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 HMD help, and introduction. 
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Golden Eyed Wiseman! (or woman!)

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Hi! First thread here, so first an introduction, and then what I need help with.

I am a computer enthusiast, have a lot of practical electrical knowledge with many devices, and also have good computer skills. I am one of the top 15 posters on forums.benheck.com, a game console modding community that focuses on making retro systems into handhelds, and I am also the owner of forums.modretro.com, a newer forum with the same aim.

I am building a new desktop rig, and am probably going to go Nvidia, since as lame as they seem to be about drivers, I have a better shot with them than ATI. I am looking to build a 3D setup, and after ruling out anaglyph, I narrowed down my options. Currently, I have a pretty nice 22" Westinghouse LCD that is great for 2d use. That said, here are what I perceive to be my options after a lot of research:

1. Buy a 120hz monitor and nvidia/edimensional shutter glasses.

Not really an option for me, I do not really want to spend $300+ on a new monitor, then more for glasses, when my current setup is fine for 2d. As far as I know, no IZ3D drivers.

2. Buy an IZ3D monitor.

I could do this, but the same thing applies as the above. Hard to justify spending when it is the same size/lower 2d specs than my current monitor, and a brand new 28" LCD with good quality is going to end up costing less.

3. Buy a VR920.

Looks good, but low res and FOV seem to be a bummer. Plus, I heard that you need to be able to focus well about 9 feet away. I am nearsighted, wearing my glasses is possible, but not optimal. Has modern driver support from IZ3D, but costs $49.99 for the driver. Quick question to confirm, it only supports 30hz per eye in 3D mode, yes?

4. Buy a Headplay.

Looks nice, has adjustable optics (Hooray, a fix for no glasses?), good res, seems to have a very slightly wider FOV than the VR920, and the vast array on inputs does not hurt. I can rig up motion tracking on my own hardware, so lack of it built in is no problem. Issue is that I cannot really understand the status of IZ3D drivers on it, it uses a shuttering format, any way to get this to work on modern GPUs?

5. Buy a Z800.

I am really liking this headset the best, looks and feature wise. It seems to something close to the Headplay for 3d, correct? I have read stuff about how it will work, but you need to keep the FPS above 60fps or the stereo reverses, is this the only issue? I can probably manage keeping the frame rate of my games above 60 at 800x600 if that is all that is needed.

Another thing: It seems like almost all HMDs are limited to 30hz per eye. If that is the case, is there any reason I cannot use a 60hz monitor and shutter glasses for 30hz per eye? Obviously not optimal, but it sounds like it would be about the same as most lower end HMDs. Thoughts? If this were the case, a 28" monitor and some shutter glasses would be awesome. :shutter

That is about all for now, could anyone back up what I am thinking is correct, and make suggestions? I am sure I will have more to ask, but that is all for now, as I have already ranted on long enough! :lol:

Thanks in advance for any help!


Sat Aug 22, 2009 9:05 pm
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3D Angel Eyes (Moderator)
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First off, if you are looking into HMDs you should really read this thread:
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=3712&start=0

To make a long story short, the VR920 is really the only HMD worth buying at this point in time.

That said, I would recommend getting a 3D monitor over the VR920. Your main choices are the iz3D, Nvidia 3D Vision (Samsung/Viewsonic), or the Zalman Trimon. All are 22" monitors. I've got the Zalman and I am pretty happy with it. Both the Zalman and the iz3d are passive solutions, the 3D Vision is an active solution. The Zalman can be had for around $300, iz3D retails for $400 and the 3D Vision is in the $600 range (for the bundle). In all honesty, those should be your main 3 options you should be looking at. Don't bother with those obsolete headsets.

I understand what you are saying about your 2D monitor being fine, but it is only a 2D monitor. You are paying for the 3D features with a 3D monitor. Obviously that is going to cost a premium, especially as an early adopter. Things were nice back in the CRT heydays when you could get a pair of shutter-glasses for around $100 and be good to go. Unfortunately those days are long gone. And yeah, you could get a 28" 2D monitor, but what fun is that? If you want to be on the cutting edge you need to be willing to pay the premium for the latest tech. Its like the difference between getting a WD VelociRaptor HDD with only 300GB or getting the WD Caviar Green with 2TB but the slower drive. Personally, I would get both, and thats probably what you want to do with your monitors (dual monitor 2D+3D). When you consider that just a new video card could easily cost you $500, paying $300-400 on a *3D* monitor seems like a good deal.

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Sun Aug 23, 2009 12:42 am
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Two Eyed Hopeful

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well you pretty much nailed all the options.

as for the 60hz monitor plus shutter glasses idea, if your talking about an lcd it wont work well if at all.

shutter glasses work the same way lcd displays work, so theyre polarized, if theyre polarized at the same angle, then no light will pass through them from the screen, regardless of whether theyre on or off..

another problem is that the pixels on an lcd take time to turn on and off, which is referred to as response time, which your probably familiar with anyway. and then theres input lag, which all flat panels suffer from to varying degrees. the problem is that any delay whatsoever will cause crosstalk because the pixels havent changed completely.

also nvidia shutters wont work at all at less than 85hz i think, although im not absolutely positive.

it would be nice to have a 28" 3d monitor at a reasonable cost, but it just isnt possible right now.


