General Configuration for 3D Steroscopic Displays

Recommended Computer | Graphics Card | OpenGL Stereoscopic Software Setup | Selecting a Side Monitor | Graphics Cards for the Side Monitor | Laptop Computer

Recommended Computer

Although there is no minimal computer power required to drive a Planar SD stereoscopic monitor, there may be limitations with graphics cards or special software. Use the specifications recommended by your software or graphics card provider. Of course, more memory and faster processing will provide better results. If you plan to use one or two side monitors in addition to the stereoscopic monitor, we would recommend a computer with two PCIe graphics card slots. We also recommend using a computer with a 5V PCI or PCIx slot that can accommodate the PCI mirror card.

Graphics Card

Quad-buffered OpenGL stereoscopic applications such as those in the table in the next section will require a high-end graphics card such as the NVIDIA Quadro line or the AMD FirePro cards. Some of the ones that have been tested include:

AMD FirePro V5900, V7900, V8700, V8750, V8800, V9800
NVIDIA Quadro 4000, 5000, 6000
NVIDIA Quadro FX1700, FX1800, FX3500, FX3700, FX3800, FX4500, FX4500 X2, FX4600, FX4800, FX5600, FX5800

OpenGL Stereoscopic Software Setup

If you use OpenGL software such as those listed in the table below, then please reference the instructions for the OpenGL stereoscopic configuration

3D Slicer Open Source medical visualization SW
3DTV StereoScopic Player
3mensio 3viseon
Accelyris Discovery Studio Viewer Pro
AGI (Analytical Graphics Inc.) STK
Autodesk Maya
Boeing Photogrammetry SW
CAChe Group CAChe workspace
CambridgeSoft Chem 3D Ultra
Chemical Computing Group MOE
DAT/EM Systems Summit Evolution
IVS-3D Fledermaus
KLT Associates Atlas
Leica ERDAS, Stereo Analyst
Masuji SUTO StereoPhotoMaker
Micro Vision Systems stereoscopic microscope video
Microsoft PowerPoint
Overwatch Systems Remote View
Schrodinger Maestro
SolidWorks SolidWorks
Template Graphics Software Amira
Tripos SYBYL
Tweak Software RV
OpenGL Stereoscopic Graphics Card Setup (NVIDIA Quadro)
  1. Setup the SD Monitor
  2. Set both monitors to their full native resolution
  3. Open the NVIDIA Control Panel
  4. Put the two monitors into Clone mode
  5. Enable stereoscopic in OpenGL
  6. Use nView Clone mode for stereoscopic display mode

Screen shot of NVIDIA Control Panel in Clone Mode and nView Clone Mode

Selecting a Side Monitor

If the side monitor matches the polarization of one of the displays used in the StereoMirror monitor, then you will only be able to see it with one eye when wearing the polarized glasses. A simple “workaround” is to select a monitor that has a different polarization. The table below shows Planar’s recommended desktop monitors to be used as side monitors with the given SD product.

SD ModelRecommended Side Monitor
SD1710 Dell U2211H (Dell#320-9271), HP LP2065, or NEC EA231WMi-BK
SD2220W Dell U2211H (Dell#320-9271), HP LP2065, or NEC EA231WMi-BK
SD2020 Planar PX2211MW, PX2411MW, or PX2710MW
SD2421W Planar PX2211MW, PX2411MW, or PX2710MW
SD2620W Planar PX2211MW, PX2411MW, or PX2710MW

Graphics Cards for the Side Monitor

If you plan to use an additional one or two monitors besides the Planar stereoscopic monitor as part of your workstation there are three options:

  1. Use two compatible graphics cards in the computer. These cards both need to support stereoscopic viewing and be of the same platform. For example, if the NVIDIA Quadro FX4800 is being used to drive the SD monitor, then the second graphics card should be the Quadro FX4800 or FX3800. This option is viable only if you have a second PCIe graphics card slot available in your computer. Note, if a second graphics card that is not the same platform as the one used to drive the stereoscopic monitor is used to drive the side monitor, stereoscopic may become disabled or OpenGL performance may be restricted to the capability of the lower performing card. Here are the NVIDIA graphics cards that are compatible with one another for supporting a side monitor:
    • Quadro 4000, 5000 and 6000
    • Quadro FX3800, FX4800 and FX5800 are compatible
    • Quadro FX1800 and FX3700 are compatible
    • Quadro FX1700, FX4600 and FX5600 are compatible
    • Quadro FX1500, FX3500, FX4500, FX5500 and FX4500 X2 are compatible
  2. If you only have one PCIe slot in your computer then you can use a graphics card that supports more than two monitors. The AMD Eyefinity multi-display technology on the FirePro series of graphics cards enables 3, 4 or 6 different outputs from the same card and they have the mirror flip function built in. The AMD FirePro V5900, V7900, V8800 and V9800 all support more than two monitors. The NVIDIA Quadro FX4700 X2 will support up to four monitors from one PCIe slot.
  3. The third option for using a side monitor next to the SD monitor is using a USB-to-DVI adapter from Gefen. This device supports monitors up to WUXGA (1920 x 1200) resolution through a 2.0 USB connection. This is a lower cost solution than using two graphics cards. The image quality of the video may be unsuitable for panning high resolution images or graphics intensive applications.

Laptop Computer

There are several laptops that use an NVIDIA Quadro FX mobile graphics card and support dual monitors. For example, both the Dell Precision M6400 Mobile Workstation and the HP EliteBook 8730w Mobile Workstation use the Quadro FX2700M and could drive two monitors. The analog VGA output would need to be connected to the lower monitor of the SD unit. The DisplayPort output should utilize the DP-to-DVI adapter and get connected to the DVI Inverter Box that will mirror the image sent to the upper monitor. The diagram below shows how the video cables connect to an older Dell M90 laptop which had a laptop docking station that could house the PCI mirror flip card.

3d Stereo Laptop Img

The NVIDIA Quadro graphics card is capable of driving two displays. When the laptop is connected to the StereoMirror, there are three display options: the laptop, the lower SD monitor driven with an analog signal, and the upper SD monitor driven with the DVI signal.

If an OpenGL stereoscopic application such as RemoteView or SocetSet is being used on the laptop, then the two SD displays should be put in Clone mode. Make sure that stereoscopic is enabled in the advanced global settings and that the stereoscopic viewing mode has nView Clone mode selected.

If stereoscopic pictures are to be shown, then the monitors can be put in dual monitor mode with the analog selected as the primary and the digital selected as the secondary.