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post #1 of 7 Old 09-20-2012, 02:32 PM - Thread Starter
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HTPC 3D video on your 3D TV
Having difficulties getting 3D video to work on your TV from your HTPC? Read this article!
You have been watching HD 1080p video’s with 5.1 sounds from your HTPC on your old TV without any problems. You recently bought a brand new 3D TV, downloaded, for instance, Avatar 3D and can’t get the 3D working? Read this article!

This article is NOT about getting 3D to work on a monitor.
TIP1: Monitor set up is different from TV set up!

There is a few things that make up a correct 3D HTPC and TV set up:
• 3D TV and glasses
• Video card with 3D support
• 3DTV software
• Movie Player with 3D support
• 3D movie
• TV – A/V – HTPC patching

3D TV and glasses
There are many types of 3D TV’s. Most important distinction is between active and passive 3D where active 3D is triggering the glasses to allow left eye sight and right eye sight sequentially and the TV sends a left eye picture and a right eye picture with the same frequency. Passive 3D sends a horizontal polarized light/picture and a vertical polarized light/picture sequentially and the passive glasses have a glass with horizontal polarization for one eye and a glass with vertical polarization for the other eye. The passive glasses to not have any active components and therefor do not need a battery.
I have used an active 3D TV for this article and the glasses that belong to that TV.
TIP2: nVidia is marketing a great 3D Vision solution with its own glasses but this is a solution for monitors which do not have embedded 3D support.

Video card with 3D support
In general there is three tastes of video cards: nVidia, AMD and Intel. I have used a nVidia card for this article but I’m sure that for AMD and Intel similar concepts are applicable.
I have a great integrated video card on my HTPC motherboard that works very well for HD 1080p movies. I learned that 3D video requires more recent video cards.
Follow this link for a list of all the 3D compatible cards: The first table is for desktops and the second table is for laptops. Note that this list is not up to date. For instance the GeForce GT 3xx series is not commercially available anymore and the GeForce GT 610 is 3D compatible but not listed. In general one can expect that every model higher than the ones listed here are 3D compatible. My new GT 610 (38 euro’s!) is 100% compatible with no performance issues whatsoever.

3D TV software
The video cards with 3D support are designed for working with a monitor! If you connect a regular 3D TV then you need a driver/software to tell the card that a 3D TV is connected with native 3D support. For nVidia cards you can find this software (NVIDIA 3DTV Play Activation Utility) here: The license is about 40 USD.
TIP3: The NVIDIA 3DTV Play Activation Utility has a 14 days free trial available.
For the AMD based video cards a similar piece of software is available. I believe it is called TriDefC (Dynamic Digital Depth). I understand it is far more expensive than the nVidia solution.
I do not have any data for Intel.

Movie Player with 3D support
For my HD 1080p movies I was using Arcsoft Total MediaTheatre 3 without any issues. This version does not support 3D video and you have to upgrade to Arcsoft Total MediaTheatre 5.0.x.x (TMT5).
I have used TMT5 for this article but I’m sure any other Movie Player with 3d support (like CyberLinks PowerDVD 10 Ultra 3D) will probably work as good as this one.
When you click on a movie, depending on your settings, it might launch your Movie Player automatically. When using TMT5 you cannot change any 3D setting sin this mode. To set 3D settings in TMT5 you have to launch TMT5 independently.
My TMT5 settings, which worked perfectly well with Avatar, are:
• 3D > General Settings > "Always play Blue-ray 3D movie in 3D mode" option is checked
• 3D > General Settings > "Always play movies and video files in 3D mode" option is unchecked
• 3D > Viewing Environment > Select Your Display Configuration > NVIDIA 3D Vision Ready Display" selected

3D movie
There are many techniques to broadcast 3D. Most popular ones are Stereoscopic 3D (S3D) and Side by Side (SBS). I happened to have two movies available for testing: Avatar, which is in S3D and Man in Black 3, which is in SBS. I also tested Nutcracker 3D (S3D).

TV – A/V – HTPC patching
TIP4: Test with an HDMI cable from your Video card (HTPC) to the TV directly (and bypass your A/V receiver).
Many people run HDMI cables from their HTPC to the A/V receiver and from the A/V receiver to the TV. This works perfectly well for HD video but doesn’t work for 3D video when the receiver does not support HDMI 1.4a.
You can try running the HDMI cable from the HTPC to the TV and use a digital audio cable (TOSlink or COAX) from the TV to the A/V receiver. This will give you 3D video but you will lose the 5.1 audio because the Sound Manager on your HTPC will only recognize the 2 speakers of your TV making it impossible for you to configure 5.1.
The only way to successfully patch for 3D TV with an A/V receiver that is not HDMI 1.4a compatible is by running an HDMI cable from your Video card (HTPC) to the TV and a digital audio cable from your HTPC to the A/V receiver. Your new Video card might not have digital audio out but I bet your HTPC embedded audio will. You can use your Video card and embedded audio connections next to each other.
TIP5: There is no such thing as an HDMI 1.4a cable. The protocol is HDMI 1.4a and if required the TV and A/V receiver need to be able to process the HDMI 1.4a protocol but this protocol works on all regular HDMI cables.

