The product in a nutshell
The product in a nutshell
The Zalman ZM-M240W is Stereoscopic 3D LCD Monitor with a size of 42" / 60cm with a supported Full HD monitor resolution, which is lined up in Zalman's TriMon series.. This TN Panel has native 1920x1080 resolution with 300 candelas brightness, 5ms response time and a good dynamic contrast ratio of 10,000:1, it consumes only 50W during normal operation.
A very complete monitor with pretty decent 3D capability. included you'll receive a set of 3D Glasses and a set of clip on 3D Glasses, both polarizing glassed , of course.
|Display||Size||60 cm / 24 inch|
|Screen Ratio||16:9 wide|
|Max Resolution||Full HD 1920 x 1080|
|View Angle||2D View Angle : 170 degrees (Horizontal) / 160 degrees (Vertical)|
3D View Angle : 90 degrees (Horizontal) / 10 ~ 12 degrees(Vertical)
|Input Signal||Horizontal Frequency||30 ~ 83 KHz (Digital)|
|Vertical Frequency||56 ~ 75 Hz (Digital)|
||Analog RGB / DVI|
|Video Ports||15pin D-Sub / DVI / Audio In|
|Voltage||DC12V 5A Voltage|
|Plug and Play||DDC1/2B|
You probably already spotted it ... this is not a 120 Hz monitor. Zalman's M240W only has a 60Hz refresh rate. The TFT has been fitted with a Polarized filter and as such it uses (passive) polarized glasses that deliver 3D. That screams budget right from the start as the monitor is less expensive to make and the cheaper polarised glasses can be found for under 5 bucks on ebay should you need a lot of them.
By the way, The ZM-M240W should cost roughly 375 Euros, I say should here as the prices are inflated higher at the momnent. The glasses included feel a little cheap complying with the geeky stigma these glasses have, and I won't lie to you , you will look like Woody Allen after you put them on.
So 3D Stereoscopy, in our introduction we already told you that it is a wild west out there with too many formats and sub-formats. We are going to keep things as simple and understandable as possible in this article, preventing any more confusion. Pretty much we currently have four technologies:
- Anaglyph 3D technology (rubbish)
- Polarized 3D technology (also called passive 3D technology)
- Active 3D technology using shutter glasses
- Parallax barrier technology - 3D without glasses
Zalman screen makes use of Linear polarization to achieve its 3D effect (courtesy of 3dtvtechnology.org).
You don't need to understand polarization to be able to enjoy a movie from a polarizing 3D projector, but here's a basic explanation for if you're curious. The first thing you need to know is that light travels in the form of light waves. And usually these waves are oscillating in all sorts of directions. They're moving forward overall (away from the light source that they came from), but the waves are oscillating in lots of directions perpendicular to their forward motion. Polarization cuts out the oscillation of the light waves in some directions, leaving light waves that are oscillating more uniformly. There are two types of polarization that are relevant to 3D TV: linear polarization and circular polarization. Circular polarization builds on linear polarization. Linear polarization is the simple one and is the one being used by Zalman's monitor.
As mentioned above, usually light waves are oscillating in all sorts of directions. But a linearly polarized light filter makes it so the light that passes through is oscillating in one direction only. This reduces the intensity of the light, but it doesn't limit the colours that can pass through, which is good for 3D TV.
If the linearly polarized light reaches another linearly polarized filter (like that on your polarized glasses), the amount of light that gets through depends on the angles of polarization. If the polarized filter is polarized in the same direction as the light, the light gets through. If the filter is polarized in a perpendicular direction to the light, the light doesn't get through. If it's some way between, some of the light gets through.
The polarizations of the two images from the 3D projector are matched with the polarizations of the two lenses on the glasses, such that each eye can only see the image that is intended for it.
Okay back to the monitor itself.
The ZM-M240W is the first 24in (that we have seen) TFT that is capable of handling 3D. The reasonably normal looking 1920 x 1080 display comes with DVI and D-SUB inputs. You'll also spot an audio connector for the rather meager speakers.
The monitor is HDCP compatible. But to drive movies and games on it we need some software.
Now for movie playback Zalman will include a player, which we'll show later on. For gaming depending on the graphics card in your PC these are your options:
NVIDIA - For driver support one initially would hint to an NVIDIA 3D Vision kit, but you'll soon find out that this monitor is not on the support list from NVIDIA. BUT, the actual 3D stereoscopic NVIDIA drivers WILL work with polarizing glasses. Just not the active shutter glasses from the 3D Vision kit capiche ? These require a 100Hz screen, not a 60 Hz polarized filtered screen.
ATI - Well AMD these days, if you own an AMD ATI graphics card then you are on your own. ATI's concept here is that the industry should follow an open standard and that they will not intervene with their own 3D software support. Hence to get 3D gaming support you will have to rely on a 3rd party driver and these cost money ... roughly 40 to 50 USD.
ATI owners will need to purchase a software stereoscopic driver from 3D firms like DDD or iZ3D, and although a huge list of games is supported, neither one of these names impressed me software wise.
But let's first, have a peek at the actual monitor with the help of a photo-shoot shall we ?