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Game Testing ATI's Six-Screen Eyefinity System

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the now-you're-just-being-silly dept.

Displays 105

Barence writes "ATI has carted its monstrous six-monitor Eyefinity gaming system to the offices of PC Pro for an extensive hands-on session. The game was Race Driver: GRID, the resolution was a mighty 5,760 x 2,160, and the overall effect was ... a bit hit and miss. There's no denying it has potential, and the level of immersion sounds impressive, but this report complains of problems with bezel correction that currently tarnish the overall effect."

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Flatscreen TV (2, Insightful)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 4 years ago | (#31274094)

Why not just use one big-ass flatscreen TV?

Re:Flatscreen TV (4, Funny)

Jurily (900488) | more than 4 years ago | (#31274138)

Because then you'd be able to see the middle of the screen, and nobody wants that.

Re:Flatscreen TV (1)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31274328)

Why don't they make such monitor where the bezels are as minimalistic as possible? Judging by these pictures I couldn't ever play with so much blocked view.

Re:Flatscreen TV (5, Informative)

jittles (1613415) | more than 4 years ago | (#31274362)

They do make such monitors. They're just really expensive. I used to work in the digital surveillance industry and we made monitor walls out of bezel-less displays.

Re:Flatscreen TV (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#31274508)

Hopefully, the wider availability of ATI's multi-display stuff will increase their availability. It shouldn't be, intrinsically, especially expensive to build monitors with a fair bit less bezel; but, with the economics of electronics, anything that isn't a mass-market consumer item automatically costs more, often a great deal more.

Re:Flatscreen TV (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31275736)

"beezel-less" (perhaps if we say it 3 times, they will appear..) are actually not technically possible at present, what you are probably referring to is rear-projection monitors, standard in videowall dsiplays. These are indeed without bezel, they are also usually just projector multiples (DLP or similar) bounced off a mirror onto a fresnel lens. The problem being, you also then require increased cabinet space (projector/mirror/lens/etc.) - the end effect is, however, 100 times better than the setup here shown, tbh.

I doubt that multiscreen is going mainstream this time around either, least till the bezel problem is solved - with the increase in standard LCD/Plasma monitor sizes, or the use of a good projector, I dont see the demand justifies either the end result nor expense of multiple monitor setups at present.

Re:Flatscreen TV (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31281498)

Display wall cubes.

Not only are they expensive as you say but they're along way from being the thin displays people expect today.

Re:Flatscreen TV (1)

Bruiser80 (1179083) | more than 4 years ago | (#31274558)

Maybe if they put a higher curvature on it.

The immersion is supposed to occur because you can see more to the sides. If the side views are not in my periphery, isn't the effect lost?

Re:Flatscreen TV (1)

del_diablo (1747634) | more than 4 years ago | (#31275426)

I think you missed the point.......... If they are not in view, that is what their after. That you look a little to the side to actually spot whats on the far edge.

Re:Flatscreen TV (1)

Zencyde (850968) | more than 4 years ago | (#31279044)

Yes. It seems absurd that they had the monitors pushed so far back. Truly, they might as well have gone with a bigger TV in this case. Eyefinity is about immersion, not resolution.

Re:Flatscreen TV (5, Funny)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 4 years ago | (#31274148)

A big-ass flat-screen TV would not have a resolution of 5760 x 2160, and therefore would have a smaller e-penis.

Re:Flatscreen TV (3, Interesting)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 4 years ago | (#31275360)

But what if instead of six 1920x1080 displays, I hook up six Matrox TripleHead2Go boxes each with three inexpensive 1280x1024 displays, for nearly 23.6 megapixels of display instead of 12.4 MP (assuming the card can handle 23.6 MP). The digital Matrox boxes have their own bezel adjustments, though they do it by exaggerating the outermost bezel, so you're limited in useful arrangements to six-by-three portrait. 5760x2160 vs. 6144x3840.

