I have done some experimentation and everything points to it being perfectly usable. It's going to take me a month or so to prove it out. The reason I advocate passive for this approach is that every time someone has attempted this with active displays finds that the glasses don't work at all with the monitor in portrait mode, which is why Nvidia doesn't support doing this (nor do they officially support passive displays). I think that the consensus is that it's not possible at all, but in reality it is, with certain limitations... I will detail the limitations and challenges to make this work. I realize too that better displays will come along in the near future that will better handle this properly (LG has demonstrated one, but they aren't selling it yet) ...I still want to unlock the full potential of what I have. If anyone has advice or interest in this let me know.
1. 3 Passive 3D LCD Displays (in my case Viewsonic V3D231).
2. 3 Swivel/Arm VESA Mounts (looking at these: http://www.amazon.com/Ergotron-45-17...dp/B000AMJC2K/
3. Video card capable of 3 displays, I will be using a pair of 2.5GB GTX 570 cards in SLI, but for those looking to buy new gear, Nvidia just released the GTX 680 and it can do 3D surround from a single card, I would look into it.
Here are the challenges that I need to overcome:
1. I need to buy the 3rd monitor and a second GTX 570. I'm using the 2.5 GB cards because the extra VRAM will help a lot running games in surround, plus the card is powerful enough to run demanding titles in 3D and offers up to triple SLI if needed.
2. The vertical viewing angle of these passive displays becomes a horizontal one, this requires you to get the positioning just right to preserve 3D capability across the 3 displays, a good swivel arm will help a lot with this. The side screens have to be angled a bit: \\_/ (not that extreme though) -- I have tested this using 2 displays and it is usable... the center display should be directly in front of you... there is enough play in the viewing angle that you can still move and turn your head a bit before you start to lose the 3D effect on the edges of the side monitors.
3. Software: right now the only solution seems to be IZ3D in vertical interleave mode. I'm hoping I can find a Tridef solution as well. The full retail version of Tridef would probably work, but I only have the version bundled with the monitor at the moment. I would like to talk to the team at Tridef to let them know what I am doing and see if they can provide support for this. Nvidia doesn't support these displays (you can hack around this). They only support 3D portrait on 720p projectors (running native 1080p is mandatory on an interleaved display), plus, they don't do column interleave on any surround capable devices that I'm aware of, so hacking together a 3D Vision solution or convincing them to add support is unlikely.
4. Glasses: I need to figure out the best glasses to use, the ones that come with the monitor give a very pronounced purple ghosting effect when used with the monitor in portrait orientation. I have tried with a pair of Ingri Dahl glasses and these have reduced this considerably (although there is still a very slight tint in the ghosting using these, even in landscape mode it's a very pale lavender color, it's not really that distracting in comparison).