3D htpc faq: Requirements

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Joined: 27 Aug 2007
3D htpc faq: Requirements

3D Blu Ray HTPC (Not the cheapest solution, but what I would recommend today.)

Intel Core i5 661 Dual Core Processor Clarkdale LGA1156 3.33GHZ 4MB Cache Retail Box ** No Vt **
Part #: BX80616I5661

CPU Cooler
Noctua NH-U12P SE2 LGA775/1156/1366 AM2/AM3 I7/I5/PHENOM Heatpipe Cooler W/ 2XNH-P12 120MM Fans
Part #: NH-U12P SE2

ASRock H55M mATX LGA1156 H55 DDR3 2PCI-E16 PCI-E PCI CrossFireX SATA2 GBLAN Audio HDMI Motherboard
Part #: H55M

Blu Ray Drive
Liteon IHOS104 4X BLU-RAY Reader BD-ROM Drive SATA Black OEM
Part #: IHOS104-06

G.SKILL F3-12800CL9D-4GBNQ PC3-12800 4GB 2X2GB DDR3-1600 CL9-9-9-24 240PIN Dual Channel Memory Kit
Part #: F3-12800CL9D-4GBNQ

Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 500GB ST3500418AS SATA 3.0Gbps 7200 RPM
Part #: ST3500418AS

Nexus RX-6300 Tranquility 630W Quiet Modular Power Supply EPS12V Apfc SLI Ready 80+ Bronze 135mm
Part #: RX-6300

Antec Fusion Remote Max HTPC Case 1X5.25 4X3.5INT LCD Display W/ IR Receiver & Remote *No PSU*

YOUR TOTAL $1015.79 Canadian


For a inexpensive HTPC I would recommend the lowest price Dell Inspiron (Inspiron 560) $449.00, and buying a Blu Ray drive for 70.00 and a Zotak ZT-20404-20L Video card for 98.00. Which is about 620.00 Canadian and includes Windows 7 OEM.

Which GPUs will support 3D TVs? I checked the NVIDIA website and Fermi 430 supports HDMI 1.4a.
NVIDIA GeForce GPUs have been tested to be compatible with HDMI 1.4a, and will work well with the 3D TVs, including the Panasonic VIERA TVs. The following are GPUs supported by NVIDIA 3DTV Play:

•Desktop GPU: Blu-ray 3D playback: Make sure your videocard has "PureVideo HD 4" or VP4. ATI videocards are not yet listed as to which one works.

GeForce GTX 480
GeForce GTX 470
GeForce GTX 465
GeForce GTX 460
GTS 450, GT 440 (October)
GT 430 (October)
GeForce GT 340
GeForce GT 320
GeForce GT 240 also supports VP4, but no HD audio bitstreaming.

•Laptop GPUs:
GeForce GT 240 Notebook
GeForce GTS 360M
GeForce GTS 350M
GeForce GT 335M
GeForce GT 330M
GeForce GT 325M
GeForce GT 320M

Nvidia Website for more information

•ATI Radeon 5000 series is rumored to be the series ATI will support for 3D Blu Ray.
UVD 3.0: AMD Radeon HD 6xxx (October-)

•Intel® Core™ Processors with Intel® HD Graphics
(Intel Core i5-600 Dual Core Processor)

In order to be able to use the integrated graphics in these Clarksdale processors you need to use the proper chipset and motherboard. These new chipsets include the Intel H55, H57 and Q57.

What do I need for HW & SW??

You'll need 3D TV that has HDCP: DVI, HDMI, or Nvidia 3D Vision ready display.

Nvidia will release a driver around august or september 2010 that will enable NVidia 3D Blu Ray Vision ready GPU's to play back 3D Blu Ray with Powerdvd 10 Ultra 3D Mark II or equivalent SW.

Nvidia 3D TV Play software needs to be used with Powerdvd 10 Ultra 3D Mark II or equivalent SW and enables HDMI 1.4 to autosense the 3D Content so the TV doesn't need to be manually set.
See the Misc info section for more detail.

NVidia videocard that features VP4, Intel Clarksdale i5-600 processor with Intel H55, H57 and Q57 chipset.

The Nvidia 3D TV Play faq said the DVI can be used as long as it uses a HDMI adapter, they specify the use of HDMI cable is necessary: HDMI 1.3 Category 2 High Speed cable. However some reviews online said you can use a DVI cable and don't need a HDMI cable, so it's not yet known for sure if DVI can be used or not in the final 3D TV Play product.

Blu Ray Drive
Blu Ray drive with 2x BDMV (AACS Compliant Disc) read speed or faster

For Non-Frame Sequential 3D, you don't need a HDMI 1.4 receiver, but for the full frame sequential 3D Blu Ray they say you'll need it to have HDMI 1.4 or HMDI 1.4a.
This may change in some review etc but for now this is what they say.

You can use a lower power cpu if you use a dedicated videocard that can decode 3D Blu Ray.
Or, Intel Core i5 661, AMD Athlon II X3 440 or better models for sw decode, sometimes called "NO GPU, uses the CPU for graphics processing".