Sun Aug 23, 2009 12:46 am
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I have used z800, not good for long gameplay, made my head hot and sweaty and caused me eyestrain quicker than a monitor. iz3d monitor with passive glasses is most ergonomic solution for long gameplay in my opinion for small monitor. Also you get iz3d driver for free that way. Samsing and Mits DLP tv if you can find a good deal on a used one. You sound like you are going for cheap though, you can get cheapy CRT monitor off craigslist or ebay and go that route or maybe you still have some CRT monitors laying around. I have diamondtron 21inch crt with 180hz refresh rate I still use every so often just for great contrast ratio you can't get with current crop of s3d lcd's. Also you can get crt projector if you want 10 foot screen for very cheap too. I have sony 1272 crt projector doing 120 inch screen - I have seen them for 200-300 dollars on ebay - like my girlfriend used to say - size matters.

As far as making retro systems into handhelds, Sega put out 3d glasses called SEGASCOPE - do a search - maybe you can be first modder to do 20 year old s3d handheld system? Cyber said also Nintendo did 3d glasses 20 years ago, but only in Japan, but I think the nintendo s3d only had 1 game and segascope had several.

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Sun Aug 23, 2009 2:17 am
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4 and 5. The headplay uses legacy 7xxx nvidia drivers the same as the Z800. I believe you can use the iz3d page flipping drivers for either but will need to keep above 60fps to stop eye swapping. The z800 has a larger fov and perhaps better (but not adjustable?) optics.

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Sun Aug 23, 2009 5:42 am
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Golden Eyed Wiseman! (or woman!)

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Thanks for all the detailed explanations, it really helps. Thank goodness I already have a good understanding of how polarization filters work, I learned a lot about them doing LED backlight and polar filter replacement on old CCFL backlit screens! :lol:

@Cyberreality: I appreciate what you mean about being an early adopter, I just feel like it would be hard to spend a lot going from my current 22" to another. See, I spent a good bit extra on my current one so that I could have a really nice monitor with component, composite, svideo, and RGB inputs for all my old consoles! :P I had actually ruled out a dual setup, as I thought that you needed to use dual input on 3d monitors, but it looks like only the IZ3D monitor needs those. If I get a Zalman, I might just dual that with my current 22".

As for the VR920, it looks like I could pick one up on eBay for under $150 if I get lucky, and under $200 pretty reliably. Even if I get a 3D monitor, I would still like an HMD to play with for some other applications. Right now, it seems like the only real advantage the VR920 (Other than the price) has over the Z800 and the Headplay is the fact that you do not need to keep your FPS above 60. I should be able to manage that, so I guess it all comes down to how much I can get an HMD to play around with for.

A question for you: Does the Zalman work with IZ3D drivers? Do you have to pay for it?

@Snarfbot: Thanks for the explanation, crush my dreams, why dont'cha! :wink:

@Martin: I will look into those options, a real shame I got rid of my old Viewsonic 30" CRT monitor, it was great, but massive. :( If I had known about stereo 3d, I would not have gotten rid of it.

I would love to make a portable Segascope, it looks like an easy system to rig up. I am not gonna risk spending the money to buy and mod one unless I knew of a prospective buyer, though, we have an easy time selling N64 portables and SNES portables, but things like the TurboGrafx and C64 are much harder sells. :( If someone wants to commission a SegaScope portable from me or someone else on our forums, you will probably have a pretty easy time.

@Okta: I read your thread about the Headplay, seems like a real bummer. Then again, I am a young whipper-snapper, and I rarely have problems with things that some older people complain about, like writing emails on a 4.8" 1024x600 UMPC LCD. :lol: It sounds lie you have the opposite issue of me, I can see things fine up close, but I lose some focus at about 5 feet, a bit more at 15, and everything else beyond that is pretty blurry. The good news is, I am used to ghosting on real life images! :roll: Do you have any interest in selling the Headplay? Even in 2d, I would love to have an HMD, as I have a lot of projects that would work well with one.

Thanks for the help again!


Sun Aug 23, 2009 12:28 pm
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Yeah, you can definitely run dual monitor with the Zalman (thats how I have it) and also with the 3D Vision. Its just the IZ3D that needs two cables. The Zalman does in fact work with the iz3d driver, but you have to buy a license. Its only an extra $50, but of course you can use the Nvidia driver for free. I believe it also works with the TriDef Ignition driver, but I've never tried that.

