61 of 72 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
- - BRIEF - -
The 'Sony HMZ-T1 Personal 3D Viewer' is surely one of the most futuristic gadgets that is currently available on the market, it most definitely has a Star Trek if not Cyclops from X-Men kinda look to it, maybe something that doesn't quite belong in this current space of time, but nevertheless it is and boy was I excited
The items included in the whole package are:
01) Head Mounted Display (HMD).
02) Processor Unit.
03) AC Power Cord.
04) HDMI Cable (3D Compatible).
05) Light Blocker (Left & Right piece).
06) Headband Strap Clip.
07) Connecting Cord Holder.
08) Thin, Medium & Thick Forehead Supporters.
09) Forehead Supporter Cover.
10) Reference & Start-Up Guide.
- - SET-UP - -
There are two parts into setting this device up; the first part is connecting your HD device to the viewer, that was the easy part and to be honest doesn't take more than a minute, it's the second part where you have to configure it to your head which at first is the more challenging part.
Connecting the devices really is as simple as counting "1, 2, 3"; make sure all devices (the HD device you want to connect & the processing unit) are powered on via the appropriate AC power cords, plug the HDMI lead from the HD devices HDMI "Out" into the processing units HDMI "In", then plug the HMD's cable into the HMD port located at the front of the processing unit, it really is that simple. If you're wondering what the "Out" part is for on the processing unit, basically you can connect the "Out" to a TV's "IN" so when the HMD is on standby, the processing unit will send the audio/video signals to the TV instead (when the pass-through option is enabled).
To view pictures on both the HMD & TV, this will require an HDMI splitter, however be cautious if trying to view 3D content at the same time of the TV if the TV is not 3D compatible, so if it isn't, I would recommend sticking to 2D content whilst using the splitter, otherwise just connect it directly to the HMD.
The next part is the most important and will determine whether you'll get fantastic viewing results, or trashy blurriness. You need to make sure that not only are the lenses in focused with your eyes, but also the HMD having a snug fit on your head and there is barely any pressure on your nose. The easiest way I went around this is by firstly making sure the HMD is on, this is because you get a "Welcome" message which is great to use to make sure your eyes are focused. Start by unclipping the straps and make sure the sides are extended to as far as they can go, then use your hands to adjust the HMD whilst switching the focus around to get the writing as focused as you can. Don't forget there are different sized forehead pads, if you feel like you're not getting the best results, don't hesitate to change them around. Once you believe you have the optimum level, whilst having one hand to support the HMD, use the other to tighten up the straps and push them in further to get a snug fit, once done, adjust the headphones until you are satisfied. This may take awhile like it did me, or it might take a few minutes, just have patience and eventually you will get it right. Once done, go through the options on the viewer, when done you will finally be seeing whatever interface is set by your HD device.
For those who are using it with a PS3 and did not have it connected to a 3DTV previously, you may want to go through the "Display" settings again and re-configure the HDMI settings, this way you will make sure the PS3 has 3D enabled.When viewing content through the HMD, you can also access the HMD options by pressing the "MENU" button, this will give an variety of options ranging from:
1) Information; Identifies input signals (Video/Audio) from the current device connected.
2) 3D Settings; Change from Auto 3D settings, to "Over-Under" & "Side by Side" 3D settings.
3) Display; Change picture mode from vivid to cinema, adjust the brightness, colour temperature. sharpness and more.
4) Sound; Change settings from standard, game, cinema or music & adjust the treble and bass.
5) General Settings; Set password, enable HDMI pass-through, control for HDMI, power & language options.If you want to adjust the sound volume, this can be done by pressing either buttons located just above the "MENU" button.
- - EXPERIENCE - -
Using this viewer is literally like watching a film or playing a game in a hugely sized cinema screen, but for your own personal use, it's a weird yet awesome sensation that is one to be personally experienced.
