Sony HMZ-T1 Personal 3D Viewer
A gadget from future
Head-mounted displays are, without a doubt, not for everyone. Not many heard about them, not to mention tried one. Rather sad, since 10 years ago they were very popular and everybody wanted to own one. Of course there are manufacturers who still make them, and Sony is one of them. The company released the HMZ-T1 Personal 3D Viewer model in January this year during the CES event in Las Vegas. This product is expected to hit stores in the U.S. by the end of the year for the price of $799. We decided to review it and tell you how it performed.
Only four ports
The Sony HMZ-T1 Personal 3D Viewer is, at first glance, a futuristic-looking gadget. Fans of the popular cartoons The Jetsons, the TV series Star Trek or Japanese anime will undoubtedly feel drawn to the design. The 3D Viewer looks like a visor and it boasts a forehead cushion and cinchable straps. There are no straight lines, only glossy white curves. In order to function as it should, the visor needs a proprietary cord that the user has to plug into a metal fanless box which constitutes the processor unit; this box is pre-installed with only four ports, namely 1 HDMI output, 1 HDMI input, 1 HMD connector and 1 power cord. As a cause of that, the Sony Personal 3D Viewer sadly lacks the ability to plug in legacy video sources. But we appreciated the fact that the processor unit worked well as an HDMI pass-through whenever we weren’t using the gadget.
3D content detection
The main body was solid and offered protection against smudges and scratches. During our test, setting the device up, putting it on and starting to use it were all very easy operations. Each earpiece moved forward/back/up/down through 24 different positions; the kit included a second, thicker forehead cushion and a second place to attach it if you have a bigger head. The main cushions also ship with a sweat-absorbing cloth cover. After everything was in place, the gadget automatically detected native 3D content over its HDMI 1.4 connection and then switched into the right mode; not only that, but it, too, negotiated between audio and video streams, stereo and surround sound, HD and SD very well. When we stopped using the visor and released the forehead pad, the Personal 3D Viewer automatically turned the OLED screens off in order to both prolong their life and save power.
No ghosting effect
While its looks are really interesting, one thing is certain from our tests: you won’t be able to sit with this product on your head for too long, because it feels quite heavy on the forehead and it doesn’t offer a counterweight for the backside. At some point we even got some minor headaches; so our advice to you is to use the HMZ-T1 Personal 3D Viewer in bed, with a pillow behind your head. Also, it’s advisable not to move your head around too much while using the gadget, because you might get dizzy.
The screens of this visor are 0.7″ each and they deliver a very good performance. Blacks were deep, colors were true-to-life and 3D image was one of the best we’ve ever seen. Each eye had its own screen; as a consequence, there was no ghosting. As for sound, the built-in headphones were fairly good.
To wrap this up this review, the Sony HMZ-T1 Personal 3D Viewer is one of those eye-candy gadgets that offer good performance and a nice price. The specs of this product are not available in this moment but we will be back with these info very soon.