In terms of the VR920, its not really a bad buy (especially if you can grab it for under $200) but its just not on the same level as a 3D monitor. Since I got the Zalman my VR920 has sat in a box. But its still cool to have and I am sure I will bust it out one day just for fun. What you are getting with the VR920 is driver support. It comes with the Vuzix Stereo driver which supports close to 40 games (like Crysis, COD4, HL2, CS:S, UT2004, WOW, etc) and works on XP/Vista with Nvdia or ATI cards. It also works with the iz3D driver which supports over 100+ games on XP/Vista and either Nvidia or ATI cards. In comparison, if you go with the Nvidia 3D Vision you are stuck with using only an Nvidia card on Windows Vista. Or if you go with the Z800/Headplay you are stuck with XP and antiquated Nvidia cards/drivers. The VR920 is also the cheapest of the bunch, has headtracking, a free SDK and good community support. All in all not a bad option, even if I would recommend getting a 3D monitor instead.

I'm not sure you fully understand the issues involved with getting the iz3d driver to work with generic HMDs/shutter glasses. You can search the forum and you will find tons of people with orphaned hardware. Even with a top of the line system, if your FPS dips below 60FPS (even for one frame) the stereo will go out of sync and you will have to use a hot-key to switch the eyes. When you are playing a game it may seem like you are getting a solid 90FPS but really some frames are rendering at 120FPS and others at 60FPS and its so fast you don't notice. So if you only get an average of say 80FPS chances are its dipping below 60FPS at the low-points. So the stereo will be constantly going out of sync (primarily when there is a lot of action on screen, precisely the moments you don't want to be messing with the settings). Its just a serious headache and I guarantee you will be disappointed if you go down that road.

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Sun Aug 23, 2009 1:42 pm
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I think I am leaning towards the Zalman, the only thing stopping me is that it cuts the vertical resolution in half. :( I also looked into passive 3d dual projector setups, but my "play space" does not allow the room for that, sadly. Maybe if I can negotiate a larger space... :wink:

Would you mind doing a test for me? One of the main reasons I am so concerned with IZ3D drivers is that they are currently the only ones I know of that will work with Dolphin, a Wii and Gamecube emulator. In addition, they work well with Project64, an N64 emulator. Could you see if Project64 runs with your Zalman well? (Dolphin would be nice, too, but setup is a nightmare, and it needs a really, really fast rig). If the Zalman can work with Project64, I am pretty much sold on it. Also, how much is the brightness on the screen reduced? I like my bright screens. ;)


As for the 60fps thing, that does seem like an annoying flaw. How viable would a script that monitors the FPS, then triggers the hotkey when it goes below 60fps be?

Another thing I have been toying with is a way to trick the eye into thinking an HMD has a larger field-of-view. A long while back, I rigged up a DIY Ambilight system of sorts for my computer monitor using RGB LEDs. Considering that SMT ones are now available, it should not be too hard to have 4 strips, one on each side of the LCD, and have them match the dominant color on that side of the LCD. That would illuminate your peripheral vision with a matching color, and it might be enough to better immerse yourself, since most people only actively focus on what is in front of them, anways.


Sun Aug 23, 2009 3:42 pm
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PalmerTech wrote:
I think I am leaning towards the Zalman, the only thing stopping me is that it cuts the vertical resolution in half. :( I also looked into passive 3d dual projector setups, but my "play space" does not allow the room for that, sadly. Maybe if I can negotiate a larger space... :wink:

Unless you build a dual beamer rig you are not going to get the full-quality no matter what. None of the available 3D monitors produce a full-frame, full-resolution image. With the Zalman it is cutting the vertical resolution in half, yes, but you are getting two constant video streams for each eye. With the Nvidia 3D Vision you are getting a full-resolution image, but for only one eye at a time. The other eye sees absolutely nothing. So really, even then, you are only getting half the resolution. Its just divided over time instead of space. With the IZ3D only one panel is displaying the color information in full resolution. The other panel controls the polarization so still, you are only getting the resolution detail of one monitor for both eyes. So at the end of the day with any of those solutions you are only getting 1680 x 1050 divided by two (any way you want to slice it).

PalmerTech wrote:
Would you mind doing a test for me? One of the main reasons I am so concerned with IZ3D drivers is that they are currently the only ones I know of that will work with Dolphin, a Wii and Gamecube emulator. In addition, they work well with Project64, an N64 emulator. Could you see if Project64 runs with your Zalman well? (Dolphin would be nice, too, but setup is a nightmare, and it needs a really, really fast rig). If the Zalman can work with Project64, I am pretty much sold on it. Also, how much is the brightness on the screen reduced? I like my bright screens. ;)

I suggest you download the iz3D driver and use the anaglyph mode to test those emulators. Even if you don't have anaglyph glasses you can at least test the performance and verify that it is indeed supported. Normally I would be down to test this myself, but I've been staying with family for the summer and don't have access to any of my gear. I've just been humping it with a crappy laptop and anaglyph glasses, can't wait to get back to my house. In terms of the brightness, it is dimmer for sure, but still acceptable. Its never bothered me much anyhow.

PalmerTech wrote:
As for the 60fps thing, that does seem like an annoying flaw. How viable would a script that monitors the FPS, then triggers the hotkey when it goes below 60fps be?

