Author:
Manufacturer: Oculus

Our first thoughts and impressions

Since first hearing about the Kickstarter project that raised nearly 2.5 million dollars from over 9,500 contributors, I have eagerly been awaiting the arrival of my Oculus Rift development kit.  Not because I plan on quitting the hardware review business to start working on a new 3D, VR-ready gaming project but just because as a technology enthusiast I need to see the new, fun gadgets and what they might mean for the future of gaming.

I have read other user's accounts of their time with the Oculus Rift, including a great write up in a Q&A form Ben Kuchera over at Penny Arcade Report, but I needed my own hands-on time with the consumer-oriented VR (virtual reality) product.  Having tried it for very short periods of time at both Quakecon 2012 and CES 2013 (less than 5 minutes) I wanted to see how it performed and more importantly, how my body reacted to it.

I don't consider myself a person that gets motion sick.  Really, I don't.  I fly all the time, sit in the back of busses, ride roller coasters, watch 3D movies and play fast-paced PC games on large screens.  The only instances I tend to get any kind of unease with motion is on what I call "roundy-round" rides, the kind that simply go in circles over and over.  Think about something like this, The Scrambler, or the Teacups at Disney World.  How would I react to time with the Oculus Rift, this was my biggest fear... 

For now I don't want to get into the politics of the Rift, how John Carmack was initially a huge proponent of the project then backed off on how close we might be the higher-quality consumer version of the device.  We'll cover those aspects in a future story.  For now I only had time for some first impressions.

Watch the video above for a walk through of the development kit as well as some of the demos, as best can be demonstrated in a 2D plane! 

Continue on to the full story for some photos and my final FIRST impressions of the Oculus Rift!

With just $70, you can save an underprivileged Retina.

Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Displays | April 22, 2013 - 05:34 PM |
Tagged: LG, ips, hack

Operators are standing by...

Of course Apple is not a primary manufacturer of LCD panels; like everyone else, they buy their panels from someone like LG. Due to how much Apple loves IPS technology, which I cannot blame them for, they in fact do purchase their displays from LG.

If you have an itchy soldering iron, so can you.

RetinaLinux.jpg

According to EmertHacks, the LG part number for retina iPad screens is LP097QX1-SPA1. The blog post states that he could find the panel for as cheap as $55, but my own digging game up with costs between $60 and $200 plus shipping. These panels are mostly destined to iPad repair shops, but you can give it a better home.

With under $20 of other parts, this panel could be attached to a DisplayPort connection. All said and done, you could have a 2048x1536 9.7" display with an 800:1 static contrast ratio for about $70.

Source: EmertHacks

SEIKI SE50UY04 50-in 4K 3840x2160 TV Unboxing and Preview

Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards, Displays | April 18, 2013 - 08:52 PM |
Tagged: video, seiki, se50UY04, hdtv, hdmi 1.4, displays, 4k, 3840x2160

This just in!  We have a 4K TV in the PC Perspective Offices!

seiki1.jpg

While we are still working on the ability to test graphics card performance at this resolution with our Frame Rating capture system, we decided to do a live stream earlier today as we unboxed, almost dropped and then eventually configured our new 4K TV. 

The TV in question?  A brand new SEIKI SE50UY04 50-in 3840x2160 ready display.  Haven't heard of it?  Neither have we.  I picked it up over the weekend from TigerDirect for $1299, though it actually a bit higher now at $1499.

seiki2.jpg

The TV itself is pretty unassuming and other than looking for the 4K label on the box you'd be hard pressed to discern it from other displays.  It DID come with a blue, braided UHD-ready HDMI cable, so there's that.

seiki3.jpg

One point worth noting is that the stand on the TV is pretty flimsy; there was definitely wobble after installation and setup.

seiki4.jpg

Connecting the TV to our test system was pretty easy - only a single HDMI cable was required and the GeForce GTX 680s in SLI we happened to have on our test bed recognized it as a 3840x2160 capable display.  Keep in mind that you are limited to a refresh rate of 30 Hz though due to current limitations of HDMI 1.4.  The desktop was clear and sharper and if you like screen real estate...this has it. 

The first thing we wanted to try was some 4K video playback and we tried YouTube videos, some downloaded clips we found scattered across the Internet and a couple of specific examples I had been saving.  Isn't that puppy cute?  It was by far the best picture I had seen on a TV that close up - no other way to say it.