But then I think you need the bandwidth of six dual-link DVI ports, one for each Matrox box. Their analog VGA version last I checked didn't have bezel adjustments.

Also, I wonder if they considered using only 5 screens with a single portrait-oriented display in the center to get rid of the center horizon bezel issue. 4920x2160 (10 MP usable) isn't bad and for driving games you don't need as much vertical resolution in the center. Maybe five 16:10 displays instead (5040x2400, 11.52 MP usable)? Or some 2048x1152 displays (5248x2304, just under 11.8 MP usable)?

Re:Flatscreen TV (1)

Anpheus (908711) | more than 4 years ago | (#31280898)

Higher resolution displays just often tend to be better quality. They're more likely to be used by consumers for watching movies and such and so they have a target to shoot for there. Not that you can't still buy low res displays, but they're almost always disappointing in comparison to bigger, brighter, higher resolution ones.

Re:Flatscreen TV (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#31277056)

Man, shit, where’s your imagination??

Just put up a couple of HD beamers! On a concave screen. And you’re good. You can even fill all of your viewing area that way.

Re:Flatscreen TV (1)

leptons (891340) | more than 4 years ago | (#31278496)

I love my 6 screens. http://www.ranker.com/list/how-to-build-a-kick-ass-workstation-for-_5200-_april-2008_/damien [ranker.com] I'm glad ATI is promoting this setup. It will be much easier for me to upgrade if there is a pre-made solution for this, especially if they can make the bezel as thin as possible and fix the 3d acceleration. Right now I have to drive it with two quad-output video cards, but the current ATI card setup I have suffers from crap drivers mostly, so I hope they are working on that aspect of the setup.

Re:Flatscreen TV (1)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 4 years ago | (#31274178)

Yeah, I dunno. My present solution is a 60" tv with a Ps-3 hooked to it. All this seems...excessive.

(hypocrisy, thy name is em emalb)

Re:Flatscreen TV (0)

QuantumRiff (120817) | more than 4 years ago | (#31274426)

Loser.. I am a "secret" Illegitimate child of the owner of the Dallas Cowboys.. I play halo on their 70 yard wide screen.. Daddy makes Tony Romo play me, and makes it clear he better let me win... :)

Re:Flatscreen TV (1)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 4 years ago | (#31274640)

You win the prize! ;-)

You must have one hell of a walk down to the reset button on the console.

That screen is insane. Over 11.500 sq ft of viewing space. Unreal.

Re:Flatscreen TV (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31274870)

He had the PS3 bullet-proofed. Now he uses a sniper rifle to reset it.

Re:Flatscreen TV (1)

toastar (573882) | more than 4 years ago | (#31275284)

Yeah, I dunno. My present solution is a 60" tv with a Ps-3 hooked to it. All this seems...excessive.

(hypocrisy, thy name is em emalb)

My Ps3 is hooked up to a 10' projector :P

Re:Flatscreen TV (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 4 years ago | (#31274496)

Why not just use one big-ass flatscreen TV?

That's a fair question.

HDMI 1.4 delivers a single cable solution for 4Kx2K video, Ethernet over HDMI, 3D over HDMI, etc.

The tech for affordable 4Kx2K projection isn't that far off. Epson Develops World's First 4K Compatible HTPS TFT Liquid Crystal Panel for 3LCD Projectors [epson.com]

Re:Flatscreen TV (1)

xouumalperxe (815707) | more than 4 years ago | (#31275278)

That's a fair question. HDMI 1.4 delivers a single cable solution for 4Kx2K video, Ethernet over HDMI, 3D over HDMI, etc.

And here's a fair answer: Because this solution is available today, which is more than you can say for "a big-ass flatscreen TV" that does 4kx2k video.

One step closer to holodeck (1)

teko_teko (653164) | more than 4 years ago | (#31276578)

It's the goal of Carrell Killebrew from ATI to make a holodeck.