I don't know all the specifics, but if it were that easy I'm sure the iz3D developers would have implemented it themselves. I did hear that they may have found a solution, but who knows how long that will be until it comes out (if ever)?

PalmerTech wrote:
Another thing I have been toying with is a way to trick the eye into thinking an HMD has a larger field-of-view. A long while back, I rigged up a DIY Ambilight system of sorts for my computer monitor using RGB LEDs. Considering that SMT ones are now available, it should not be too hard to have 4 strips, one on each side of the LCD, and have them match the dominant color on that side of the LCD. That would illuminate your peripheral vision with a matching color, and it might be enough to better immerse yourself, since most people only actively focus on what is in front of them, anways.

That is an interesting idea. I'm sure it would have some effect, but I am not sure it would be enough to fake an immersive experience. You've got to understand that most of the headsets available are only in the 30-35 degree FOV range. So you can clearly see that there is no peripheral vision, with the large pillar-boxes on the sides. I doubt an ambilight setup would do much to alleviate that. Maybe if the HMD had a good 60-75 degree FOV it would work, otherwise it would be way too obvious. Still not a bad idea.

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Sun Aug 23, 2009 5:37 pm
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Quote:
Unless you build a dual beamer rig you are not going to get the full-quality nomatter what. None of the available 3D monitors produce a full-frame, full-resolution image. With the Zalman it is cutting the vertical resolution in half, yes, but you are getting two constant video streams for each eye. With the Nvidia 3D Vision you are getting a full-resolution image, but for only one eye at a time. The other eye sees absolutely nothing. So really, even then, you are only getting half the resolution. Its just divided over time instead of space. With the IZ3D only one panel is displaying the color information in full resolution. The other panel controls the polarization so still, you are only getting the resolution detail of one monitor for both eyes. So at the end of the day with any of those solutions you are only getting 1680 x 1050 divided by two (any way you want to slice it).


Palmer, check out my siggraph thread for "planar" type solutions. There was several on display at siggraph and I have links to them there. They are expensive commercially, but you can do a DIY solution for cheap. You just get another monitor exactly like the one you got now and a special mirror and VOILA! Also Palmer, check out the leep VR full FOV HMD just for fun. If you really want to spend some money I am working on a dome full FOV gaming driving simulator that got tremendously set back this weekend :( Cyber is giving you lots of good info. I too was very excited to get a z800, but that excitement wears off and the ergonomics issues remain, and like Cyber, after my iz3d monitor, I stopped using my HMD.

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Sun Aug 23, 2009 8:20 pm
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@Cyber: Even if the LED not immersive, it would be fun to try. Worst case, it looks super cheesy and I can use it along with the Winamp vizualizer for trippy lighting effects. :P

I hope they come out with the solution for generic HMDs, but considering that the beta has been out since May with no concrete progress (At least that I can see), waiting for them to figure it out is probably not the best solution. The fact that I cannot find a Z800 ANYWHERE for under $999 kinda seals the deal. :wink: Maybe in the future, I will get a Headplay or some such thing, but for now, looks like a no-go.

As for Project64, I should have clarified. I have basically just sold off most of my "fleet" of about 20 computers, leaving me with a few choice favorites, like my Amiga 2000 and my custom painted Compaq V4000 and 12" iBook. Because of that, I am unable to test any drivers myself. However, I am 100% sure that the IZ3D drivers work with Project64, as I have tested them myself, and other people have reported success. What I am wondering is if the Zalman will work with the nvidia drivers, without using IZ3D. If they can, I save $50! :P If anyone else it able to test this for me, I would be much obliged.

@Martin: Well, sounds like the general opinion on HMDs is not too good. I just lost an auction for a VR920 and DVD player combo on ebay by $3! (I bid 170, went for 173). Grrr... :evil: If I can get one that cheap, they look like a fun toy to play with, and with my caseworking skills, my first order of business will be to make a new shell.

I will look into that Planar thing some more and post back when I am properly educated, all I know from my earlier looks at it is that it looked pretty crazy, with a guy having a piece of glass up to his nose, sideways. :shock:

I am looking into that LEEP VR thing... I lack practical 3d knowledge, but I have above average understanding of LCDs and modifying them, I was one of the first people to make a backlit gameboy pocket LCD, actually:
Image

I have a few 640x480 3.5" LCDs sitting in my parts pile, looks like they may prove useful! I will research 3D some more, looking at the threads here on past DIY HMD projects, looks like they never really got past the idea stage. Once I figure out how to drive these things, I might be able to help a bit. :D


Sun Aug 23, 2009 9:22 pm
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You go Palmer! Build the future! ;) The planar stuff can be done side by side with your nose up to the glass, but that sucks. What I saw at siggraph you have top and bottom monitors with the glass aligned that way, much better and cooler and much more ergonomic! If the iz3d monitor hadn't been so cheap, I may have went that way. Palmer where do you live? You get something together similar to that leep vr and do a full FOV HMD and I think you can make yourself a lot of money with people here willing to buy. I think leep wanted 10K or so, but maybe if you can get it down to 2K or so you may have many buyers.

