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Optoma 3D-XL review

Seth Barton
8 Feb 2011
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
250
inc VAT

If you want to watch 3D movies as they were intended, then the 3D-XL is an easy to use add-on that works with many DLP projectors.

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We’ve recently seen a number of DLP projectors that claim to be 3D-ready. When you first hear this term it instantly equates with the now familiar HD-ready marketing that was so prevalent for HD TVs before we had anything much to play on them. 3D-ready projectors, however, aren’t just waiting for some 3D content to come along, as they don’t include the necessary 3D glasses or a way to synchronise the specs with the screen.

Up until now, the only way to turn 3D-ready into 3D was to invest in Nvidia’s 3D Vision kit - that technology works fine for PC-based 3D gaming, but the standard is being rapidly out-dated now that HDMI 1.4a has been established as the de facto standard for 3D consumer electronics.

Optoma 3D-XL front

A better option is the new Optoma’s 3D-XL. It’s a slender box that sits in between your 3D-capable output device (such as a suitably specified Blu-ray player) and your projector. It's also compatible with non HDMI 1.4a devices, including the PlayStation 3 (for games and Blu-ray), Xbox 360 (gaming on HDMI equipped models) and the Sky HD box. The 3D-XL has a pair of HDMI inputs in the rear, so you can connect any two of these. It then has a single HDMI output to connect to your projector.

Optoma 3D-XL back

It’s simple to setup and get working. You daisy chain the 3D-XL between the two devices using HDMI leads. All the usual 3D formats are supported by the 3D-XL, including over/under, side-by-side and frame pack. The device isn’t capable of full 1080p 3D, but then it’s intended for use with 720p projectors. In addition, many devices, such as Sky HD and games consoles, don’t support Full HD in 3D anyway. To date only one Full HD 3D projector has been announced, and that’s $9,999 model from LG which uses passive glasses, like those in the cinema.

There are no Full HD 1080p projectors currently on Optoma’s compatibility list, but the 3D-XL is capable of passing a standard Full HD video signal to such a device if required. This means you wouldn’t lose resolution when watching non-3D content.

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