My configuration:
• HTPC with GA-E7AUM-DS2H motherboard and integrated NVIDIA GeForce 9400 Chipset (
• nVidia GeForce GT 610 video card - Asus (
• Panasonic TX-P65VT50 with Active Shutter Progressive 3D (
• Marantz SR7001 (
• HDMI cable from HTPC to Panasonic directly
• TOSlink digital audio from HTPC to Marantz
• Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate Service Pack 1
• Arcsoft Total MediaTheatre
• NVIDIA 3DTV Play Activation Utility 266.7
• Avatar 3D (46.6 GB ISO file) and The Nutcracker 3D (37.5 GB ISO file) mounted with Elaborate Bytes Virtual CloneDrive

Interesting articles:
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post #2 of 7 Old 09-21-2012, 02:30 AM
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I can provide more details for AMD cards that you can add to your article.

Recent AMD cards (since Radeon HD6000 series) support hdmi1.4a 3DTVs for free, directly without extra software.
Compatible video players and games are branded as supporting "AMD HD3D" (or AMD HD3D ready).
Most BluRay 3D video players like Cyberlink PowerDVD and Arcsoft TMT and regular 3D video players like Stereoscopic Player support this feature. There are few games that support this mode (only 3 at the time I write this) but it's going to grow in the future as game developers progressively add universal 3D in their games. (Windows 8 has a 3D handler that allows programmers to make their 3d programs support both Nvidia and AMD systems more easily).

The AMD website contains a list of supported hardware here
Just like Nvidia's list, it isn't exhaustive, many compatible cards and TVs are not listed here, especially in the TV list since the list only contains a few displays AMD have tested in their labs.

The DDD Tridef middleware is NOT required to use AMD cards. (Many websites do not report on this because they mix the harware ability with the availablility of 3D content)

The DDD Tridef middleware is a package that contains :
- a game middleware driver to convert non-3D ready games into 3D on the fly. It supports games running DirectX9, DX10 and DX11.
- a video and picture viewer (not BluRay 3D compatible)
- a piece of software that converts 2D pictures and 2D video into 3D (similar to 2D to 3D converters found in some 3DTVs)
It works with both Nvidia and AMD cards,
It supports AMD HD3D, and also many "manual" 3D modes (side by side, over/under, direct interlaced for passive 3DTVs) but also some non-conventional 3D displays like dual-projectors. Some people got it to work with Nvidia 3D Vision (for monitors) but it's not officially supported I do not know if it works with Nvidia 3DTV play.
It costs 50$ but If you have an AMD card, you get a 50% discount (25$).

A little word on Nvidia's 3DTV play.
When Nvidia first released 3DTV play, Nvidia claimed it was only required to play games, but not required to play BluRay 3D movies. however I've read many people complaining about not being able to use they BluRay 3d software properly without 3DTV play. It's very confusing. Do you have more details on this ? Do you know if there is there a "free" mode for 3DTV play if you don't play games or what ?

Passive 3D, forever !
My Full-HD dual-projector passive polarised 3D setup. (really out of date ! I need to update it some day...)

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post #3 of 7 Old 09-21-2012, 06:23 PM
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Originally Posted by BlackShark View Post

When Nvidia first released 3DTV play, Nvidia claimed it was only required to play games, but not required to play BluRay 3D movies. however I've read many people complaining about not being able to use they BluRay 3d software properly without 3DTV play. It's very confusing. Do you have more details on this ? Do you know if there is there a "free" mode for 3DTV play if you don't play games or what ?

There are two different sets of software provided by Nvidia for 3D support.

3D Vision: This is the software that supports HDMI 1.3 display devices. Examples would be 720P projectors such as the Optoma HD66. These devices do not "understand" the newer HDMI 1.4a 3D formats such as side-by-side or frame-packing. 3D Vision sends a frame sequential (or "page-flip") signal to the display device.