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Sun Aug 23, 2009 10:16 pm
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martinlandau wrote:
You go Palmer! Build the future! ;) The planar stuff can be done side by side with your nose up to the glass, but that sucks. What I saw at siggraph you have top and bottom monitors with the glass aligned that way, much better and cooler and much more ergonomic! If the iz3d monitor hadn't been so cheap, I may have went that way. Palmer where do you live? You get something together similar to that leep vr and do a full FOV HMD and I think you can make yourself a lot of money with people here willing to buy. I think leep wanted 10K or so, but maybe if you can get it down to 2K or so you may have many buyers.


I have found some good links, but I am not sure if they are the ones you were talking about. Would you mind direct linking me to them? :oops:

I live in Southern California, USA. Let me check some of my suppliers, I can have the prices for the actual LCDs and driver boards in an hour or so, after that, the optics would be all that is left.


Sun Aug 23, 2009 11:02 pm
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Ok, I can get a dual LED backlit 820x600 LCD setup for just over $170, including a VGA/Composite/Digital TV tuner input driver board for each panel. The LCD panels are 350:1 contrast ratio (Excellent compared to most HMDs, I think), have 300cd/m brightness, and no anti-reflective coating. Each LCD has its own driver board with VGA/Composite/Digital TV tuner input. This means that you could use a dual output graphics card with the IZ3D stereo output drivers. I know we only need VGA, but the cost savings to omit the TV tuner and AV inputs are about $5 per board, I think the $10 is worth it so that we can have compatibility with consoles, as well as a built in audio amp of decent quality (I am a sound freak, I will be using my own external sound card and an external amp... But might be fun to integrate that as well, if ya guys care (No offense, but you guys do not seem to focus nearly as much on the sonic experience). :wink: The driver boards run at a default lock of 60hz, took a look into the video encoder IC datasheet, it has 50/60/75hz modes, should be a very simple matter of leaving one detection line floating, and tying another to ground via a 1ohm resistor, and filtering the sync line through a new 0.1uf ceramic cap (The SMT one that is on the stock 60hz enabler line is gonna be hell to resolder, easier to just use a new one). The same applies for the full 820px mod I talk about below.

In short, with $170, I can buy both LCDs, both driver boards, and a screen bezel for each (nice for doing my magic with bondo, only cosmetic, not really important for functionality). Then, I will need another $1 in parts or so to do the 5 minute 75hz mod. Also, the LCDs are made to run at 820x600, but the board only runs them at 800x600. It will take a good 20 minutes per driver board an another $1 in parts to have the driver be able to switch to the real 820x600. It will give us a little more breathing room, I think, for the games that support that resolution.

Going to look into case cost, mostly the head mount, I have a few ideas. After that, all I need is optics. Also, right now, the current weight of both all the electrical parts are looking to be just under 1 pound. :D


Mon Aug 24, 2009 12:32 am
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PalmerTech wrote:
Ok, I can get a dual LED backlit 820x600 LCD setup for just over $170, including a VGA/Composite/Digital TV tuner input driver board for each panel. The LCD panels are 350:1 contrast ratio (Excellent compared to most HMDs, I think), have 300cd/m brightness, and no anti-reflective coating. Each LCD has its own driver board with VGA/Composite/Digital TV tuner input. This means that you could use a dual output graphics card with the IZ3D stereo output drivers. I know we only need VGA, but the cost savings to omit the TV tuner and AV inputs are about $5 per board, I think the $10 is worth it so that we can have compatibility with consoles, as well as a built in audio amp of decent quality (I am a sound freak, I will be using my own external sound card and an external amp... But might be fun to integrate that as well, if ya guys care (No offense, but you guys do not seem to focus nearly as much on the sonic experience). :wink: The driver boards run at a default lock of 60hz, took a look into the video encoder IC datasheet, it has 50/60/75hz modes, should be a very simple matter of leaving one detection line floating, and tying another to ground via a 1ohm resistor, and filtering the sync line through a new 0.1uf ceramic cap (The SMT one that is on the stock 60hz enabler line is gonna be hell to resolder, easier to just use a new one). The same applies for the full 820px mod I talk about below.

In short, with $170, I can buy both LCDs, both driver boards, and a screen bezel for each (nice for doing my magic with bondo, only cosmetic, not really important for functionality). Then, I will need another $1 in parts or so to do the 5 minute 75hz mod. Also, the LCDs are made to run at 820x600, but the board only runs them at 800x600. It will take a good 20 minutes per driver board an another $1 in parts to have the driver be able to switch to the real 820x600. It will give us a little more breathing room, I think, for the games that support that resolution.

Going to look into case cost, mostly the head mount, I have a few ideas. After that, all I need is optics. Also, right now, the current weight of both all the electrical parts are looking to be just under 1 pound. :D


Thats a great find! Whats are the dimensions of these displays? I would say the 820 is not worth doing as i dont think it is a commonly supported res.

