Published on August 8th, 2011 | by Remy Cuesta18
3D-Bee 2D to 3D converter Review
Ever since the release of Avatar it seems like every big budget title needs to be released in 3D. 3D in the home has also been climbing since the demand for 3D enabled televisions are on the rise and the decrease in price over the last two years. Whether you like it or not 3D is becoming somewhat of a standard in production and will soon see it being offered on some of your favorite television programming. For now however not much is offered and the question is what if you wanted to watch your existing 2D programming in 3D? 3D-Bee Home unit looks to be owners solution for enabling any of their 2D programming directly to 3D especially for gaming. So does it work? We’ve tested many of its features especially for gaming on a Panasonic GT-30 and here are our thoughts.
3D-Bee Unit: Has four 3D enabled HDMI ins and one out.
Remote: Has two 3D depth settings.
3D-Bee is a 2D to 3D real-time video conversion unit . Essentially it’ll make anything your watching in 2D into 3D. You maybe asking the question “well my tv already has a 2D-3D feature” but it is not like this. The unit knows how to correctly bring objects seen closer or solely in nature to the foreground while the rest appears in the background but that is just a quick example. Most if not all built in TV’s 2D-3D conversion mode has some deformity in the picture since the process of making it is not manual, it is automatic. The 3D-Bee while not processing anything either is using a estimation technology for the unit itself to produce a high quality 3D image.
Our testing began with some television programming. We watched True Blood, talk shows and sports. The unit has a great way of keeping things in line and giving you clarity in 3D from a picture that was originally 2D. Even golf which gets tricky with the TV’s built in converter since the grass pans across the entire screen, it seems to do well on the 3D-Bee.
Movies tested well for the unit. We tested Iron Man, Transformers and Kick Ass all on Blu-ray. These seem to do better in object separation and had moments of really coming together as a 3D image when converted. An example is when Iron Man was trying to outrun the jet fighters half way in the movie you can clearly see him as the foreground object while the jets were in the background.
Now our most important test was for gaming and the unit did fairly well as some did better then others. Since there are barely any games in 3D period this would seem like the perfect product to take advantage of. The games we tested were Split/Second, Halo Reach, L.A. Noire and Mortal Kombat. Split/Second and Halo Reach seemed to add depth in areas where you wouldn’t think of but in a good way, while Mortal Kombat added little depth with no real advantage of playing it converter.
The biggest advantage you can get from gaming with the unit is since it’s automatically converting to 3D none of the quality is being sacrificed as all the games that are 3D enabled do. That is because those games need to produce a left and right image for the 3D which is essentially processing the game twice and the 3D-Bee doesn’t actually process anything. Play with your Television’s 3D settings along with the 3D-Bee’s two setting to achieve a depth that suits you.
The unit isn’t without its faults and in most cases things that we would have liked to see in it. First thing to mention is that this is not going to replace content that is native to 3D as it does not compare well to the depth of watching something that is already in 3D. The unit seems to merely give you some depth and while there are two settings to add we wished there were even experimental modes of sorts to play around with. What you would want to pop forward or back for different content.
Since there is different forms of content you would be possibly using it for, it would have been great to see modes complement such. A TV, Movie and Game mode would have been great since they would act different. Gaming for example most the time has a fixed object in the center of the screen like racing and FSP’s. A mode where it would know or ask what it was to really pull forward could rival some things that were actually produced in 3D.
We’ve also found that the set-up for the unit should be done in a particular matter. When plugged in to our 3D enabled receiver it would not transfer all the audio sound from the content? So the best solution was to plug it in after the receiver then into the TV. The sound would also cut out on some of the TV content after you enabled the 3D on the unit but this wasn’t all the time. Since this is a new product some of this can actually be avoided in future models or updates.
3D-Bee is for alot of different people that want to enjoy 3D content they either can’t or that are looking for the best way that isn’t natively supported. I have already played some games and watched some movies in full with the unit on and am pleased with the results I get. The unit is currently priced at $399 which may be steep for those wanting 3D that is better then Tv’s built in 2D-3D converter but not near native 3D content. If your into 3D and have alot of content you would like to see that has no 3D options then this unit might be up your ally. I personally am impressed with it as 2D comes to life with the 3D-Bee like never before. I see myself using the unit for quite sometime and hope more options and features become available soon. For more information go to their official website here.