The ViewSonic V3D231 is a new breed of super-thin, LED backlit displays with incredibly fast response time specifications. The ViewSonic V3D231 is designed to appeal to gamers and to those who don’t want to spend a lot of money for active Stereoscopic 3D (S3D) glasses which easily cost well over $100 per pair. ViewSonic includes inexpensive polarized glasses for passive 3D and also included with this monitor is TriDef’s 3D software especially written for this display. Best of all, this kind of passive 3D works on either Nvidia or AMD Graphics video cards.
We received the V3D231 display from ViewSonic for evaluation late last year and have spent two months evaluating it with an emphasis on 2D and 3D gaming. We covered many of the same 80-plus games that we evaluated for our Mega 3D Vision review. We will naturally compare the V3D231 23″ 60Hz passive 3D display with the much more expensive 120Hz 3D Vision ready 23″ ASUS VG236 which we evaluated in our Mega 3D review.
ViewSonic makes several 3D capable monitors that we got to view at CES. There is a larger 27″ display (pictured above) that also uses the polarized glasses and passive method as well as a more expensive 120Hz 24″ display that is 3D Vision ready (below) and uses the expensive active shutter glasses.
The V3D231 uses a polarized stereo technology, which relies on using Odd-Even rows for Left Eye-Right Eye separation. The other popular competing technology that 3D Vision uses is active stereo technology, which runs at 120Hz and uses alternating frames for Left Eye-Right Eye separation. One advantage of the active technology is that the user gets to see the entire 1080p resolution in each eye at 60Hz. The advantage of the polarized solution is that the initial hardware price is lower, and if extra glasses are needed for a large family or classroom environment they will cost nearly nothing.
There are some definite differences between the two kinds of Stereoscopic 3D (S3D) that we shall explore as we compare our 3D Vision ready 120Hz ASUS display which uses active shutter glasses that costs $428.99 with a $30 mail-in-rebate at both Newegg and Amazon versus the ViewSonic passive 3D 60Hz display costing $284.56 at Amazon.com and even less at other etailers. The ASUS 3D Vision bundle is more than $115 more expensive than the ViewSonic bundle and the displays share the same 1080P. What are the differences?
The differences between the ViewSonic display and the ASUS display are more than superficial. The ASUS display is a 120Hz panel that uses an emitter and expensive ($100-$150 per pair) active shutter glasses to give a 3D effect and the image is relatively dark compared to viewing in 2D. In contrast, the ViewSonic display uses a fast 60Hz panel that has a special coating and a polarized film to produce the 3D effect and the much lighter and cheaper glasses do not darken the scene as dramatically as the active shutter method. However, there are resolution and other trade-offs with the passive method that we shall cover in this evaluation with a head-to-head comparison between ‘passive’ and ‘active’ Stereoscopic 3D (S3D).
Here are the V3D231′s specifications from the ViewSonic web site:
23″ Wide 3D-Ready LED monitor with 2ms response time for 3D gaming and crystal clear video experience. Native Full HD 1080p resolution, and HDMI 1.4a input allows for direct connect to 3D Blu-ray or PS3 gaming consoles. Includes polarized 3D glasses, stereo speakers with SRS Premium Sound technology to deliver immersive surround sound experience. Inexpensive polarized 3D glasses make it easy to outfit your entire family, work group, or classroom. Also includes TriDef 3D suite software to convert 2D PC images to 3D, and play over 540 PC based video games in amazing 3D quality.
Type 23″ LED panel Optimum Resolution 1920×1080 Full HD Contrast Ratio 20M:1 DCR Viewing Angles 170º horizontal, 160º vertical Response Time 2ms (GTG) Brightness 250 cd/m2 (typ)
Analog RGB analog (75 ohms, 0.7/1.0 Vp-p) Digital DVI-D/HDMI (TMDS, 100 ohms) Sync Separate Sync/Composite Sync/SOG
PC VGA up to 1920×1080 non-interlaced Mac® Up to 1920×1080
Analog D-Sub Digital DVI/HDMI 1.4/ 3D spec Audio 3.5mm jack (blue/green)
Speakers 2W x 2 (SRS Premium Sound®)
Voltage AC 100–240V; 50/60Hz Consumption 36W Eco Mode 26W Save Mode (W) <1W
Physical With Stand 21.6 x 15.3 x 7.5 (in) / 548 x 388 x 190 (mm) Physical Without Stand 21.6 x 13.4 x 1.5 (in) / 548 x 340 x 38 (mm) Packaging 23.8 x 16.5 x 4.4 (in) / 604 x 419 x 113 (mm)
Net With Stand 7.9 lbs. (3.58 kg) Net Without Stand 6.7 lbs. (3.33 kg)
V3D231, power cable, audio cable, VGA cable, DVI cable, 3D glasses, clip on polarized lenses, Quick Start Guide, ViewSonic Wizard CD-ROM, TriDef 3D software
Three-year limited warranty on parts, labor and backlight.
VGA or DVI Operatating System: Windows® XP (SP3) (32 bit only), Windows® (TriDef Software) Vista (32 bit only) or Windows® 7 (32 or 64 bit) CPU: Intel® Core 2 Duo or AMD Athlon™ 64 X2 Dual-Core CPU or better Memory: 1GB RAM GPU: NVIDIA® GeForce® 8600 GT or ATI X1650 XT HDMI 3D Supports: HDMI compatible PC, 3D Blu-ray player or PS3 (Source device must support HDMI 1.4a 3D)
The specs look great, so let’s unbox the ViewSonic V3D231 and set it up for evaluation.