"if you want to do 2D-3D conversion in PC (of HD contents; SD is easy), you still need a powerful processor (E7xxx or higher)" - renethx

Video card ram
in my opinion 1GB is the minimum amount of ram for the videocard.

System ram
2 GB minimum

Operating system
PC with Microsoft Windows 7, Vista* and XP SP3* (Windows XP Service Pack 3 is required)

What is the graphics card slot requirement?

The slot must have at least 10.2Gbps throughput.

PCIE 1.x single lane is 250MB/s.
Multiply that by 16 in a 16x slot and you have 32Gbps

AGP 3.0 8x Rate (MBps) 2133, (Gbps) 17.064

So both agp 3.0 8x and pcie 1.x 16x are compatible as far as having enough throughput from the videocard to the display.

Official Minimum system requirements: Nvidia

•Microsoft® Windows® Vista 32/64-bit or Windows 7 32/64-bit
•Intel® Core™2 Duo or AMD Athlon™ X2 CPU or higher
•1GB of system memory. (2GB is recommended)
•100 MB free disk space
•3D Vision-Ready Displays (See link for list)
•NVIDIA GeForce Graphics Cards: Must have VP4 capability

Official Minimum system requirements: Cyberlink

System Requirements for Blu-ray 3D with Hardware Acceleration

•Microsoft Windows 7, Vista* and XP SP3* (Windows XP Service Pack 3 is required)
•Intel Pentium D 950 (3.0GHz), AMD Athlon 64 X2 4600+ (2.4GHz) or above
•Intel Graphic Media Accelerator HD (Intel Core i3/i5), NVIDIA Geforce GTX 400, series and Gefore GT 240/320/340
•2 GB of system memory
•3D display and 3D glasses are required (NVIDIA 3D Vision*, 3D Ready HDTV, Micro-polarizer LCD or Anaglyph Red/Cyan Glasses). HDCP compliant display for digital output

*PowerDVD with NVIDIA 3D Vision is not supported under Windows Vista and XP

System Requirements for Blu-ray 3D without Hardware Acceleration

•Microsoft Windows 7, Vista* and XP SP3* (Windows XP Service Pack 3 is required)
•Intel Core 2 Duo E6750 (2.66GHz), AMD Phenom 9450 (2.10GHz) or above
•Intel G45, ATI Radeon HD2400, NVIDIA GeForce 8600GT or above.
•2 GB of system memory
•3D display and 3D glasses are required (NVIDIA 3D Vision*, 3D Ready HDTV, Micro-polarizer LCD or Anaglyph Red/Cyan Glasses). HDCP compliant display for digital output

Minimum cpu requirement: Tomshardware

"As you can see, the triple-core Athlon II X3 440 at 3 GHz is highly stressed during Blu-ray 3D playback.
It's difficult to make precise conclusions without per-core utilization data but CyberLink's software decoder appears to take advantage of threading, a feature that quad-core owners will appreciate.

Judging from the performance we've seen, we think Blu-ray 3D can be comfortably played back with a triple-core CPU at 3 GHz or a quad-core CPU at 2.5 GHz using PowerDVD's software decoder."

What kind of TV is supported?

Blu-ray 3D playback: Make sure your display is listed 3D Vision-Ready Displays

Acer GD245HQ 120Hz LCD 1920x1080
Acer GD235HZ 120Hz LCD 1920x1080
Acer X1261-3D 1280x720
Acer X1130P 1024x768
Acer H5360 1280x720
Acer X1110 800x600

Alienware™ OptX™ AW2310 120Hz 1920x1080

ASUS VG236H 120 Hz 1920x1080

DepthQ® HD 3D Projector by LightSpeed Design, Inc. 1280x720
DQ-3120 by LightSpeed Design, Inc. 800x600

LG W2363D 120 Hz 1920x1080
LG W2363DB 120 Hz 1920x1080

Mitsubishi® 1080p DLP® Home Theater TV:

NEC NP216 1024x768

Optoma GT360 800x600
Optoma GT720 1280x800
Optoma HD67 1280x720
Optoma HD66 1280x800

Panasonic TC-P50VT20/TC-P50VT25

Samsung UN467000
Samsung UN557000

ViewSonic PJD6531w 1280x720
ViewSonic PJD6220-3D 1024x768
ViewSonic PJD6210-3D 1024x768
ViewSonic PJD5351 1024x768
ViewSonic PJD5111 800x600
ViewSonic PJD6381 1024x768
ViewSonic PJD6211 1024x768
ViewSonic PJD6221 1024x768
ViewSonic PJD6241 1024x768
ViewSonic PJD5112 1024x768

Link to updated list.

"The list is hardware components that support "NVIDIA 3D Vision" (NVIDIA's proprietary IR emitter and glasses). GeForce 4xx supports every display device supporting HDMI 1.4a 3D." - renethx


What kind of TV for 3D Blu Ray?

Nvidia says 120Hz 3d tv that has hdmi input is the minimum standard. However 120Hz 3D is mainly for gaming, not movies.
For movies, 3D Blu Ray movies you'll need a TV that has very little crosstalk, and this means faster than 120Hz.