His desire to do this wasn’t born out of pure lunacy, Carrell does have a goal in mind. Within the next 6 years he wants to have a first generation holodeck operational. A first generation holodeck would be composed of a 180 degree hemispherical display with both positionally and phase accurate sound. We’ll also need the pixel pushing power to make it all seem lifelike. That amounts to at least 100 million pixels (7 million pixels for what’s directly in front of you, and the rest for everything else in the scene), or almost 25 times the number of pixels on a single 30” display.

From: Anandtech [anandtech.com] (4th paragraph)

Projector (1)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 4 years ago | (#31274108)

If you're going to have multi-screens with the unavoidable 4-8cm of bezel between them, and a DELL logo right in the middle, you might as well get a projector.

Re:Projector (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31274226)


Eyefinity with multiple projectors!

Re:Projector (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#31274408)

Multi-projector setups actually work pretty well.
They require fairly serious installation, so they aren't cheap, and your system has to compensate for the excessive brightness and image overlap you get where the edges of two or more projectors' throws meet, so installations generally involve one or more cameras and some rather specialized software.

Frankly, I'm a bit skeptical of the value of Eyefinity for most gaming purposes(3 monitors, I can see, for games where a sense of peripheral vision is helpful/immersive, 6 just seems awkward no matter how you slice it).

However, I suspect that Eyefinity has the potential to make some of the current limited-but-expensive esoteric graphics vendors very nervous, a development which I applaud. Outfits like Matrox have built their businesses around selling seriously mediocre graphics cards; with premium prices justified by large numbers of display outputs. Assuming ATI's drivers don't totally let them down, Financial workstation/monitoring/display wall type graphics devices could soon be commodity items, selling for only a touch more than their gamer-kiddie 2-3 output counterparts. That would be nice.

Re:Projector (4, Interesting)

billcopc (196330) | more than 4 years ago | (#31274992)

The problem with multiple displays, and specifically Matrox' business model, is that it is utterly trivial to add more displays to a card. The most difficult part, and I say this facetiously, is to come up with a break-out connector since the PCI backplate can only fit two full-sized DVI or VGA ports. Mash a bunch of pins into a tiny form-factor, make a cable that splits them back out into regular DVI, and you have yourself an N-way display card. The electronics are just more of the same. If you can make a dual-DVI card, then you can mash eight of those chipsets together on one board and have a 16 DVI card.

What Matrox used to excel at was their RAMDACs, which resulted in better output quality on the VGA. In this age of all-digital interconnects, there is no need for a RAMDAC anymore. It's all digital to digital, the graphics card simply acts as a frame buffer with accelerated drawing routines, all the heavy lifting has been moved to the display itself. With an act like Matrox, the "GPU" component is an underpowered 2D engine designed for low cost, not high performance.

ATI's Eyefinity is a non-starter for gaming, but it is a slap in the face of all these shitty companies that have been selling glorified garbage to multi-display fetishists for so long.

Re:Projector (1)

AndrewNeo (979708) | more than 4 years ago | (#31277220)

That's what mini-DisplayPort is for. You can stuff a bunch on a card, and with PCI-e there are motherboards that support up to four cards. So with one of these [gadgetsteria.com] you could have 24 displays!

Re:Projector (1)

AndrewNeo (979708) | more than 4 years ago | (#31277310)

Oh, wow, after posting that I realized that is an Eyefinity card, except the article came from over three months ago.

Re:Projector (1)

turing_m (1030530) | more than 4 years ago | (#31281736)

ATI's Eyefinity is a non-starter for gaming

Um, why? Dual screen (e.g. staring at a bezel) is crap for gaming, but having a large central monitor and a monitor at either side for peripheral vision - that is something worth having. And if you are comparing it to something 30"+, the price is going to be approximately half of what that setup will cost, with more pixels and more area. And no bezel anywhere near the focal point. That's non-trivial, especially when a 30" screen costs more than you might spend on a gaming computer. As far as utility - your peripheral vision is there to be used - movement of vague shapes is all you really need in an FPS, but in an RTS or TBS seeing the whole battlefield with a minimum of scrolling would be invaluable.

