01.Sony Personal 3D Viewer HMZ-T1
Sony claims this device will provide an immersive experience, similar to watching a 3D movie in the theatre. Unfortunately, we found very real downsides to it.
Ease of use and comfort
It’s fiddly to set up, some parts don’t really work very well and it can take some time to get a good fit. The headset has adjustable straps that fit behind your head and a pad that sits on your forehead.
This system takes the headset’s weight and the earphones slide down to cover your ears. There are three pads of differing depths provided to help with different head sizes, but removing them requires a lot of force.
All our reviewers came away with large oblong red marks on their foreheads, even after only a few minutes, and none said they could imagine watching a whole movie without some considerable discomfort.
Controls are via a set of small buttons and two sliders for focus control on the underside of the headset. The wire that connects the headset to the main control box is quite long but still can get in the way. You connect the main control box to your game or Blu-ray player via HDMI, and a pass-through function means you can use the player with a normal TV when the headset is not in use.
All our reviewers found the edges of the screen blurry and 3D movie playback has some occasional judder.
The vision when playing a 3D racing game is slightly better because there’s a tendency to focus on the centre of the screen, but reading menus at the edges of the screen is quite difficult.
The headset comes with some rubber wings that fit under the eyes to help block out ambient light, but they don’t stay on for long and light still gets in from above.
Sound quality is good but a long way from the chest thump you can get in a theatre, and there’s some leakage so anyone close by will be listening with you.
Despite its downsides – including its expense – the Sony Personal 3D Viewer is an OK option for watching or playing 3D in relative privacy.
For more information about Plasma, LED and LCD television accessories, see Visual.