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Mon Aug 24, 2009 3:52 am
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PalmerTech wrote:


Another thing I have been toying with is a way to trick the eye into thinking an HMD has a larger field-of-view. A long while back, I rigged up a DIY Ambilight system of sorts for my computer monitor using RGB LEDs. Considering that SMT ones are now available, it should not be too hard to have 4 strips, one on each side of the LCD, and have them match the dominant color on that side of the LCD. That would illuminate your peripheral vision with a matching color, and it might be enough to better immerse yourself, since most people only actively focus on what is in front of them, anways.


I like the idea but it sounds very difficult to build a tiny led array into the optics of a hmd.

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Mon Aug 24, 2009 6:02 am
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Palmer start here http://www.leepvr.com/index.php http://www.leepvr.com/38comparison.html

Why full FOV is as important as stereoscopic 3d for our gaming experience. http://www.leepvr.com/12periphery.html

In fact just read all the links there, should learn a lot.

http://www.planar3d.com/ See top and bottom, not side by side.

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Mon Aug 24, 2009 7:30 am
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@Palmer: Wow dude, looks like you know your stuff. $170 aint bad for two 800x600 screens. What is the size on those LED screens? Also, I would investigate the optics first and foremost. There are tons of suppliers for displays but not so much with the optics. This could make or break the whole project so you don't want to wait until the end to figure that part out. Other than that I think its a great idea, and if you can build a decent quality HMD I am sure you can find buyers.

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Mon Aug 24, 2009 8:56 pm
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@Okta: They are 7" panels. Luckily, I have one of the exact same panels they are using in front of me (No driver board, though), and after stripping the metal casing and swapping it with a roughly made plastic frame for the backlight and LCD, they are very, very light. Sadly, 7" is just a wee bit too big to go side by side in front of my eyes, centered. Sounds like I will be needing some mirrors... Any ideas, anybody?

And that LED strip idea would not be too hard at all for me to do, I have a lot of experience making them, all I have to do is lower the spacing and number of LEDs on one like this one I made:
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@Martin: Been reading through the LeepVR site, TONS of good info in there, wish they would get back into the game. Looks like I have two options, either using two displays and being capable of stereo, or using one display and not. I have a 9" LCD I could try out a single panel design on, I think, but if people want stereo, I would rather not develop a single panel one if people are not interested. But as that link showed, FOV is very important... Feedback?

I will be researching, lemme know if you have any ideas/feedback on optics, or anything else.


Mon Aug 24, 2009 10:16 pm
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@Cyber: You posted while I was writing my other post. :P

7" is not ideal, I can easily get ahold of some 640x480 3" LCDs, higher res than that is REALLY hard to get in the low volume market. It would be an interesting test to see if I can take a mass produced micropanel based HMD like the VR920 and put the guts into better optics, perhaps even an older VR helmet that was made with bad displays back in the day.

And I know what I am doing for some thing, still learning this 3D bit, though. :wink:


Mon Aug 24, 2009 10:28 pm
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3inch lcd's would be nice to keep the optics hassle to a minimum. You can buy cheap plastic credit card size fresnel lenses which might be perfect in front of them. Its a shame about the 640x480 though. If there was a way to interpolate a larger res it would be great.

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Tue Aug 25, 2009 3:49 am
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Just curious, why would interpolating a higher resolution be good? I thought running it at native was almost always best?

Another issue is that the 3" LCDs cost $190 EACH. :shock:

I know I need to figure out optics, but at the moment, it is looking like the best source of small LCDs would be to either use those 7" panels, or gut a Vuzix and use the Kopin assembly in there, with custom optics.


Tue Aug 25, 2009 11:34 am
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Interpolating (algorithm) is actually a way to electronically make an image bigger. Details will not be sharper since it's originally sampled at a lower res. Similar algorithms are used in hdtvs when viewing old broadcast formats. You can't interpolate a displays physical native resolution into a higher though. ;)

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Tue Aug 25, 2009 12:42 pm
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Yeah, I thought about using those credit card size fresnals with an HMD (the VR920) but it just made things really blurry. It just conflicted with the existing optics. And if I just held them up to my LCD screen I could see they had potential, but needed a good 4 inches between the screen to get a focused image. So that would be one huge HMD if you did it like that. Still, I could see how it might work in the right situation.

In terms of interpolation, its not so bad. For example, the VR920 is only 640x480 native, but it accepts up to 1024x768. Aside from small text (which is obviously un-readable) the actual games or videos do indeed look high-resolution. So with decent down-sampling you can achieve good results. Especially since some games don't even support 640x480 anymore (I think 800x600 is the minimum sometimes) you want to have that option.

Personally I think the best bet for a DIY HMD is to use dual micro-projectors (like the 3M MPro110) side-mounted (with polarizing filters), and some folded optics in a large dome-like helmet (like this: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... nment.html). It would be one hell of a project, but for 180 degree horizontal/vertical FOV full-color flicker-free stereo image. Yeah, thats the stuff.

