As promised, we are reporting on the first of the 3D projectors to hit the shelves. It just so happens that ProjectorCentral.com has just posted a new review of the 3D capable Mitsubishi XD600U projector. The 3D ready XD600U was meant primarily for use in educational environments (schools, training rooms) to help illustrate concepts in a new dimension. However, it utilizes some of the same technology that will be used in new 3D home theater projection that was all the rage at the CES show last weekend. Here’s a peek at what Projector Central had to say about the new Mitsubishi projector.
Projector Central on the performance of the projector overall :
“Mitsubishi’s XD600U is a compact powerhouse of a projector. With a weight of less than eight pounds and 4500 ANSI lumens of brightness, it is a versatile, portable option for large-venue installation. Its 1.5:1 zoom lens makes it easy to install, and 3D capability goes a long way towards making it future-proof. Maintenance costs are kept low thanks to a filter-free design and long lamp life. Wired networking makes things simple for the folks in charge of maintenance, as well. All in all, the XD600U is a projector that is designed to deliver a great image for a reasonable price, both up-front and in the future. If you are looking for a versatile projector for a multi-unit installation in conference rooms or university classrooms, the XD600U may be just what you’re looking for.”
Reviewer Bill Livolsi also goes into some of the details about how you get the projector in 3D mode:
“The XD600U is 3D ready, but there seems to be a lot of confusion floating around as to what this actually means. When a DLP projector like the XD600U is labeled 3D ready, it does not mean that you can simply attach it to a Blu-Ray player and start watching movies in 3D. It means that the projector is compatible with DLP’s new implementation of stereoscopic viewing, but you will need some extra equipment in order to use it…
…First, you will need a computer with a fairly beefy graphics card, capable of outputting XGA at 120Hz. Next, you will need a suite of 3D content. Several companies now market 3D content to schools, and there is some gaming content available as well (though we have not had a chance to test this yet – check back soon for more information). Finally, you will need a pair of compatible active 3D glasses. These are not the cardboard colored-lens glasses you may have seen inside “3D” movies sold on DVD, nor are they the polarized plastic glasses you get if you go see a movie like Avatar in theaters. The glasses required for 3D viewing on the XD600 are active LCD shutter glasses, designed to strobe in synchronization with the content on screen and trick your eyes into seeing two separate images.”
As we mentioned in our previous blog post about 3D projectors, there are still a lot of questions about 3D content (though ESPN promises to bring the World Cup in 3D this year) and about what it will take to get your home setup 3D ready. That is in terms of overall cost, and equipment upgrades or updates that will be required. In some cases it may only take a firmware upgrade to make a source 3D ready. As an example, we heard the Playstation3 would have a 3D firmware update available as early as this Summer.
As for whether it will require a new display (tv or projector) or a simple update, we don’t have the answer yet – and it will likely vary by model. More on this as soon as we know.
And on another positive note for the new 3D projector :
“…DLP’s implementation of 3D is easily the finest in-home 3D we have ever experienced. The quality is light-years ahead of the old anaglyph 3D method (the kind that uses the colored glasses) and is nearly on par with the 3D you will see in commercial theaters. If the amount and quality of available content starts trending higher, this could be a major area of growth in years to come…”
And another point of interest… higher contrast ratios with 3D glasses?
“One other thing. We mentioned that 3D mode on the XD600U cuts lumen output rather drastically, but there are also the 3D glasses themselves to consider. Since the glasses operate through the action of an LCD shutter, they do cut light output significantly – about 70%. To the viewer’s eyes, the picture appears to be about 775 lumens. There’s an upside, though – the same shutter that cuts lumen output also deepens black levels, meaning the net result is an increase in contrast. With a bright projector like the XD600U, you still end up with enough light for a very enjoyable picture. On 3D projectors with much lower light output, this may not be the case.”
Just a few thoughts to ponder as we wade our way into the third dimension. Stay tuned for more!
You can check out the full review of the Mitsubishi XD600U projector on Projector Central.