The very first piece of content I viewed through this device was Tangled 3D and I can assure you my mind was blown into another dimension just by seeing the title screen, never mind the actual film, it was like seeing 3D for the first time all over again... but better! The 3D had no ghosting at all, the colours were full and vibrant... it was just perfect, absolutely perfect. I've seen 3D films at cinemas with the polarized glasses, and I've seen 3D films on 3DTV's using active shutter, even on the Nintendo 3DS and I can safely say this 3D viewer would win hands down in any competition these other 3D experiences could dish out.
Tron 3D was to follow, but this time I had watched the whole film as the previous one I was skipping through to check out the 3D effects. Tron 3D was really enjoyable, but it soon came to my attention that needed a break now and then was worthwhile, not in the sense of my eyes getting funny, but rather the pressure on my head I was feeling, after all the device weighs 2lb and after time it adds up, for me in this circumstance I was laying down and had a 10 minute break after 1 hour of watching the film. This obviously for some people may be an annoyance, but for me it didn't bother me too much, this may be due to the fact I had been enjoying myself so much, if it required a break now and then so be it! I also tried several games in 3D; Super Stardust HD, Mortal Kombat, Batman: Arkham Asylum & Call of Duty: Black Ops. Stardust & Arkham Asylum were definitely my favourites, it added a whole new depth to the gameplay as well as making them feel like a whole new game, you feel fully immersed and with the top-notch quality the headphones provide, this really is the ultimate gaming experience.
So what about 2D games? Well, I've played Battlefield 3 multiplayer and am more than satisfied with the results, you can see enemies more clearly, hear the surroundings clearer, the explosions sound amazing, and weirdly although being in a 2D game, you get a slightly more depth to the game than you would by playing on a TV. The best part was flying a jet in the cockpit, whizzing through the skies, if you're a Battlefield fan, you need this device! Another thing to add was the experience playing Modern Warfare 3, I honest believed it was a 3D game but it actually isn't, it gave me a really good depth of field which made it seem 3D, this is due to the having screens for both eyes. :)
- POSSIBLE IMPROVEMENTS - -
Whilst the experience has been fantastic, there were a view issues I would like to point out:
1) Headphones: Audio quality is fantastic, but they aren't noise cancelling so people around can hear what you are viewing depending on certain sound volumes, it would be great to see noise cancelling headphones for future models!
3) Easier to connect light blockers: For most people, the light blockers whilst connected to the viewer make it really hard to put the HMD on, but if you try to connect them whilst you have the HMD on, it's just as hard, this needs to be improved, but I'm fine without them.
As for the next idea's, these are merely just something I would like to see in future models:
1) In-built Bluetooth headset; so people who play PS3's can talk to their friends whilst playing.
2) Head-tracking (if compatible); There was a PS2 HMD version in Japan which had a head-tracking feature which allows the user to have sweeping views of the surroundings.
3) Detachable headphones; this will give people an option to use their surround sound instead. Having an optical out would be useful in this scenario, however the main device (i.e. PS3 or Blu-ray player), should have one anyway.
4) Optional wireless connectivity; At the moment, the wire is completely fixed to the viewer, if in future models they can make this rechargeable and wireless, but with the option to still connect it via wire, this will increase the movability for users.
They were just a few idea's that I'd personally think would make this product better.
- - OVERALL - -
What can I say? Personally, it's been & still is giving me the best personal 2D/3D film/gaming experience I have ever had, it really defines home entertainment to a whole new level and would like to thank Sony for making such device available on the market! This obviously comes with a high price tag which I hope to see will drop down in the near future and also the fact it's a one person at a time experience, and when you're showing off the device you will not only have to reconfigure it, but you will also have to redo it again when your using it again yourself.
Although the sound & image quality this device delivers to me is perfect, sadly the device isn't, it has a few bits that need improving for future models before it becomes perfect but in my eyes it's still the best personal home entertainment device currently available on the market and that's why this still gets top marks from me and I would recommend it to anyone who can get their hands on one!