We did have issues with video playback in some cases due to high bit rates.  In one case we had a YUV uncompressed file that was hitting our SSD so hard on read speeds that we saw choppiness.  H.265 save us!

seiki5.jpg

And of course we demoed some games as well - Battlefield 3, Crysis 3, Skyrim and Tomb Raider.  Each was able to run at 3840x2160 without any complaints or INI hacks.  They all looked BEAUTIFUL when in a still position but we did notice some flickering on the TV that might be the result of the 120 Hz interpolation and possibly the "dynamic luminance control" feature that SEIKI has. 

We'll definitely test some more on this in the coming days to see if we can find a solution as I know many PC gamers are going to be excited about the possibility of using this as a gaming display!  We are working on a collection of benchmarks on some of the higher end graphics solutions like the GeForce TITAN, GTX 680s, HD 7990 and HD 7970s!

If you want to check out the full experience of our unboxing and first testing, check out the full live stream archived below!!

Stream DisplayPort wirelessly with the help of Diamond's new device

Subject: Displays | April 10, 2013 - 03:13 PM |
Tagged: WPCTVPRO, videostream, displaylink, diamond multimedia

If you have a need for a second display which is not directly wired to your machine you have several choices, from the Cthulu card Ryan reviewed to Intel's WiDi to the upcoming product from the HSA.  There is another choice available which comes as an external device, the Diamond VideoStream WPCTVPRO uses a DisplayLink DL-165 chip to stream video and audio to a second monitor that has a receiver attached.  Bjorn3D tried it out and found it more than capable of sending a 1080p signal in almost all cases although the broadcast range is relatively short which could impact your decision.  Check out the full details here.

WPCTVPRO.png

"The Diamond VideoStream WPCTVPRO is a new device to help you setup a dual-monitor without a long wire connected to your PC. Using DisplayLink technology, the device communicates to your secondary monitor (TV for example) wirelessly through Ultra Wide Band (UWB). How does it perform? Does it live up to its promise? Let’s find out."

Here are some more Display articles from around the web:

Displays

Source: Bjorn3D

Deal for April 8th - Dell UltraSharp U2410 24" IPS @ $384.30

Subject: General Tech, Displays | April 8, 2013 - 01:45 PM |
Tagged: deals

If you are shopping around for a 24" IPS LCD then today's deal might be custom made for you.  The Dell UltraSharp U2410 24" IPS is currently discounted $165 and comes with free shipping.  It is a full 1920x1200 display with HDMI, DVI-D and DisplayPort inputs and even better it has a ghosting time of 11 ms and an input lag so low as to be undetectable which makes it perfect for gaming.

delldeal.jpg

Dell UltraSharp U2410 24" IPS-panel LCD Monitor with HDMI & DisplayPort
Today only. Dell is offering UltraSharp U2410 24-inch LCD Monitor for $384.30 with FREE shipping. Use 33% instant savings to get final price.

Source: LogicBUY

Monoprice 27" IPS back in stock!

Subject: General Tech, Displays | March 25, 2013 - 05:51 PM |
Tagged: monoprice, ips display, ips monitor, ips

Tim did a post on cheap 27" IPS 1440p monitors from Monoprice within the opening days of the calendar year. These panels are derivative of the type you would see on Dell Ultrasharp or Apple Cinema Displays. We say derivative because LCD panel manufacturing is very imprecise: completed panels get graded, bin-sorted, and sold to bidders. A panel which does not grade high enough for Dell, Apple, HP, and other professional companies is probably still a perfectly good panel and suitable for other bidders. Monoprice is putting their branding on one of those bidders and selling it for under $400, about a third of the cost of the A+-sorted panels.

And they're gone.

Monoprice 1440p LED IPS monitor (2).jpg

Now, almost three months later, Monoprice has caught up and will start shipping the new batch as early as tomorrow. How long that will last, who knows? If you wish to have a high end monitor on the cheap, you will probably want to run and not walk.

The Monoprice CrystalPro WQHD monitor is available for $390.60. Monoprice advertises the display to be perfect for Eyefinity setups... except that it is limited to one per customer. Oh well, troll well.

Source: Monoprice

Lowest Prices of the Year: Dell IPS Monitors Blow-out

Subject: General Tech, Displays | March 22, 2013 - 07:13 PM |
Tagged: deals

Top deal

Two (2) Dell UltraSharp U2312HM 23" IPS Monitors with Dual Monitor Stand for $436 with free shipping (normally $570 - use coupon codes: 6DBNK$ZJLR$L4J and 9B47MSNVFNNKB2).   - this link will be fixed soon!

