Software support and movies
Software support and installation
Installation of the monitor can be kept simple. You connect it to your PC, preferably with a spicy graphics card if you plan to play games in 3D. The monitor itself does not need a specific driver, though it does need 3D software. You can use professional software supporting 3D movie playback like PowerDVD etc but Zalman did include some simple to use video playback software.
The included software originates from 3dtv.at, looks like media player classic and is capable of playing stereoscopic movie files and 3D-DVDs. The good thing is that this software is based on DirectShow, it can handle almost any media format, for example AVI, MPEG, WMV, ASF and MOV. It can also pick up on standard codecs like x.264.
You simply load up the movie, configure and play it. Tip, Install the Haali Media Splitter and the ffdshow codec and you are good to go on pretty much any movie-format or file-container. The downside, 3D Blu-ray disks are not yet supported. For that you'll need software like CyberLink's PowerDVD 10 or a to-be-released future version of this software.
The program is easy to use and works out really well. It very quickly became the main video player for 3D content. It does lack some of the features we love in Media Player Classic HC edition (image sharpening/black levels/shader utilization).
Configuring is unfortunately something you'll keep doing with stereoscopic movies as you need to select the orientation as to Side by Side, flipped, interlaced and if you like to fine-tune, Parallax mode. Typically this software costs 39 EUR but a Zalman edition is included for free with the monitor.
The overall playback quality really surprized me, we tried a couple of movies like Shrek and Avatar 3D. Now due to the Polarized stereoscopic view you are really looking at 1920x540 pixels in total, but the quality certainly was good, and no ghosting effect whatsoever opposed to what you often experience with active shutter glasses.
The downside, calibration ... luckily each movie can be saved in library where it will remember your presets and preferences.
Being freed from active shutter glasses you can pick up a set of polarised glasses cheap, several people can view the stereoscopic images at the same time, as Linearly polarized glasses can be spotted for 3 USD/EUR on eBay. Watching 3D movies on this screen was simply impressive, it works out really well and its not any different from the experience in a movie theater, though you have a smaller screen of course.