Thursday, January 13, 2011

Google Earth in 3D - HTPC - part 4

In short...Google Earth on a 58" screen in 3D.

Apparently the future ATI (Radeon or whatever they are called now) video cards will have built in 3D playback capability...that seems to mean 3D Blu-ray disks.

I have a last year (or so) ATI card so I know that it does not have built in 3D capability.

Now by 3D, I don't mean a gaming card...I mean the ability to send 3D data that the TV will recognise and display in 3D using the shutter glasses.

I assumed this was not yet possible.

I was wrong.

I happened to be watching ABC's Extreme Home Makeover...a week or so ago I think...part of the build, in the child's room was a HDTV projector showing Google Earth, and apparently in 3D since they were wearing shutter glasses.

Of course I was thinking to way, this can't be true.

So I searched the intertubes for Google Earth and 3D, then Shutter glasses...and I found (DDD).

The TriDef website assumes you already know what the TriDef software it is a bit hard to get the info you want (at least for me).

In short it is a software package that can create images on your computer, that you can then send to the TV, and the TV will be able to decode the info and utilise the shutter glasses to let you see a 3D image.

Now that would be great, if they had better info on what settings to use, etc.

So first you download the software (trialware for 14 days) and install it. After you run the setup it will pop up a configuration window to set up what kind of display you have...and an icon to that window will be in the taskbar.

The problem is it doesn't explain what the settings are if you don't have a display device on their list, you have to guess what to do next. Their website lists the compatible displays and those are the presets on the config window.

There is another preset that says "(standard display types)" and the default for that is 3D anaglyph (red/blue).

Now for background info, I know the VT25 will take standard 3D data, top/bottom or left/right. That means the images for each eye are above each other, or next to each other, with that info the TV will separate the images, and display the proper image to the proper eye via the shutter glasses.

So I drilled down the list of display types under the (standard display type) list, and found two that are "side by side" one is "parallel" and the other is "cross-eyed"

So I set it to "parallel" and stood back to admire my work...

Nothing I went back to the webite, read the installation etc again...

Well the part they don't mention is you have to run another piece of software to actually get the 3D output...the icon is just for the configuration.

So I started looking at the list in the Program Files and found a number of icons. The only one I needed was the "TriDef Experience"

So I started that one, and got a nice doubled blurry image on my I put on the shutter glasses and a 3D menu popped out. I will have to do some kind of adjustments because it took a second for my eyes to adjust...I don't need to do that for the 3D Blu-ray movies.

On the menu were 4 choices, play games, use Google Earth, Watch 3D movies, Look at 3D pictures. Obviously I clicked on Use Google Earth.

So good news and bad news. The good news is I was greeted with a very nice 3D fly by of the Matterhorn. The bad news is...well let me explain.

So a normal HD image is 1920x1080 (1080p) so apparently they put two images side by side in that images to get the 3D 860x1080 x2. Well in the process, it trashes the menus etc...they stay at their original you close one eye to see half the menus/status bar etc, and switch eyes to see the other half.

Maybe it is in some setting I missed, but I have to hide all menus to get a display that doesn't make me want to puke...oh and navigating with a regular mouse is a test of willpower.

I will continue to play with settings, maybe there is a top/bottom setting or something else...

But at least I can fly around Google Earth in 3D on the big screen.


So after doing some reading, the "Native" 3D mode for the VT25 is sequential image. The "side by side" and "top bottom" are OTHER methods that are not HD...makes sense.

I am starting to think that the Hz output setting on my video card is not allowing the sequential image method to work...

in progress...

...time passes...

So I was digging around the ATI site, and found that the 5xxx and 6xxx cards have "HD3D" which allows them to output3D data...I have a I have to get a new card. (I had assumed that only the 6xxx cards had the 3D out...they have Blu-ray 3D out...I have a 3D blu-ray player so I don't need that?

In addition, on that page the website is linked, and there is a version of TriDef that is specifically for the ATI HD3D capable cards.

I have a slim HD5570 card on hopefully I can test this out.

No comments: