How to get the most from your 3D HDTV

You can perform a few simple tricks to optimize your 3D HDTV viewing.

By Timothy Seppala, PC World |  Personal Tech, 3D TV, HDTV

The drawback with the Spears & Munsil disc is that it's exclusively for Blu-ray; unlike the similar Digital Video Essentials disc, it can't help you adjust your HDTV if your input device of choice (Apple TV, Roku, Xbox 360) can't read Blu-ray discs. Even if you happen to own a Blu-ray device such as a PlayStation 3, calibrating your HDTV using your PS3 and then using the same settings for input from other devices isn't accurate because each device outputs video information in a different way.

If you can't take advantage of the HD Benchmark Blu-ray, try the free AVS HD 709 disc from the AVSForum. Simply download the appropriate version of the AVS HD 709 calibration program for your device (you probably want the .mp4 version), burn it to a disc that your HD input device can read, and you're good to go. You can even stash the calibration program on a flash drive and run it directly on your HDTV if the set happens to carry a USB port. The free version of AVS HD 709 has the basic test patterns you'll need for setting brightness, contrast, and color, but it lacks the video sample material and advanced patterns found on the Spear & Munsil disc.

Customize the Depth Intensity of Movies and Games

Now that you've properly calibrated your TV, it's time to mess around with the 3D settings of your input device. Every game or movie handles 3D content differently: While most 3D films maintain static depth settings, 3D games often have their own unique "sweet spot" for depth effects. For optimal 3D gaming, you may need to adjust the depth effects individually for every game you own--and certain games actually look better with the depth setting turned down.

While it seems counterintuitive to have the perceived depth of your 3D HDTV configured at anything less than 100%, maxing this setting out can make many 3D games look worse. For example, maxing out the 3D depth slider for Crysis 2 produces a nasty graphical corruption known as "crosstalk," which causes ephemeral outlines to appear around many geometrical shapes in the game.

Stereoscopic 3D tricks your brain into thinking it's seeing multidimensional scenes by offsetting two identical images; crosstalk occurs when those two images don't line up right, which can happen at different levels of depth intensity depending on the game or movie you're enjoying. And crosstalk isn't the only problem you can eliminate by adjusting the depth intensity: During our impromptu 3D depth testing while playing games on a Panasonic GT25 plasma 3D HDTV, fine details such as chain-link fences in Gears of War 3 became jagged when we maxed out the depth setting, and text in Assassin's Creed Revelations became blurry and pixelated.


Originally published on PC World |  Click here to read the original story.
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