Acer’s H6510BD projector and the search for S3D

You can have S3D with the right ID

We have been testing the new Acer DLP-based H6510BD projector for a few weeks, and gave a preliminary report on it in TechWatch Volume 13, Number 11 May 21, 2013, p 27. As a general-purpose HD projector, you can’t beat this machine. Bright, lightweight, fast, and lots of inputs.

3D IN YOUR HOME THEATER. Acer sees the home market as a big opportunity for the H6510BD


Just to review the general specifications:

It has TI’s latest and greatest display panel, a 0.65" DarkChip 3 DMD (Digital Micromirror Device is what TI is calling their DLP these days).

Its native resolution is 1080P (1920 x 1080, WUXGA), and can scale up to (1600 x 1200, UXGA) with either a 16:9 (native) or 4:3 aspect ratio.

It has a 10,000:1 contrast ratio, and can shoot out pixels at a brightness of 3000 ANSI Lumens (Standard); if you put it in “Eco mode” (ecology) which lowers the voltage to the lamp you can get 2400 ANSI Lumens. The lamp that drives this has a 4000 Hour Life (Standard), 5000 Hours in Eco mode, and 7000 hours in what Acer calls their Extreme Eco. Running in Eco is fine if you are running in a dark or darkish room with a screen with a little gain.

The projector has an F = 2.59 ~ 2.87, f = 16.88mm ~ 21.88mm, 1:1.3 lens with manual zoom and manual focus. ADJUSTING THE focus and throw of the h6510BD. The rear panel is shown below.

And you send it data via an analog RGB/Component Video (D-sub) x 2, Composite Video (RCA) x 1, S-video (Mini DIN) x 1, two HDMI (Video, Audio, HDCP) & PC Audio (stereo mini jack) x 1.
The unit only weighs 4.8 pound so hanging it from the celling (as we have done) is not a big problem.

On to 3D


To display S3D with the Acer H6510BD requires an Nvidia 3D Vision system. It consists of a GeForce graphics AIB, a pair of shutter glasses, Nvidia’s infrared (IR) emitter (to make the glasses switch), and Nvidia’s driver.

There are various ways to display 3D with a projector. One is to use a checkerboard pattern, taking advantage of the per-pixel micro mirrors of the TI DLP/DMD chip. That works OK but cuts your display resolution in half. The other way is field sequential, which displays a left view and then a right view 60 times a second. Since the Acer H6510BD can run at 120 Hz it can operate in this mode which gives you max resolution and the best brightness. The shutter lens attenuates the light even when open.

The projector is easy to set up. Just bring up its menu and tell it 3D and 120 Hz.

We couldn’t get it to work. Sometimes nothing is easy with computers. We got it working with the diligent help of David Cook of Nvidia. Nvidia’s system works by comparing the electronic ID (EDID) of the monitor it is connected to against a table the company maintains in their driver. Although Acer got it working in their vast R&D labs, they forgot to give Nvidia the EDID for the projector. Without it, Nvidia restricts the display to 2D. Dave however came up with a work-around—use the VGA port (in lieu of the HDMI port). We did that and got S3D to show. Not the sharpest picture we’ve ever seen, but good enough to play games, which was our primary interest in running the tests.

We got the EDID from the projector and sent it to Nvidia. We assume they will test it, and embed the EDID in their look-up table and put out a new driver. When they do we’ll be able to run the projector in S3D from the HDMI port, which will improve the picture quality.
The other thing you can do with the projector and Nvidia’s 3D Vision system is watch 3DTV movies. To do that you need another driver from Nvidia, which of course we have. 3DTV uses yet another scheme—over and under. This cuts the vertical resolution in half.
So now we’re collecting 3DTV videos and will run that test next in this on-going testing series.