But totally agree with the work-purposes multi-monitor setups. ATI has a win on their hands with that one. With time their Linux drivers will get better and they will surely start eating some Nvidia and Matrox market share. In fact, it's hard to look past Nvidia or ATI/AMD for any graphics card setup these days. For work purposes all you need are the cheapest possible graphics cards that have the number of outputs you need, they'll chew less power and make less noise to boot.

Re:Projector (1)

toastar (573882) | more than 4 years ago | (#31275346)

Actually I build Viz rooms, The one a competetor install with overlapping projectors ended up looking like crap because they couldn't get the overlap area right. we do it the cheap way and just have them flush against each other and it looks great. Only problem is when the cleaning lady decided to try to dust them and messed up the alignment.

Re:Projector (1)

Gilmoure (18428) | more than 4 years ago | (#31275984)

I saw a 4 monitor display (13" CRT'S IN inverted T) set up on a Quadra 700 back in '93; center, right, left and up mapped to Hellcats Over the Pacific flying game (I think that's what it was called). The guy also has joy stick, throttle, and foot pedals set up. I think the bragging rights was that he was able to do this for under $10k.

Currently, I have 4 1920x1200 displays around my desk, with a horizontal span of 7680 pixels. I've set up 16 spaces (OS X desktops) and now have 122,880 pixels wide to play with.

Now, if I could just get a rack to set up four more monitors above this first set and a couple more cards (NVIDIA GeForce 7300 GT's are what my Mac came with), I'll be set.

Re:Projector (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31274668)

This person has it right.
Projector Eyefinity would be Godlike.

Hopefully things like this will make companies rethink the bezel problem and create more compact panels, or just make it more accessible for people to buy bare-bones panels, considering how most of these people are going to be building custom supports anyway.

Doesn't get the resolution (3, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 4 years ago | (#31274386)

One of the reasons that people are interested in this is higher rez. I mean you can just buy a big 42" HDTV or something if you want a large display. Fine, but that's just 1920x1080. Same sort of deal with a projector. Getting one that does HD resolutions isn't hard. However you really don't want to know what a high rez one costs.

Re:Doesn't get the resolution (5, Interesting)

characterZer0 (138196) | more than 4 years ago | (#31274766)

How about 6 projectors aimed properly?

Re:Doesn't get the resolution (1)

berashith (222128) | more than 4 years ago | (#31274950)

Just ask your neighbors to cover the side of their house in white plywood for the right screen size

Re:Doesn't get the resolution (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#31277118)

Uuum, are you... dumb?

Just put the projectors closer!!
You can even use less powerful ones, since there is less surface to light on.

Re:Doesn't get the resolution (1)

berashith (222128) | more than 4 years ago | (#31277140)

place them so close to the screen that I have 6 projectors between me and my display, or just far enough away that I am in between my projectors and their destination ?

Re:Doesn't get the resolution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31277920)

Reverse image and backplaned like all the project based screens used at universities are done. Basically you're shining the projector THROUGH a piece of plexiglass which acts to reduce the brightness of the projector to usable levels and acts to turn it into a flat image that appears visually the same as a monitor to you. Mind you it means having at least as much if not more space behind it as a CRT, but the benefit is you can use really thin bezels or notch the edges of the plexiglass so they slide together like tiles.

Re:Doesn't get the resolution (1)

Qu4Z (1402097) | more than 4 years ago | (#31277930)

Put them above/below you, and turn on keystone correction. Hell, you can put all six on the floor and point them up if you can't afford to hang them from the ceiling (although if you can afford six projectors, you probably can...)

Good luck with that (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 4 years ago | (#31276814)

I'm not saying it can't be done, but it would be a hell of a task. It would be fairly expensive to start with, HD projectors cost a good deal more than computer monitors. Then you'd have to get some array to hold them all for proper aiming. The power and heat problems wouldn't be trivial, you'd need a dedicated circuit, maybe two, and some way of dealing with all the heat from the lights. The noise would be pretty high too, if they weren't isolated.