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Tue Aug 25, 2009 9:02 pm
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http://www.vuzix.com/iwear/products_m920.html Palmer here is something I have found for about 1000 around the net, plugs into your PDA/phone. I am looking for something like this to plug into my HTC pda/phones and work with the newer windows mobile or goog android - the new htc touch pro 2 has a video out I believe, but I am not sure of resolution or compatible headsets, but I would be willing to buy something if you could get it cheap enough and we can get the guys over at xda developers to get the software working.

http://www.vuzix.com/iwear/products_wrap920.html Check this out though, lots of us are waiting on this thing, if they price it right, they will have a ton of sales.

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Tue Aug 25, 2009 10:01 pm
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@Cyber: I could order some myself, but it seems you may have some spare. Would you sell a few of those credit card size Fresnel for cheap? Also, did you try the fresnel on the actual LCD inside the VR920? It seems obvious that it would conflict with the existing optics.

With a helmet that big, I would not really be interested. :P

@Martin: What model is your phone? I could easily build you an HMD like that for about $150-400, depending on the resolution/acceptable size.

Those glasses are see through, though, an have a narrower field of view than the VR920. :(


Tue Aug 25, 2009 11:04 pm
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The fresnels I got were like $2 from here: http://scientificsonline.com/product.as ... 1251262970

I'll warn you that they are not the best quality, but might be ok for testing purposes. I don't know what happened to the ones I had. If you do go the fresnel route you would probably need some commercial grade ones so expect to spend anywhere from $25 and up a piece.

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Tue Aug 25, 2009 11:22 pm
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I will look into that. I just remembered an old friend who was looking into this years ago, I know he was using some kind of camera lens. Gonna see if he is still on the internet and ask him.

Cyber, would you be at all interested in selling your VR920? I have paypal, and have cool stuff of equal value I could trade (SmartQ 5 MID that is custom painted white, a Nokia N800, many modded consoles).


Tue Aug 25, 2009 11:34 pm
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I know we have been talking about HMDs, but on topic: I just bought an IZ3D monitor for $242 including shipping, woo.


Wed Aug 26, 2009 1:32 am
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PalmerTech wrote:
I know we have been talking about HMDs, but on topic: I just bought an IZ3D monitor for $242 including shipping, woo.


Congrats! I have mine for one week now and I'm very happy with it.

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Palmer I am hoping the vuzix wrap have a way to make them less trasparent for when you don't want the augmented reality. Perhaps a piece of opaque material that can be inserted? I have the xv6700 from verizon - which is a rebranded HTC Apache - what a great little device - I have gotten so much use out of it. If the new HTC touch pro 2 with video out was not on it's way soon, I would keep it another 2 years. Still see what you can retail a hmd for, I am certain if you get towards the lower few hundreds, you can make millions on ebay from people wanting an HMD solution to plug into thier pda and pda/phone. The newer PDA's don't have CF slots though do they, just sd? I can't wait to hear what games you like with the iz3d, I am hoping they make an iz3d projector, that is my dream. Remember they have new polarized glasses coming VERY SOON for iz3d monitors that should help with the ghosting you experience in very high contrast scenes - a smart guy like you can probably do something I have asked for before. If you will do a search for highly collimated light, I have a thread where if we get could a highly collimated light source into the iz3d monitor - the ghosting should be able to be totally removed, but I have been too busy - but this project is something I would help fund you for. I am certain if you could get a kit together, you could make millions for yourself, let me know if you need me to get the parts for you. I have some 3d iglasses I can get to you if you are interested.

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=3778&p=27947&hilit=collimated#p27947

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Wed Aug 26, 2009 5:36 pm
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Alright! LCD backlight theory! LCD backlights are actually my "specialty" of sorts on benheck and modretro forums, so fun to be useful in other places. Not to brag, but I have converted desktop LCDs, laptop LCDs, gamegear LCDs, and original gameboy and gameboy pocket LCDs (Those were hard, they are supposed to be reflective, not backlit) to LED backlights, not to mention the countless 5" PSone game screen LED mods I have done. All in all, I am very comfortable taking apart LCDs and replacing backlights, I do it all the time. :D

First, the new Vuzix thing: I am about 90% sure of the method that Vuzix is going to use. They are almost certainly going to use a transparent light diffusion panel that attempts to rotate light put in from the side to face out one direction. This technology was used in the Gameboy Advance SP, where they placed the diffusion panel on TOP of the LCD. However, I know from playing around with those panels that you can also reflect light BACKWARDS through a normal backlit LCD (The GBA SP LCD was the opposite). Basically, it will be an LCD screen with a diffusive frontloght panel on the outside of it. In low light situations, it will illuminate the LCD, but when outside, light from the outside world will also contribute, in fact making it look brighter. The downside is that it will not be good for VR, as frontlight panels are not the brightest method to light an LCD with. :(

