I have held off buying an LCD or LED monitor for the longest time – it was only because my IBM P202, that had served me well, died when I went out for dinner. RIP IBM P202, 1999 to 1-Feb-2012. (Though I only got it on the 17th of September 2006 – nevertheless, 13 year old monitor, whoa!)
And so, I decided to skip LCDs, plain LEDs for… the LG D2342P 23″ Passive 3D LED monitor! It was a hefty sum of RM999, but well worth it.
If you’re wondering why the picture looks shaky and doubled, that’s because the D2342P is in 3D mode, with vertically interlaced 3D mode. This means that alternating horizontal lines are only seen by one eye. The 3D glasses are passive, meaning that they are not powered by batteries, and do not close on alternating frames (as active 3D glasses do – plus they depend on an invisible timing pulse sent by the monitor.) The glasses are also cheaper because of this!
The screen has a Film Patterned Retarder (FPR) that polarizes alternating horizontal lines differently, and the glasses are also polarized – hence you get two different images.
The only downside is that you lose vertical resolution – instead of the normal 1920×1080 resolution at 60 Hertz, you get 1920×540 resolution at 60 Hertz. Active 3D, meanwhile, requires a doubling of refresh rate to 120 Hertz, and the shutter glasses need to flicker to show an image to only one eye at a time.
Also, losing vertical resolution means you can’t read text easily – so you won’t want to keep wearing the 3D glasses even when 3D is off!
I connected it to my Sapphire ATI Radeon HD 5770 via DVI – regretfully I didn’t realize that my display card also had a HDMI output! That said, the D2342P only has one HDMI input, one DVI input and one VGA input, so I used the DVI for the computer, and a HDMI to Mini HDMI Type C cable to connect to my Sony Alpha DSLR-A900, Sony Alpha NEX-5 and Sony Alpha SLT-A77.
Here’s an Asus Eee Pad Transformer TF101 connected via HDMI to my monitor. It feels like a life-size rectangular steering wheel! Nicely, audio is also transmitted – though the D2342P doesn’t have built-in speakers, it has a headphone jack for this.
The TF101 uses a Mini HDMI Type C port, though the Transformer Prime (TF201) uses the harder-to-find-cables-for Micro HDMI Type D port (as do the LG Optimus 2X, Acer Iconia Tab A500 and Motorola Xoom.)
Also bundled is Omega Supreme. Nah, kidding. Tridef 3D is included – it includes a viewer that opens videos and pictures and somehow converts them into 3D in real time! Unfortunately, I could not get it to support certain formats e.g. FLV, though it works great with MPO 3D files from my NEX-5/A55/A77 with 3D Sweep Panorama. Also, Direct3D games are supported for 3D conversion, though not OpenGL games like Quake 3, sadly. This is a picture of the screen from Transformers: War For Cybertron.
The 2D to 3D conversion doesn’t get confused and seems to render depth properly, though sometimes there is a bit of a shadow ‘shape’ if you close one eye. You can tweak the intensity of the 3D effect as well as the convergence – though unfortunately, when the video played moves to a different scene, the convergence sometimes changes! So you end up having to use keyboard shortcuts to adjust the convergence again – or by moving back and forward or up and down (this would also fix the convergence.)
As for 2D regular use, the screen does alright – text is legible, and the Film Patterned Retarder isn’t noticeable most of the time with no 3D glasses on. A simple Windows 7 Display Calibration took care of the gamma and white balance, though I feel it’s still a bit bright. Color shifting does happen when moving to the side of the monitor.
Oh, and what the heck can you do with this box? I remember the days when buying a CRT monitor meant that you’d take out the monitor, and put all your stuff inside! You’d get a free, big, and very useful box!
What the heck can I put in this, again?