Once you've got that all take care of, the calibration would be extremely tedious and pain staking to create a truly uniform, break free display which would presumably be the point of all this.

OR, you can get regular computer monitors, which work pretty well. You can see why maybe that is the preferred choice. Plus bezel compensation is coming with the march drivers (betas of which can be found).

Re:Good luck with that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31277168)

It isn't as difficult as you make it sound, but it isn't trivial either. People make *good* money building these kinds of projector rigs.

Re:Good luck with that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31280762)

I already saw aligned projectors (four of them) in action in a mall, worked beautifully. Although I have no idea how much maintenance it needed. Until it got dumped for 6 monitors (3x2) one day and now it's an eyesore. Big bezels, often one or two of the monitors aren't working and there's always a big difference in colours in at least two of them, that is, they're not properly calibrated.

It may just be that whoever is taking care of these monitors are doing a lousy job compared to whoever maintained the projectors. Anyway, I'm not so sure monitors are a better alternative than projectors.

Re:Doesn't get the resolution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31277654)

My university's CS department has a room like this (well, three projectors, not six). It's pretty impressive.

Re:Doesn't get the resolution (1)

toastar (573882) | more than 4 years ago | (#31275372)

One of the reasons that people are interested in this is higher rez. I mean you can just buy a big 42" HDTV or something if you want a large display. Fine, but that's just 1920x1080. Same sort of deal with a projector. Getting one that does HD resolutions isn't hard. However you really don't want to know what a high rez one costs.

This is why a 30" monitor looks so much better then a 42" TV.

Although it's a tech demo, you can do 24 screens (5, Interesting)

mtippett (110279) | more than 4 years ago | (#31274284)

From the launch activities for the 5800 family.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6Vf8R_gOec [youtube.com]

24 monitors, 4 cards, 1 PC. All consumer grade. All running Linux. And yes, there is bezel correction.

Yes, there are black lines for the monitors. I couldn't get the budget to do 24 50" Plasmas. But think beyond the demo part of the tech and think about the possibilities.

Re:Although it's a tech demo, you can do 24 screen (1)

RMingin (985478) | more than 4 years ago | (#31276032)

For the less-observant, Mr. Tippett speaks from a position of some authority on ATI's Linux doings.

Mr. Tippett: You still have #ati on Freenode? I've been meaning to jump on and check out my channel (humor), but Freenode dumped my registrations.

Re:Although it's a tech demo, you can do 24 screen (1)

Ant P. (974313) | more than 4 years ago | (#31276582)

I noticed some pretty visible lag in that video between the top left and the rest of the screens. Is that going to be fixed?

Re:Although it's a tech demo, you can do 24 screen (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 4 years ago | (#31278308)

I have never opened up a monitor - the Great Sages who taught me the Way of the Computer warned of deadly capicators and to never attempt such a thing - but what's to stop an ingenious individual from removing the frames on monitors and just sticking them next to one another?

I'd much rather have a 1/16th inch gap over a 1 inch gap between multiple monitors...

Re:Although it's a tech demo, you can do 24 screen (1)

adolf (21054) | more than 4 years ago | (#31281218)

There's not much deadly voltage to worry about in an LCD. The only thing high-voltage is the inverter for the backlight, and it's got so little capacitance that there's just not much of anything there. (And even then, by "high voltage" I mean "a couple of hundred volts," not "a couple thousand volts.")

But it's not like the bezels are there just for show. The LCD panel assemblies themselves, with backlighting, circuitry, a supporting frame, and the other fun stuff that lets them work, extend a fair bit beyond the edge of the usable display area.

Open one up and see.

Am I missing something? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31274320)

Maybe I'm missing somthing, but why aren't there monitors with a minimal almost non-existant bezel? It seems to me that it wouldn't be impossible and with the prevalence of mult-monitor setups, the market is there.

