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NVIDIA's 3DTV Play Explained

We just returned from GDC 2010!

Up until now, NVIDIA GeForce 3D Vision glasses and software were marketed as a proprietary stereoscopic 3D solution which only worked with NVIDIA branded glasses.  However, what if you buy a 3D HDTV and it already includes 3D glasses of its own?  More than that, what if your 3D HDTV is based on polarized technologies which have nothing to do with shutter glasses?

 

3DTV Play Logo

NVIDIA has announced plans to release a new software product called "NVIDIA 3DTV Play".  Not quite a response to AMD's "open stereo initiative", this represents an opportunity for gamers to use NVIDIA's GeForce 3D Vision drivers with a wide range of 3D HDTV options and bundled glasses.

The press release was a little ambiguous, so Bryan Del Rizzo from NVIDIA was kind enough to make some clarifications!

First, the solution is 100% based on HDMI specifications.  It is true that you can connect with a DVI output, but only through a DVI-to-HDMI cable or adapter.  Through a driver update, the DVI output can be programmed to follow HDMI 1.4A mandatory formats.  However, this would not include HDMI Ethernet connectivity.

NVIDIA 3DTV Play only supports the mandatory HDMI 1.4a 3D formats:

o   Frame Packing

     - 1080p @ 23.98/24Hz
     - 720p @ 50 or 59.94/60Hz

o   Side-by-Side Horizontal

      - 1080i @ 50 or 59.94/60Hz

o   Top-and-Bottom

      - 720p @ 50 or 59.94/60Hz
      - 1080p @ 23.97/24Hz

While there are some HDMI 1.3 3D HDTVs being released in 2010, they too will be supported because they are capable of supporting the mandatory 1.4A formats.  However, this should not be construed as HDMI 1.3 televisions being HDMI 1.4 or 1.4A compliant.

Mitsubishi and Samsung DLP or checkerboard based televisions will not be supported by 3DTV Play.  You will either have to use the NVIDIA GeForce 3D Vision Glasses, or alternative driver solution (.e.g DDD and iZ3D).

NVIDIA places no restrictions on which glasses you choose to use with your 3D HDTV.  The manufacturer can use any type of glasses and any technique.  This also includes passive polarized options.

The price tag is about $40 US and is free for existing NVIDIA GeForce 3D Vision Users.  Watch for it in the spring!