trust me passive is the way to go. Not sure about this monitor can't rate. But on the whole passive will take the crown in the next few years. Followed by no glasses if they can ever solve the multiple viewing angles issue. Reply
  • Mallec - Monday, January 09, 2012 - link

    How about the LG 3D D2342P display? It seems to be a very good passive glasses solution. It would be very nice to see an analysis or comparison with it. Reply
  • MobiusStrip - Monday, January 09, 2012 - link

    "as most monitors will be used with web pages, word processors, and spreadsheets, there are a lot of white backgrounds that will accentuate it."

    Yep, because of the continued use of failed inverse-video color schemes from the "desktop publishing" fad, during which vendors wanted to draw an analogy between the screen and a sheet of paper. That analogy fails because a sheet of paper doesn't EMIT light, the way a screen going full-blast in your face does.

    At least with most OSes you can set up a color scheme that makes sense, with a dark background and light text. Mac users are SOL, since the vaunted Mac UI still doesn't have user-definable color schemes (which Windows has had for 20 years).

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