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Like with many other 3D activities, the technology associated with the projection of 3D images and videos has moved on.  I have chosen to make this project an active one with progressive updates, while at the same time limiting the content to digital projection.  To view the latest developments, please move down the page to ‘The Project Today’.


The Project History (2012)

Years on from building my first projection rig,  technology has moved on; we are now in a world where 3D TV sets are common place, digital projectors are being produced for high definition (HD) media and 3D Blu-ray disks are being produced in high volume; thanks to films like AVATAR.

Over the last few years I have provided around one hundred 3D presentations to both photography and video groups. During this time, I developed a need to get away from using a computer to drive my projectors. This need was inspired by developments taking place with 3D capable Blu-ray players and 3D media players, along with the need to avoid the constraints imposed by computers and their operating systems.

I first needed to upgrade my projectors to ones that took full advantage of HD and HDMI connectivity.  To cut a long story short, I came up with the solution shown in the schematic Figure 1.

The the two projector, Optoma HD200X models are HD with a native resolution of 1920 x 1080.  The are mounted on a framework constructed from 20 mm square section aluminium tube a plastic joints, care of B&Q. Figure 2. with adjustable platforms.   

I have a range of devices that connect to the projectors via HDMI.  The devices are interchangeable with the necessary wiring in place for all.  In Figure 3. we can see the rear connections involved.  

A HiMedia HD 900B media player is seen in Figure 4.  This device has a replaceable HDD, Figure 5, which makes it easy to transfer content from my PC to the media player.  The player also takes SD cards and other USB connected storage devices, including a secondary portable hard drive if required.  The firmware provided with the player uses the Android 4 operating system and can be wirelessly connected to other devices.

The rear panel connections of the player includes those for phono and optical audio. Figure 6. These are used to connect a self-powered speaker system, presently Creative T40 pair.

A Mede8er MED600X 3D is a valid alternative to the HiMedia device, both require support from an HDMI splitter and two Demultiplexers, Figure 7., to sort out the left and right video streams. Both devices will work with half width side-by-side, above and below or frame packed (MVC) source material.


The Project Today (2017)

The previous chapter is a summery of what has taken place with my 3D projection up until the year 2015.  Since that time, things changed little.  Now the time has come to switch from various methods of ‘passive’ polarised, to ‘active’ shuttered projection.  

Two factors prompted me to make this switch, the first being the logistics of moving around with a heavy projection rig, often with a large silver surface screen, the second being the reducing cost of active (DLP) 3D projectors and and supporting glasses.  All venues I visit poses a screen of some sort and so there is no longer a need to lug around or my ‘silver’ surface.

My latest rig, Figure 9., is based on an Optoma HD 441 DLP 3D projector, a Samsung Blu-ray player and a compact Taotronics bluetooth speaker (not shown).  The overall cost of this rig is less than £600.   With DLP shuttered glasses now costing around £10 a pair.  I guess you could say that for £1,000 you could be ‘on the road’ for presentations to an audience of 40 people!

In the figure, you can see that the projector sits comfortably atop the player.  In between is an MDF board with a Velcro base attaching it to the player, while the top of the board has location features for the projector feet.

Also shown is a player USB connected card reader (blue) and a an HDMI projector connected streaming dongle (white).  This combination satisfies all needs although choice of image format and video codec are critical to some degree.

Images to MPO format work well straight from a 3D camera’s SD card or produced by StereoPhoto Maker transferred to a USB device or SD card, as do half width side-by-side JPG files mounted mounted in the same way.  AVCHD videos straight from a projector connected 3D camcorder work fine, as do half width side-by-side files in MP4 format transferred to a USB device or SD card.

The USB port on the Samsung Blu-ray player supports compact HDD and flash drives in addition to the card reader.

The projector connected HDMI streaming dongle can be any of the popular models used for streaming on-line content.  The Blu-ray player is itself a ‘Smart’ device with wireless connectivity to Smart-phones and Tablets for mirroring purposes.  





3D Projection