Sharp ships 3D monitor

If you want to play 3D computer games without wearing special glasses, or watch Ghosts of the Abyss without looking like a geek, a new LCD monitor just released by Sharp brings your dream closer to reality--for a price.

The new LL-151-3D flat-panel display, already available in Sharp's online store, is really aimed at professions that rely on 3D for better productivity, such as medical imaging, mapping, oil exploration, and CAD. The monitor's initial US$1500 estimated street price pretty much defines it as a professional tool rather than a consumer toy.

Early Applications

Entertainment applications will come later, when the price inevitably drops. Sharp is planning on it.

"There are already a number of people who use (special) glasses to play games," says 3D Business Development Manager Ian Matthew. "We will be targeting those people."

The company is also targeting movie fans. Sharp is working with DDD to make sure the monitor will support DDD's technology for presenting 2D movies in 3D.

According to Sharp, the LL-151-3D is the first stand-alone monitor that can be used for both 3D and 2D work. Other companies offer no-glasses 3D displays, but those products can't handle conventional 2D imaging. You can switch the LL-151-3D between 3D and 2D modes using either a hardware switch or, via USB, a software-based signal. Sharp uses the same technology in its Sharp Actius RD3D notebook, available since October 2003.

3D on Two Planes

All 3D systems must send separate images to the viewer's left and right eyes. Sharp gets around the need to use glasses, which filter one eye's image from the other, through what is called a parallax barrier: The monitor uses two LCD panels, one in front of the other. The front panel displays the image. The back one angles the light coming from the backlight, sending alternate columns to the left and right eyes. In 2D mode, the rear panel simply shuts off so that all pixels are seen by both eyes.

The problem with this 3D method is that it works only if you're positioned correctly. Move your head a couple of inches, and you're looking at a 2D picture. Normally, this means only one person can watch, sitting directly in front of the screen. But Matthew says that the screen has four extra 3D viewing areas, so that five people can watch a 3D presentation--as long as their heads are in the correct places.

The LL-151-3D measures 15 inches, with a native 1024-by-768-pixel resolution. But that means that, in 3D, each eye sees only 512 by 768 resolution. Matthew says the brain fuses the two images, compensating for part of the resolution loss.

"Everybody who sees the display's 3D image says, 'It's definitely not half but it's not full,'" he says.

The LCD also comes with built-in stereo speakers, a backlight with a 500:1 contrast ratio, and software for creating, managing, and pulling information from 3D photos. It will work with any graphics card and software that support the OpenGL 3D standard.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Lincoln Spector

PC World
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?