Sony 3D Viewer Review (HMZ-T1)
This Sony 3D headset is not as portable as you might think
by Phil Conner
- Great 3D Immersion
- Color reproduction
- OLED screen picture quality and contrast
- Privacy (Ahh)
- Screen Size Perception
- Not Portable, accompanying little wired box
- No Spacial Recognition for Gaming
First off, let's talk about OLED compared to LED or LCD as the video technology used in the new Sony Viewer. OLED (organic light emitting diode) is awesome and and at CES this past year we were blown away by Sony's OLED TV display (not for sale in the U.S.). Currently, the OLED TV is too expensive to produce and sell on a per square inch basis but it's nice to see Sony get some use out of the technology in this 3D viewer.
The picture is virtually crosstalk free, bright, lively, and with good depth perception. Sony and other manufacturers have done a great job of eliminating crosstalk and blurring in 2011. Sony calls this their 45-degree optical lense technology. The "screen size" feels like your in a theater with a picture that is sized to mimic a movie screen equivalent. In other words, it's enormous. For exact specs sake compare it to a 150 inch screen from 12 feet of distance.
3D movies and games are all about immersion in the imagery. Since there are no distractions from your peripheral vision, this 3D viewer is the most engaging, involving visual device we have ever seen. Your brain reflexively wants to force your body to move to keep up with the action.
The 3D processing for the Viewer is done via an included accessory box which is attached via a cable to the Viewer. The set up is somewhat cumbersome. The box has an HDMI input for connecting to other devices.
The Sony 3D Viewer must be plugged into a cable box or Blu Ray player to enable playback of 3D content. This non-portability is a drawback for sure. What you gain with the device is privacy. Want to watch something in a crowded room full of people (teenagers) and not even know they are around? This is your device. You can withdraw in comfort by pulling on the Sony Visor-like Viewer and shutting out the rest of the world.
One drawback common to all 3D TVs and devices is lack of content. Though it's getting better there are still only about 100 movies and an occasional sports broadcast in 3D.
However 2D Viewing is available on the viewer so you will still be able to get as much privacy watching standard DVDs as you want. The headset is reasonably comfortable with adjustable front and rear headband straps and allows for prescription glasses to be worn underneath.
The sound quality is pretty darn good as well with a virtual 5.1 effect developed by Sony
Value and Pricing
The new HMZ-T1 Sony Headset is not inexpensive at $799 or more. It looks as if Sony Style and Best Buy will be the first to sell the headset in 2011 or early 2012.