Sharp LL-151D Autostereoscopic Monitor

Discussion in 'Articles' started by Ian, Aug 8, 2009.

  1. Ian

    Ian Administrator Staff Member

    Jul 31, 2009
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    The Sharp LL-151D is a 15" budget autostereoscopic monitor based on parallax technology. The advantage of this implementation is that is allows the monitor to be switch between 2D and 3D modes at the touch of a button. This monitor can be bought for around $500 and there is also a screen of similar specification built into a range of Sharp Actius 3D laptops.

    There is no head tracking and the resolution is 1024x768, however it provides a good test bed for autostereoscopic gaming. The screen on this monitor is extremely glossy, which can be demonstrated by in this image of the monitor taken with a flash:​

    Sharp LL-151D 3D Monitor

    You may be surprised to learn that almost any game you already own will most likely work in real 3D on this monitor - at least if you own an NVidia graphics card. NVidia have had stereoscopic drivers for many years now, which cleverly render DirectX and OpenGL software applications from 2 viewpoints and output them to a variety of displays. Sharp autostereoscopic displays are one of the compatible output devices.

    This means you can play games such as Crysis, Bioshock and Half Life 2 in what appears to be real 3D with just a 3D monitor and a powerful NVidia graphics card. Check out the NVidia Stereo website for the latest drivers and a rating of game compatibility.​

    During testing it was apparent that although almost every game would work in 3D, items such as crosshairs would be rendered at a depth that caused some discomfort after a short period of time. Luckily the driver control panel does allow a degree of per game configuration, allowing many viewing problems to be adjusted.​

    Half Life 2 and FarCry were particularly fun in stereoscopic mode, although the latter did take some tweaking to get a comfortable image. Playing a game in real 3D with a good sound system makes a massive difference to the level of immersion, and is fantastic fun. However there are drawbacks...

    Playing a game for an extended period of time can be uncomfortable, especially when high levels of convergence are used (this setting adjusts the level of perceived depth, but higher levels take some getting used to). The monitor manual recommends taking a break every half an hour or so, and I can see why.​

    As fun as using an autostereoscopic monitor is, the limitations outweigh the real usefulness of the monitor for 3D gaming at the current time. Having to keep the head relatively still (and within the viewing region) can be quite difficult during a game, and eye fatigue sets in after a relatively short period of time (~20 mins in this instance). The technology is novel and has plenty of other uses, but other methods of producing a 3D image would be recommended for gamers. 3D goggles (containing a pair of miniature LCD panels) would give unrestricted head movement and may reduce fatigue, and are similarly priced for a good quality pair.​
    Ian, Aug 8, 2009
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