Q. What is nVidia 3D Vision Discover?

A. I recently installed the new nVidia graphics driver, which includes new utilities for 3D Vision Discover. After digging deeper, I discovered that this is a new technology that brings 3D graphics to most modern games without the need for an expensive monitor and special glasses.

nVidia has offered the nVidia 3D Vision technology for a while. It consisted of one of the company's high-end graphics cards and the NVidia 3D Vision Kit, a set of special glasses and a transmitter that tells the glasses to cover the left eye, then right eye in rapid sequence in time with alternating images on the display. 3D Vision requires a monitor capable of 120Hz, not many of which are available today. This high refresh rate is necessary because the monitor displays twice as many frames as usual, half for the left eye and half for the right eye—that's why the glasses cover one eye at a time while the monitor displays the image for the other. More information is available on nVidia's 3D Vision page.

The new 3D Vision Discover technology uses the old red and blue colorization you've seen in older movies and comics. You have a red lens over one eye and a blue lens over the other. This technology works with any monitor, an nVidia GeForce graphics card, and simple red/blue glasses you might have lying around from a 3D movie, instead of expensive mechanical glasses.

Once you run through the wizard, games running in full screen will be shown in 3D, as shown below for Left 4 Dead. Note that it doesn't look right in the screen shot, because it's a different resolution from what the game was running in. When it's running live, it looks great!

Click to expand.

To access 3D Vision Discover, just download the new nVidia graphics drivers then run the Enable 3D Vision Discover wizard. The wizard is on the Start menu under NVIDIA Corporation - 3D Vision program use. The wizard will help you tune your display configuration and once the feature is enabled you can tweak its settings through the NVIDIA Control Panel applet, as shown below. It also shows game compatibility ratings and lets you set keyboard shortcuts.

Click to expand.

Related Reading:

Check out hundreds more useful Q&As like this in John Savill's FAQ for Windows. Also, watch instructional videos made by John at ITTV.net.
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