3D Play: This is the software that supports HDMI 1.4a display devices. Examples would be 1080P projectors such as the Optoma HD33 or the Acer H9500BD and most 1080P flat screen HDTVs. It is also required for Mitsubishi rear-projection DLP sets released after 2009 (assuming that firmware upgrades have been applied). These newer display devices recognize HDMI 1.4a formats, so 3D Play can send them a side-by-side or frame-packed signal that is the equivalent of the output from a 3D Blu-ray player.

PS -- A 3D Blu-ray player cannot output a signal directly to HDMI 1.3 devices; a converter box such as the Optoma 3D-XL is needed to translate the HDMI 1.4a formats into HDMI 1.3 format. An exception would be Panasonic 3D Blu-ray players; they can output a "checkerboard" format recognized by Mitsubishi "3D-Ready" DLP HDTVs (including those sets manufactured before 3D standard output formats were defined). The "checkerboard" format is not part of the HDMI 1.4a standard.
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post #4 of 7 Old 09-23-2012, 09:15 AM - Thread Starter
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@BlackShark and fxrh:
Very valuable additions.
I sincerly hope this tread is gonna help people getting their 3DTV succesfully connected to their PC / laptop / HTPC in an accetable timeframe.
I remember it took me 2+ weeks to browse through dozens of fora, post questions, wait for answers, install and uninstall software, buy cables, patch cables, re-patch cables, etc etc.
All my findings and learnings should be included in the thread.
I did not have any info on AMD, BlackShark many thanks for adding this information
I forgot to explain the to nVidia software components. It also took me a while to figure out the difference before settling on the right one. fxrh, thank for your addition as well.
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post #5 of 7 Old 01-03-2013, 11:51 PM
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Thanks for the thread guys, I'd like to add a couple things I learned since I got my 3D projector, a Benq w1070.

First, is that AMD is very annoying to set up and run reliably in 1080i side-by-side in 60hz via Tridef. It seems every time I want to play a game I need to do about twenty different clicks and change settings back and forth and then start the game, just to find out it's not actually sending the left and right SBS images using the right refresh, which my PJ, and indeed all HDMI-based 3D devices need. You cannot have more bandwidth than 1080p/60hz in 2d, meaning to get 3D at 60hz it has to be interlaced (and thus resolution is cut down and refresh is actually 30hz in effect). But this is not at all obvious. There is no setting for 60hz interlaced in the drivers, nor can you set it explicitly in the AMD catalyst easily and switch back and forth (or at least I'm not sure how). Honestly, after mucking around so much, I am so p'd off that I bought AMD since I'm a huge 3D fan now, and it's utterly atrocious the steps and annoyances one has to take to get it to work. I'm also fond of using 1920x816 custom resolution in both 24hz (frame packed) and 30hz interlaced for 3D, and that's even more annoying to get to work. I have to set the right display (I have two, my plasma as well), to 1080i, THEN down to 816i and sometimes even then, I need to go into yet another third place in the driver settings to force it to 30hz. This is all after having run all sorts of custom refresh tweaks in the registry and via third party utilities to add custom refresh rates at my custom resolution. The base AMD driver lets you add a custom res, but not set the refresh rate!! Custom rezes in their worldview should only be based on 1080p or 1080i in 60hz, nothing else. It is INCREDIBLY annoying and amateurish. I work in videogames as a 3D programmer and I would slit my wrists open before putting my name on a piece of software so horrible to use as these AMD drivers. Why is there not ONE place to add / tweak / set all these options. I also blame Microsoft for not enforcing standardization in user interfaces here.

I will be buying NVIDIA again next time for 3D support and do not recommend anyone use AMD for 3D, at all. There is literally no point, and a lot of hassle. NVIDIA, everyone knows, is the tops. I originally was somewhat dismayed that this article was seemingly only focused on NVIDIA tech because from every review site I've read, 3D is just way better supported by NVIDIA and they are light years ahead in every way. I paid the 25 bucks to get the Tridef software because I wanted to play my games in 3D. But it sucks that when I'm in 1080/60i it does not automatically select side by side, as HDMI 1.4a does not even have the bandwidth to support frame packing in 1080p/60, only up to 1080p/30 (which I tried too, but I think the extra refresh rate is better). Although come to think of it, I'm not entirely sure 1080/60i / side by side is better than 1080/30p/frame packing, logically they should use the same bandwidth. Just not sure about anything now. I know that interlaced does not look as good on my PJ as 1080/60p by a long shot, but unfortunately that's only for 2D. Sucky that 3D people did not force HDMI spec to support 1080p/60x2 = 120 by default. The 300mhz HDMI input port chips cost ONE DOLLAR more than the regular HDMI 1.4a ones. jeez. Talk about cheap.
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post #6 of 7 Old 01-05-2013, 11:57 AM
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RLBURNSIDE, I'm afraid most of your disappointments wouldn't go away on the Nvidia side.

