67
6.0
final rating

reviewed on
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Criteria Comments Rating
  • Picture quality True 1080p resolution. Very bright and colorful, but terrible viewing angle and massive amounts of motion blur mar the experience. poor
  • Sound quality The built-in speakers offer plenty of volume, but sound quality isn't remotely accurate. Hollow, shrill and grating. awful!
  • Media support The display supports several 3D packing methods over HDMI, as well as SimulView full screen 2-plater gaming. No official Nvidia support for PC 3D gaming. so-so
  • Other features (networking, etc.) The package includes quality active shutter glasses. The IR transmitter for the glasses is integrated into the bezel. HDMI cable is included. good
Detailed review
The PlayStation 3D Display is designed to be a gaming monitor, primarily for the PS3. It's a 1080p edge-lit LCD panel. At 24" it's a good size for a bedroom or den. The 3D Display uses active LCD shutter glasses.

This is clearly a TN panel. Compared to, say, a 2D Dell UltraSharp monitor, the PlayStation 3D Display offers lousy image quality. Colors are vibrant and initially pleasing, but there are minimal calibration options. At close viewing distances edge to edge color uniformity is very uneven. Viewing angle is very poor. Lean back when using the monitor! Perhaps to handle a 240Hz refresh the panel is overdriven, and motion artifacts, even in 2D mode, are very apparent and distracting. Action games expose smearing along high contrast edges in an unacceptable manner. As this monitor is specifically geared towards gamers, I find this surprising and very disappointing.

One pair of active LCD shutter glasses is included with the display. They charge via USB and provide decent battery life. They're light and reasonably comfortable, though they feel a little awkward over my prescription glasses. The lenses have a slight tint to them, but the 3D Display is very bright, so the glasses don't really diminish the experience.
3D performance with Blu-ray movies is very good. I tested Tron: Legacy and How To Train Your Dragon and found the experience to be very immersive, with appreciably low crosstalk.

3D gaming performance varies widely so I'll discuss each title separately.

Gran Turismo 5 in 3D is in many ways amazing. The sense of depth in premium cars in cockpit view is very realistic. The depth perception also makes judging corners and braking zones feel natural and intuitive. On the other hand 3D crosstalk is very apparent and jarring. I tried adjusting numerous settings in the game and the display to reduce crosstalk with minimal success. Even with the crosstalk I found 3D improved my sense of immersion greatly.

WipEout HD is breathtaking and almost nauseating in 3D. Crosstalk is not a factor in this game perhaps due to the reduced 30FPS frame rate or the art design. It's an excellent experience, but once the novelty wears off you may find yourself going back to 2D mode for the 60FPS experience.

Super Stardust HD stole the show in 3D. Gameplay was flawlessly smooth. I detected no crosstalk issues at all. Everything looked real and solid. Asteroids and enemies rained down on the playfield and particle effects showered the scene. This was my favorite 3D gaming experience.

I connected the PlayStation 3D Display to my gaming PC and had mixed results. It doesn't offer a 120Hz DVI input, so Nvidia 3D Vision is not supported. Nvidia does offer 3DTV Play, a technology specifically designed for 3D HDTVs over HDMI (1080p/24 or 720p/60), but this Sony monitor is not supported. I was able to install a third party hack and tried various PC games at 720p in 3D. Like my PS3 tests, the results were mixed, but the standout titles were Mass Effect 3, Batman: Arkham Asylum, and iRacing. Unfortunately, the hack is of course unsupported, and recent Nvidia driver updates have disabled PlayStation 3D Display support.

The 3D Display has stereo speakers and a "subwoofer" in the back. The speakers offer commendable volume, but very poor sound quality. Audio sounds incredibly hollow, very much like small drivers resonating in a large plastic housing. They'll do in a pinch, but use a quality sound system or headphones.

The PlayStation 3D Display includes two HDMI inputs and a component input on back. Also on the back, very awkwardly, are all the buttons to control the OSD. As I often used these controls to adjust color temperature, 3D mode, backlight level, and volume, I found the placement to be incredibly thoughtless and annoying. The monitor supports a remote control, but it's sold separately. I think a remote is mandatory and should have been included.

I won't go as far as to say I have buyer's remorse, as I've always been fascinated by 3D. While 3D performance is hit or miss, when it hits. it really hits. For me, that's enough, but I certainly wouldn't recommend the PlayStation 3D Display to everyone, even at closeout prices. Most people would be better served by a good 2D IPS monitor at similar prices.