Why have a bezel? (2, Interesting)

inKubus (199753) | more than 4 years ago | (#31274412)

Seems like the bezels could be modular caps so you could snap the monitors together. You could have a flexible joint under the bezel cap or have some sort of adapter that would plug the monitors together at a fixed angle. I don't know why no one's done this yet.. The bezel is really not necessary in the middle of the screen. Someone could probably mock this up with a few flat panels and a dremel and a hot glue gun, any takers?

Once that's done, you could further enhance it with a mesh network bus for video and audio. Audio would be especially cool coming out of the center of the monitor panel. You could address it geometrically in 3d space and it could just come out of the right monitor speaker.

The solution is simple: (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 4 years ago | (#31274446)

Use multiple video projectors - no bezels.

Re:The solution is simple: (1)

chronosan (1109639) | more than 4 years ago | (#31274726)

How about making monitors with pure white bezels and a custom projector that projects the missing information on the bezels? That's the ticket!

Re:The solution is simple: (4, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#31274744)

You have to deal with projector image overlap. Doable; but not trivial [uci.edu].

The commercially available setups all tend to require specialized software and one or more cameras(for automatic feedback and correction). This raises the cost substantially above that of the projectors alone. Always a bad sign about the price when you can't find a price sheet [scalabledisplay.com]...

Hopefully, things like Eyefinity, and the falling costs of projectors and webcams, will drag this stuff down into the realm of the affordable at some point in the fairly near future. The software required for edge and geometry correction, particularly automatic machine-vision based stuff, isn't trivial; but it really only has to be written once(the core logic, probably a lot of nasty platform-specific glue that will need doing repeatedly) and the cost of decent projectors and cameras good enough for automatic calibration purposes has been falling over time. If it can go from niche to mass-market, it could become fairly cheap.

Re:The solution is simple: (1)

snicho99 (984884) | more than 4 years ago | (#31279192)

My local pub has a setup like this. I imagine it was fairly expensive to setup as it's 6-7 projectors, each with their own slave computer controlled by a server running a bit of software called watchout,( by dataton). It doesn't use cameras to calibrate, it was done manually (or so I'm told), but since the projectors have been installed for at least 5-6 years the time spent calibrating them isn't such a big deal. And the software allows for making minor adjustments (via sliders) in case you bump one of them.

Anyway this is the bar: http://www.horsebazaar.com.au/ [horsebazaar.com.au]

The effect is quite cool, it's one long video wall that wraps around the pub. Shame they don't have any decent photos of it.

Bezel problems (3, Funny)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#31274474)

To eliminate the unequal bezels problem you only have to use 12 441 600 monitors of 1x1 pixel resolution.

Re:Bezel problems (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#31277568)

Let's see. RGB LEDs are usually 5,000 units/reel. The distributor would probably cut you some sort of deal if you were ordering 2,500 reels...

Driver circuitry is left as an exercise for the reader.

Cabling is left as an exercise for anybody who isn't me.

Re:Bezel problems (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#31277730)

They are called LEDs. And “There’s a driver for that!”! (Can I coin that as a new motto for Linux? ^^)

Race Drivin' Panaorama! (3, Interesting)

Havokmon (89874) | more than 4 years ago | (#31274520)

This is Da Shizzle. http://www.system16.com/hardware.php?id=770 [system16.com]

Really ? (1)

Gr333d (1485031) | more than 4 years ago | (#31274556)

Keyboard ? FAIL !

Re:Really ? (1)

berashith (222128) | more than 4 years ago | (#31275026)

he is also sitting back 8 or 10 feet from the screens. If the idea is for immersion and peripheral vision, then you need to be up close and surrounded. Sitting back there just means you have very high resolution with shit in the way, and you cant really see the resolution at that distance anyhow ... or at least you wouldnt notice lower res.

Advanced UI (3, Interesting)

mayko (1630637) | more than 4 years ago | (#31274594)

I can see this being used for advanced user interfaces, where one monitor displays the game action or whatever graphics in full screen. The additional screens would be used for tool bars, statistics, messaging, or whatever else would useful for the game.