That is how I would do it, I know some other LCD technologies they could use that would be better in many ways, but if they hope to retain the VR920 price point, then it is unlikely they will be used. :( Honestly, those have a smaller field of view, will use inferior tech for immersion, and due to the very nature of a visible pass LCD panel, will have lower contrast/brightness. For "augmented reality", I would far, far rather have a dual webcam solution piped to the glasses; You would be AMAZED at how small most webcams are when stripped of the plastic shell and FCC required metal shielding. ;)

Now, for a mono-view HMD: I will indeed check around, one eye is vastly easier to implements optics wise than 2. No worrying about the views lining up. ;) Would you also want a headphone, at least on one side? I was thinking of an HMD with an earphone over one ear for mono sound, and an LCD between 0.9" and 3". Adjustable focus is a must, I am studying the little slider wheel focusing system on a few camera viewfinders to figure it out. I will let you know when I have a good cost estimate. My biggest issue right now is trying to buy/build an LCD driver board small enough to fit in the casing. I assume you want this to look slick and sleek? I could build a cheap one pretty easily, but the size would be pretty large. I will do a mockup in paper and take a picture of myself wearing my "el-cheapo HMD" idea in the next few days.

I look forward to the new glasses, I hope I will get them for free, I ordered an "open box" IZ3D off newegg, hopefully they will support me.

This is like deja-vu for me, I actually have a lot of experience with those new 3M Vikuiti polarizers and diffusion films, I recently modded a 5" LCD with one. This stuff is the stuff of miracles! :mrgreen: They are pretty expensive, but you can get engineering samples if you have the right connections (Yay me). I could use the light guides for the backlight, but I do not think I can replace the polarizers as I do on the PSone LCD, due to the fact that there will be a polarizer in the middle of the IZ3D "LCD Sandwich". :( An LED light strip like the one I posted would be best as an "easy fix", but I do not know how it will compare to the brightness of the original IZ3D backlight. I will tear mine apart and compare it to normal CCFL tubes, and see what I can do. I must warn that the color temperature will be much "cooler", but this can be compensated with adjustment on the GPU side. I tried to get a "LED backlight kit" going a while back, but I lacked enough people to make a viable order for cheaply made ones (Hence my homemade ones). Perhaps the stereo 3d community is the place to get enough people.

The main issue is that I suspect that collimating the light will help, but there is only so much you can do without replacing the polarizers. If you want to fund my experiments, feel free, I would be glad to trade you the resulting product for an unmodded screen. :P Once I figure out the method, replicating it on another LCD will be a simple matter.

And IZ3D projector will not happen, at least using the current LCD design. You are looking at such massive light loss that it is just not possible. Perhaps a DIY projector using the current 22" and a silver screen, but too big for commercial production.

3D iglasses sound like a ton of fun to play with. :D I will be unable to do much real work on this right now, I am making a portable N64 for a contest with a quickly approaching deadline, and I am gonna be very busy right after. No no real hardware work for another 2-3 weeks.


Wed Aug 26, 2009 11:57 pm
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Double post again, sorry.

I guess I lied about not doing hardware work, as I just started my fiberglass mold for the HMD helmet. :lol: Since I have an IZ3D for "serious" 3D, I think I will try my hand at replicating the work of Leep VR.


Thu Aug 27, 2009 1:06 pm
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Some HMD (like the VR920) have square lenses instead of round lenses. This allows the lense to be wide enough so that the whole display is visible while keeping the height of the HMD small. A problem with some HMD is that the lenses are not big enough and you don't see part of the display.

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Thu Aug 27, 2009 9:04 pm
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PalmerTech wrote:
Double post again, sorry.

I guess I lied about not doing hardware work, as I just started my fiberglass mold for the HMD helmet. :lol: Since I have an IZ3D for "serious" 3D, I think I will try my hand at replicating the work of Leep VR.


That would be awesome if you could replicate the work of Leep VR. A few years ago I had some lengthy emails with Alex Howlett who is the owner of Leep VR. It truly is an amazing what he's done, unfortunately I don't know what's happened, whether he's bringing forward his full human visual field of view HMD. It had it working years ago but needed enormous funding to get it off the ground, it looks like amazing tech. His website is packed full of information. I am sure some techy guy like yourself with the experience could learn a lot from his site and the papers he's published on VR to go about and replicate or nearly replicate or even make better his work into a fully functional HMD.


Tue Sep 01, 2009 7:09 am
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I will be posting a thread tomorrow or the next day with my HMD progress. I think you will be surprised at how fast I move. :lol:


Wed Sep 02, 2009 12:09 am
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Looking forward to it :D ps check your pm regarding the headplay, maybe your just experienced enough to open one up and add uber optics!

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Wed Sep 02, 2009 3:07 am
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PalmerTech wrote:
I will be posting a thread tomorrow or the next day with my HMD progress. I think you will be surprised at how fast I move. :lol:


Have you been able to do anymore work on this HMD, and have you posted the thread yet?


Tue Sep 08, 2009 9:54 am
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viewtopic.php?f=26&t=4258

Comment please!


Tue Sep 08, 2009 10:58 pm
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Guys, check this out:
http://www.marketwatch.com/story/vuzix- ... _news_stmp

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