295.jpg

Computing Hardware & Peripherals

29" Dell UltraSharp U2913WM panoramic 2560 x 1080 LED-backlit LCD Monitor for $566 with free shipping (normally $699 - use coupon codes: 2SWVM6553NQ6F7 and VNVC57F?X1269L).

27" Dell UltraSharp U2713H 27" 2560 x 1440 IPS-panel LCD Monitor (Flagship 2013 Model) for $765 with free shipping (normally $1000 - use coupon code: VNVC57F?X1269L).

24" Dell UltraSharp U2413 1920 x 1200 24" IPS Monitor (2013 model) for $450 with free shipping (normally $600 - use coupon code: VNVC57F?X1269L).

21.5" Dell U2212HM UltraSharp 1080p IPS-panel LCD Monitor with DisplayPort for $198 with free shipping (normally $260 - use coupon code: VNVC57F?X1269L).

Source: LogicBUY

3 displays, 1 GPU

Subject: Displays | February 26, 2013 - 06:26 PM |
Tagged: eyefinity, nvidia surround, crossfire, sli

If you are going to set up a multimonitor display at 5760x1200 or 5040x1050, but only have a single GPU or a pair of low powered ones, just what kind of performance can you expect?  That is the question Techgage wanted to answer and to that purpose they tested frame rates at those resolutions with NVIDIA's GTX680 and two different 660 Ti's in SLI as well as an HD7970 and two different 7850s in Crossfire.  As you might expect the game tested makes a lot of difference in the results, with many seeing the SLI'd 660 Ti's in the lead while other memory hungry games preferred the large cache of the Radeons.  Check out the individual results of your favourite games in the full article.

TG_LCD_02_T.jpg

"Considering next-gen cards are still months away, we didn't expect to bring any more GPU reviews until the second quarter of 2013. However, we realized there was a gap in our current-gen coverage: triple-monitor gaming. In fact, it's been almost two years since we last stress tested games at resolutions of up to 7680x1600.

We're going to mix things up a little this time. Instead of using each camp's ultra-pricey dual-GPU card (or the new $999 Titan), we're going to see how more affordable Crossfire and SLI setups handle triple-monitor gaming compared to today's single-GPU flagships."

Here are some more Display articles from around the web:

Displays

Source: TechSpot

Could it be an actual thin bezeled LCD?!?

Subject: Displays | January 25, 2013 - 03:09 PM |
Tagged: asus, VN247H, thin bezel, TN Dis

To start off with the bad news, it is a TN panel, but sacrifices are acceptable for a 9mm bezel!  The ASUS VN247H does indeed have a very thin bezel and a screen without dead space, this is truly like the monitors we were promised ages ago when multi-screen gaming first became possible.  The 24" 1920 x 1080 monitor will set you back about $190 each, which is really not a bad price for a niche product and makes buying several a little more affordable.  Kitguru had a chance to try out this monitor with its rear mounted controls, check it out.

KG_ACC_9816_DxO.jpg

"Today we are looking at the latest VN247H from ASUS. This monitor will stand out in the crowd due to the super narrow bezel which measures less than 1 centimeter. The VN247H is VESA wall mount compatible and has a scratch proof rear panel for ultimate durability. Should this be next on your shortlist in 2013?"

Here are some more Display articles from around the web:

Displays

Source: Kitguru

Who needs triple displays when you have the Oculus Rift

Subject: Displays | January 14, 2013 - 07:02 PM |
Tagged: oculus rift

Last year at E3 we were introduced to a mostly finalized version of the Oculus Rift, which was also at CES this year and if still on schedule will be available for purchase come March.  The Tech Report, who are no strangers to 3D or to multi-monitor gaming, tried out the current Oculus Rift and saying they were blown away might be an understatement.  From the very start they were impressed with the Rift, from the fact that they could wear it over top of prescription glasses, to the depth and fluidity of the head tracking and it took a personal story about John Carmack from one of the owners to distract them, the sounds of CES were not enough on their own.  While they did feel that the demonstration that was displayed in the glasses could have used a bit of tessellation, that hardly spoiled their excitement at all.

oculus-rift.jpg

"We got to try an Oculus Rift VR headset at CES, and we were blown away by it."

Here are some more Display articles from around the web:

Displays