Until monitors without bezels are ubiquitous, and affordable, I can't see someone enjoying a game played like this.

Re:Advanced UI (1)

MORB (793798) | more than 4 years ago | (#31275154)

What kind of game would require entire screens of statistics and graphs? I mean, other than EVE online?

Re:Advanced UI (1)

Coren22 (1625475) | more than 4 years ago | (#31276268)

hmm, moving all the UI to other screens, and the market screen, items, cargo containers would be nice.

multiple monitor is a good idea (2, Interesting)

godrik (1287354) | more than 4 years ago | (#31274632)

but not to display a higher resolution, but to display more information. For instance, I would definitively love to play starcraft with several view point on multiple screens. Or display detailled city/empire statistic on a secondary screen in civilization. Or a tactical RPG display character statistics (as in FireEmblem DS). Having game that allow you to do this kind of things would really be AWESOME to me.

Re:multiple monitor is a good idea (2, Interesting)

idontgno (624372) | more than 4 years ago | (#31275152)

^^ This.

I play a bit of WoW. I raid a little, playing a ranged damage class. Raid-support information is a humongous source of screen clutter. With full raid displays enabled, over 50% of my display is raid-related information graphics, not combat scene. If I have to engage a target off my visual centerline, it probably formed under the raid graphics and I have to repoint to look at and select it.

It would be massively nicer if the raid-support info-graphics could be well off to the side, off the battlefield view.

Ah well.

BTW, I'm surprised no one has proposed this: if 6 screens puts a big nasty bezel seam right across your field of view... use 9 screens. A 3x3 array puts dead-center of field of view dead-center in the central monitor. Win.

Re:multiple monitor is a good idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31275860)

It would be cool do a mix of different screens(with the same pixel size), like an big widescreen tilted 90 degrees in the middle and four smaller screens on the sides.

But it would be difficult to make it all add up both in resolution and size.

Re:multiple monitor is a good idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31276216)

Actually, you may be able to get something close to what you want already. If you have two monitors, change the display settings in your drivers to extend the desktop across both monitors instead of 'dual monitor' (my Intel graphics display at work doesn't have the exact option, and I forget what ATI and NVidia called it). Then install CTMod's viewport addon, which should be on http://www.ctmod.net/, and do /viewport in game to make the 3d display of the game only cover one monitor. Adjust the rest of your UI as you please.

I did this for a short period of time, but it was minorly annoying that Windows stuff wasn't as friendly with that driver setting. Now that you reminded me, I think I'll give it a shot again. I forget if I tried to set up profiles in Ultramon to swap between my standard dual-monitor setup and the WoW settings...

Re:multiple monitor is a good idea (1)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 4 years ago | (#31275388)

Look into Supreme Commander, it supports multiple monitors

Re:multiple monitor is a good idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31279128)

you got a point from me for this one!

I'm just holding my breath for SC2... Will be interesting to see what they manage with it on the XBOX

Re:multiple monitor is a good idea (1)

Samah (729132) | more than 4 years ago | (#31279512)

For instance, I would definitively love to play starcraft with several view point on multiple screens.

That would be awesome, though probably tricky to control. The main problem with that is that it would never be allowed in tournaments - too much of an unfair advantage. Even your friends would probably rage at you. :)

suggestion (3, Interesting)

fred fleenblat (463628) | more than 4 years ago | (#31275306)

stagger the monitors depthwise so that adjacent bezels overlap from the point of view of the user. this will cut your bezel problem in half.

Re:suggestion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31275790)

Why not remove the monitor guts from its case and build one of your own? Could almost eliminate the bezel then.

Re:suggestion (1)

Anubis IV (1279820) | more than 4 years ago | (#31276036)

That's actually what I do with my dual monitor setups both at home and at my research office. My advisor keeps wondering why I do it, but from my chair, it really does cut the width of the bezel in half, making it a much more seamless experience. Of course, if you sit in a variety of positions, it doesn't work as well, but if you favor one particular way of sitting, it's great.

