Bigger, better, brighter, thinner, faster, smarter. At CES this week, TV manufacturers executed stunning, massive booth setups with seemingly gazillions of displays offering the latest in HD, LCD, LED, DLNA, and dozens of other acronyms.
One of the hottest topics at the show was 3DTV, so I spent a little time trying on some 3D goggles and checking out a combination of recorded TV programs, sports, and personal photos.
Being a home theater junkie, it was “interesting” to see depth introduced to traditional flat broadcast. Maybe part of my experience was colored by wearing one set of goggles that was oozing grease and sweat from the wearer that preceded me, but “interesting” is about as far as I would go. I don’t feel like I need to have it for movies, TV, even sports — especially if it means sharing goggles.
After this mild disappointment, I stopped by to see our friends at NVIDIA, who were showing off the latest in their 3D Vision technology for PC. They had a souped up PC with dual NVIDIA GPUs, connected to three projectors creating a triple-wide HD display, and running Electronic Art’s award-winning driving game Need for Speed: SHIFT.
I put on NVIDIA’s goggles and my 3D cynicism melted away. I was in the car (in the cockpit view), and instantly the angle of the windshield seemed real, the hood of the car seemed to naturally extend forward, and I visualized stepping out of the door, taking a few steps forward and leaning against the front fender. Then I hit the gamepad button to accelerate. My new depth of vision made the driving experience much more intuitive. It easier to gauge my speed as I approached corners or crowded bumpers, and more comfortably had a feel for spacing to my right and left. I only wished I had my G27 Racing Wheel to truly complete the sim experience. I was told the NVIDIA 3D multi-display capability is coming soon. But NVIDIA’s single display 3D system is currently available, and a full list of games it’s compatible with is listed on NVIDIA’s website.
No doubt, 3D is coming on your mainstream television and I’m sure I’ll someday enjoy getting my sports fix on ESPN 3D. For driving games and I can only imagine flight sims, I gotta have it.