If the TV is certified for HDMI 1.4a it will work, so passive polarized TV's are ok too. You don't Need to use only active polarized 3D TV's, the kind that use the shutter glasses.

Crosstalk affects the quality of the 3D TV by creating a luma halo type effect around a picture that is shown to either the left or right eye.

Acer GD235HZ works
Alienware OptX AW2310 works

Is my videocard already capable of dual stream acceleration?

Dual stream acceleration simply means the videocard can output 3D blu ray to a 3D tv.
To see if your videocard is capable, download a program called "DXVA checker". In the Decoder device tab check each from the list and click Dual stream acceleration to see if your videocard is already 3D compatible. However only NVidia cards have the MVC codec HW acceleration right now I think. MVC is the codec 3D blu ray wil use, so the fact that the videocard supports dual stream acceleration is pointless as no 3D blu ray wil use any other codec but MVC I think.


[img width=180 height=143]http://thumbnails23.imagebam.com/7699/1c4fb376985212.gif[/img]

As you can see in the list in the picture there is no mention of MVC. Only certain NVidia cards may have MVC listed at this point in time.

[img width=180 height=142]http://thumbnails10.imagebam.com/7699/821b0076986833.gif[/img]


Various bits of misc info

HDMI 1.3 is not automatically sensing the type of 3D signal: side by side.
HDMI 1.3 requires you to set the cable box, or HTPC, to the right 3D signal mode, and then set the television to that 3D mode.

HDMI 1.4 with 3D TV Play automatically senses what the 3D source content is: 1080p 24fps, 720p 50fps, 720p 60fps, and you don't need to set the TV or HTPC, it just works.

To watch 3d Blu Ray you only need the Driver Update, for gaming on 3d TV's you need to buy the NVidia 3d TV Play.
3D TV Play lets you use HDMI 1.4 so it senses the 3D content and you don't need to set this manually.

3D TV Play is for the listed Nvidia Videocards, but as far as supporting Intel and AMD graphics, they have not yet said that they will.
They said they will work with Microsoft to get the media center overlay working, and if they will do that then maybe if Intel and AMD ask NVidia for 3D TV Play support NVidia will support theire goods.

In the 2011 Intel will release Sandybridge, designed with HDMI 1.4a and built for 3D Blu Ray.

" there are two lines of chipsets for consumer desktops: H and P series. The H series supports Sandy Bridge’s on-die graphics, while the P series is strictly for discrete graphics.

At launch we’ll have P67 and H67 based motherboards, both of which are in testing right now. A quarter later we’ll see value H61 motherboards added to the mix."  - Source

So if your building a 3D Blu Ray HTPC it should use these new parts and not the i5 661. Just wait for the new parts in 2011.

For this new build you would get the new chipset (LGA-1155), the new cpu, ram (DDR3-1333)and heatsink LGA-1155 heatsink.

Remember, the i5 chipset is HDMI 1.3a, not HDMI 1.4a, so you'll need to adjust the HTPC and TV to use the correct 3D mode.
If NVidia 3D TV Play will use the new Intel chipset that has HDMI 1.4a and let it autosense the 3D source is not yet known,
or even if the new cpu will need 3D TV Play to autosense the 3D source.


Best monitor?

The best monitor is the one that doesn't strain your eyes, and this means no crosstalk. For this you would buy a Mitsubishi 3D DLP TV. Look at a mitsubishi model and research it to see if it needs a upgrade or has no crosstalk or is 3D blu ray compatible. This is the way it is in November 2010, in the future the Plasma and LCD TV's may offer no crosstalk.

Checkout the tru3d website, they offer the dlp TV and adapter kit. (I'm not affiliated with any of these people in any way. I got this name 'tru3d' from the 3d forum and googled the link I'm providing now.) link

Joined: 3 Dec 2006

Cool Faq list here!

I plan on setting up a projection system within the year and will be buying a 3D compliant projector for future 3D movies. I'm not sure that 3D is really worth it on a smaller screen.

Joined: 27 Aug 2007

I updated the first post.

Joined: 12 Aug 2007

Related to 3D requirements, is there any word on the ETA of AMD's 6xxx low-end cards that would be most suitable for HTPC?  I want to get a new card, but I feel my only option is a 430GT (the most sensible option vs. the nvidia cards above that or current AMD cards).  I've been told that the 5xxx cards are capable of 3D playback but AMD disabled MVC decoding in the drivers on purpose.

Joined: 20 Jan 2011

Very nice FAQ - thank you!

The ASRock 3D ION HTPC uses a Nvidia GT218 GPU running at PCI-E x4 for it's 3DTV PLAY performance. Does anyone know if it will be possible to run Nvidia 3D TV PLAY on an external graphic card on PCI-E 4x ITX boards?


I am especially thinking about the new Asus E35MI-I Deluxe?


If so, what Nvidia 3D card would fit the specs PCI-E 16x(4x) + 3D TV PLAY?

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