CRAP (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31275448)

people have been doing this for decades, a nascar simulation arcade game at our mall has been doing this with vga projectors and 3 screens per car for at least 13 years now

matrox was producing (probably still is) cards that could do 8 screens at once and could be stacked as deep as you had pci slots 10+years ago

whats next slashdot, going to tell us the internet is the new rage

call me when you have some news, not that ATI is just doing yet another multi display demo

Just a trend (1)

lyinhart (1352173) | more than 4 years ago | (#31276286)

Multiple monitors as display area extenders seem to be used when a cost effective single monitor doesn't exist to do the job. A couple of Darius games, The Ninja Warriors and Konami's X-Men used multiple monitors in arcades since a single wider screen monitor didn't exist. But then cheap rear projection technology came along and made this setup obsolete. Soon enough a cheap, single screen solution will come along to replace Eyefinity. Then we'll need another multimonitor setup when that resolution proves to be inadequate. And so on. Developers should really focus on the level of detail in games, rather than resolution. Live action DVDs running in 480p beat the visuals of any modern game running in any resolution.

A few games do use multimonitor setups for novel purposes though - Sega's Ferrari F355 Challenge used several monitors to simulate peering out of the windows in an actual Ferrari F355 car. It was a very eye pleasing effect.

Re:Just a trend (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 4 years ago | (#31279262)

At the normal distances you sit from a computer monitor, there's only so big you can make the monitor and keep the stuff on the edges readable.

Nobody is complaining of roof pillars in cars... (1)

cyclocommuter (762131) | more than 4 years ago | (#31276626)

...even old fighter planes had cockpits with lots of support to hold the plexiglass panels (think of the Messerchmitt ME 109 or Mitsubsihi Zero). IF you think of it in these terms bezels are no big deal.

Re:Nobody is complaining of roof pillars in cars.. (2, Informative)

fred fleenblat (463628) | more than 4 years ago | (#31276794)

thanks to parallax, pillars in a car or plane only block the view to the extent that they exceed the distance between your eyes. on top of that you can just move your head side to side a little bit and see if anything is in your pillar-induced blind spot.

this doesn't work with monitors because the pixels are about the same distance from your eye as the bezels. a head-tracking display would help, but that wasn't mentioned in the article.

Re:Nobody is complaining of roof pillars in cars.. (1)

Happy Nuclear Death (911893) | more than 4 years ago | (#31276956)

Big difference: In the car or airplane, you can shift your head slightly to see what may have been blocked by the roof pillar or window frame.

You cannot do this with the computer display. Its image is 2-dimensional, so there is no parallax possible.

Re:Nobody is complaining of roof pillars in cars.. (1)

Megahard (1053072) | more than 4 years ago | (#31277110)

Yes, but they did not have to navigate menus or HUDs with a line missing in the middle.

Re:Nobody is complaining of roof pillars in cars.. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31277282)

Nobody is complaining of roof pillars in cars...

Actually, the front pillars on cars are implicated as a major cause of motorcycle accidents [mccofnsw.org.au]. I can't dig up the original article I remember reading, but there are restrictions on the width of the front pillars of cars sold in the UK, except if there's a window in it. Modern car designs now often feature extremely wide pillars for rigidity and to hold side-impact airbags, so small token windows to get around the law are pretty much the norm.

The top picture in the article I linked demonstrates the problem very well. The small window serves no legitimate purpose.

ATI's focus is all wrong. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31276902)

How about ATI focusing on developing 3D support--something they've been lacking for some time now, and is building tremendous popularity--instead of trying to push multi-monitor support?

The visual style of stringing multiple, independent displays together looked terrible during the CRT days and it still looks bad now. Eyefinity does not INCREASE immersion--it vastly decreases it via the huge and prominent gaps/black bars between the displays. DO NOT WANT.

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