Optoma is set to bring affordable 3D to the masses with the world's first 3D projector adaptor.
The 3D-XL will be compatible with 14 of Optoma's current models and will also work with all DLP Link compatible projectors such as those from Acer and Benq. Optoma has also covered all the bases when it comes to three-dimensional content - it will work with Blu-ray 3D, Sky 3D and compatible PS3 games.
Due to hit shops in January, the adaptor will be supplied with one pair of ZD201 active shutter glasses for the very reasonable price of just £249.99. A price has yet to be confirmed for additional pairs of glasses, but we would expect to see a price tag that's in line with what most of the other major brands are offering (somewhere around the £100 mark).
Along with two HDMI 1.4 inputs, the device sports an HDMI 1.3 output, and also boasts 2D pass-through capability so that you won't need to keep swapping cables about.
The device only provides HD support up to 720p at 120Hz, although the manufacturer is set to introduce a projector with built-in full 1080p capability in early 2011.
The 3D-XL will be available for pre-order from November.
Here at Pocket-lint, we were treated to an early preview of the 3D-XL. Unfortunately, as it's still a few months away from launching, Optoma's 3D glasses are still in production. As a result, we were only able to see a mock-up version, but they looked very svelte and lightweight, unlike some of those from rival companies. For the demo, we used Xpand's universal 3D specs, but we were still able to get a good look at the new adaptor and what it's capable of.
The 3D-XL performed particularly well with 3D gaming, providing a thoroughly immersive experience that was full of punch and vibrant colours. For gamers, this is a great, affordable way to get 3D and it looks just as good as any dedicated 3D projector. The Sky 3D clips we saw also looked good, in particular the tennis, which seems to be very well suited to 3D viewing. The football clip looked a little shaky, although this was probably due to it being a fairly early demo clip from Sky. Newer broadcasts seem to exhibit far more suitable camera angles, and less fast cutting between different angles.
Although the device doesn't support the full 1080p hi-def offered by 3D Blu-rays, the clip of Monsters V Aliens that we watched looked great at 720p without any noticeable degradation in picture quality.
At first glance, the 3D-XL looks like a very affordable and effective way of getting 3D at home, without breaking the bank. If you've already got a compatible projector it'll cost you just £249.99, or if you need to invest in one then you could get yourself set up for as little as £649 - a fair bit less than the cheapest 3D TV. We'll bring you a full review as soon as we can.