I do agree on one point : the Catalyst Control center is buggy and it's ergonomics are abysmal. But that's no news. Everybody complains about it, myself included.

I may have a little tip to help you switch configurations more easily. Once I get the setup I want, the Catalyst control center has a feature to save all your settings as a preset, it's a very useful feature I use a lot (I switch often between 3 displays, sometimes in clone mode, sometimes in Eyefinity 2x1, sometimes in independent displays with both 60Hz and 24Hz, so I use this feature very often). With it you can change between presets in 2 clicks, and you can also assign keyboard shortcuts. It's a very nice feature.... until you plug/unplug a display (there's a 50-50 chance it breaks all profiles). I'v also run into driver updates that break the entire profile feature (really annoying). The current version (11.12 beta) appears to work correctly for me.

For the rest, I think you're blaming the wrong people. Many users play with Tridef 3D in 1080p60 SBS on TVs with AMD cards without problems. I don't know the details about your projector but if you're really stuck with 1080i60, you should blame it on the projector manufacturer for sticking so tight to the absolute minimum hdmi specs, and you probably know that 1080p30 frame packing takes more bandwidth than 1080p60 SBS (45 rows of additional blanking to be precise), so it's not an hdmi chip problem, it's only the projector firmware not programmed to handle it.
Running interlaced resolution is notoriously hard on computers and for good reason, if your computer detects your display can do progressive scan, the drivers are designed to discourage you from using interlaced scan and make sure you don't activate it by accident. I don't know about the current Nvidia driver, I haven't had an Nvidia GPU for 4 years, but as far as I remember, the nvidia drivers would never even ask me whether I wanted to run interlaced and just assume I used progressive scan. The custom resolution option was better than AMD's but still difficult to use.
For the automatic enabling of 3D mode in SBS, it's the same story on both sides : none activate the 3D mode automatically unless you use frame packing, because frame packing is the only output supported by HD3D or 3DTV play.
NVidia's 3D driver (3DTV play or 3D Vision) cannot be configured to use Side by Side, it's Frame Packing only, so you don't even get the choice of using SBS (unless you use Tridef on your NVidia card), but then it still doesn't activate automatically. You will get the nvidia control panel for setting your resolution though, i'm not sure if NVidia allows custom resolutions in 3D though, actually i'd bet they only support the one unique hdmi frame packing resolution)

The Nvidia 3D system is known to be more polished that AMD's however I don't think it works the way you are expecting. Nvidia 3D vision is a very tight and closed system that doesn't like customization, and to this date it still does not support 1080p60 on projectors. Step out of the line in any way, and you're back into very ugly hacks to get anything to work (if it even works at all).

The fact that Hdmi doesn't mandates more bandwidth and formats is because it's a TV standard, and manufacturers believe the TV market and PC market are separate and don't bother putting important PC features in their TVs. It's sad but we have to live with that.
Nvidia has been providing it's proprietary 1080p120Hz sequential format through DVI Dual link for over 3 years, yet no 1080p projector ever supported it.
AMD did it's work over 2 years ago with the HD6000 series by adding 1080p120Hz sequential format through the open standard DisplayPort, but only Samsung provides monitors and no projector manufacturer supports it.
Last year AMD was first with hdmi 3GHz chips and 1080p framepacking through hdmi, and Nvidia also introduced it a few months later, but no manufacturer has produced a single display yet.
It's up to display manufacturers to do their job.

By reading your post, I feel that you are very annoyed by this situation and I understand your frustration, however you should remember what you are trying to do : you are doing difficult things and you are putting everything against you :
-custom resolution (your projector does not officially support these resolutions)
-interlaced output (modern PCs are not designed for that)
-Stereoscopic 3D (Windows and DirectX weren't designed for that, Win8 and DirectX 11.1 have official guidelines for 3D for the very first time)
-hdmi (it's designed for a TV world, not PCs)
-a projector which is designed for TV 3D signals

So keep cool, because it something goes wrong, it would be normal. It would be if everything worked flawlessly that I'd be surprised and wonder what kind of magic graphics card you're using, I might want it. My dual-projectors system for 1080p60 is also a difficult beast to feed.

Passive 3D, forever !
My Full-HD dual-projector passive polarised 3D setup. (really out of date ! I need to update it some day...)

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post #7 of 7 Old 01-11-2013, 08:16 AM
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me too,Thanks for the thread guys, I'd like to add a couple things I learned since I got my 3D projector, a Benq w1070. thanks for your sharing 2.gif
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