Saturday, October 13, 2012

Cheap 3D TV Solution

I've been wanting a 3D TV for a while, but the pricing has put me off. Where I live, they cost about NZ$1499 for a 40" screen and you have to buy the glasses at about $100 / pair and each person needs one, so I'm looking at 5 pairs of glasses for about $500. Plus, no one broadcasts in 3D where I live, so 3D can only be for playback, not broadcast reception. 

There had to be a better way...and there is if you're prepared to compromise on screen size.

I recently bought an LG D2542P 25" monitor for my PC from PB Tech for NZ$338+GST. I found that it supports viewing of any 3D content I have that is in side-by-side parallel format. This is the default format for both my LG 3D Max phone and my Fuji Real 3D W3 camera, so it is a perfect match.

On my Windows 7 64-bit PC, the Tri-Def  3D software supports all 3D formats I've tried it with - excluding obvious ones like anaglyph where the "3D" is embedded in a 2D image using different colours.

I have been using my "Magix Movie Edit Pro MX Plus" video editing software to compose higher-quality 3D videos for local viewing. It's the same software I use to make 3D videos for upload to YouTube.  


This worked so well on my PC we went out and got a cheap (NZ$124 on special) Philips BDP5200 3D Blu-ray  (with Wi-fi and ethernet) player from DSE. But we soon found it was hard to use the PC when people wanted to use the same screen for watching 3D movies.

I bought a second LG D2542P monitor to use as a dedicated TV.  Problem solved.

We have a Magic TV "My Freeview" set top box for viewing free-to-air digital TV. It and the Blu-ray player connect to the LG screen via HDMI. But as the screen only has one HDMI port, I bought a Digitech HDMI switch with 4 ports from Jaycar.  The Switch is HDMI 1.3b compliant (not 1.4) but works very well with the 3D Blu-ray player and the MagicTV box and I have had no problems. I also bought 2 x Concord 0.5m, HDMI 1.4 fly cables.

One little quirk: to get the LG screen to see the MagicTV box I had to connect a regular CRT TV to the MagicTV box and - via its setup menus - tell the MagicTV box it was talking to a PC monitor, not a CRT TV. After that, I connected the monitor to the MagicTV device and all was well. Maybe it would have worked anyway and I just wasn't being patient enough....but this way it definitely worked.

LG D2542P "Cinema 3D" monitor

Audio is fed via HDMI to the 4-port switch which also includes an audio splitter. I run a male-to-male 3.5mm cable between the HDMI switch an the 3.5mm "AUX" input port on my very cheap Philips stereo. My ears aren't that great (though not that bad, either), so I don't waste money on hi-fidelity audio gear I can't really appreciate anyway.  

Now I can watch normal 2D TV or 3D Blu-ray movies on my very cheap  25" 3D TV. I can use passive glasses instead of active shutter, so the glasses are cheaper and viewing 3D movies is easier on the eyes.

The smaller screen means we have to sit closer, but we found this actually free-ed up a big chunk of the living room / lounge and we now have space to use for other things, whereas before the CRT TV had dominated the room. As we aren't really heavy TV watchers, they was a big waste of space. 

If you want a 3D TV for cheap and you're prepared to make some compromises on screen size, then this will work great.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Ok then....Lightbox is closing down.

I got up this morning to discover that Lightbox is closing down and their development team is moving to Facebook.

Lovely. In the 5 weeks I'd been on Lightbox I'd uploaded over 1,100 photos. On June 15th, they disappear.

The prudent approach seems to be to use my "+3D Luver NZ" page on Google+ as a base for future photo sharing and back that up with Streamzoo, where I am "Linuxluver"

I guess what annoys me most is the time I wasted on Lightbox....and they fixed my "Likes" counter just 2 days ago, which had been falling for 2 weeks. I think the total should be more like 6, it went down by one for each 100 likes I got...and it went down by more than 25 in 2 weeks.  :-)

Not that I was keeping score or anything. ;-)  

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

New Stuff

The demise of has caused me to explore new directions for publishing my 3D content. In the past 4 weeks I've uploaded over 1,100 images to Lightbox. Roughly 70% of those would be either side-by-side or anaglyph 3D, each pair 'anchored' by a 2D version of the same shot. I'm hoping that presenting the images this way will make at least some people curious and seek to find out 

On Instagram I've taken the same approach, though Instagram's rigid 1:1 aspect ratio for images rules out all but a tiny handful of side-by-side stereo images. Instead, I typically upload a 2D photo and a red/cyan anaglyph 3D version. This post (via the Android Blogger app)  includes a sample image anaglyph  I've uploaded to Instagram, of Rufassa our cat

On both sites, in a short time, I've found there are people who do enjoy 3D images and they follow my new 3D posts. Some ask how I make the images and say they want to buy a 3D camera.

Great! :-)

Friday, April 27, 2012


Long overdue for an update!

I've taken thousands more 3D photos and video and uploaded some to YouTube here and here.

I've also uploaded a lot of photos to (mainly via their awesome Android app) and not so many to  a growing number.

Sadly, the site I uploaded everything to first - - is no more as of this week. Keith Fredericks, the operator of the site, has shut it down.

With the introduction of Instagram for Android and the apparently tenuous existence of purely 3D web sites, I've decided to take 3D content mainstream. I've been uploading my photos in 2D and 3D versions to both Lightbox and Instagram. In general, the response has been good. Enough to make it worthwhile carrying it on.

Content people enjoy is the key to all this.....make it and share it.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Tom Rodwell plays the blues...

Been a while since I posted so there is a wee bit of catching up to do. :-)