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 Post subject: Nthusim vs warpalizer
PostPosted: 17 Jan 2011, 22:34 
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Joined: 28 Dec 2010, 18:10
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Just as the title says - I doubt there can be many people out there who have used both, but perhaps someone has researched both? I am looking to do 3 projectors on a curved screen and need something for warping. I could live without edge blending probably (and actually understand it can be an issue due to differential bulb ageing???).

What are the pros and cons of each? How about compatibility with various games and applications, and can I use them to watch films on my curved screen?


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PostPosted: 18 Jan 2011, 14:53 
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I can give you this first hand information on NTHUSIM.

[list][*]The app is freely available to download and use in time limited demo mode. What that means is you can get all your setup worked out using NTHUSIM before even buying it.
[/*:m]
[*]NTHUSIM is a dedicated consumer product, unlike Warpalizer. NTHUSIM is coded from the ground up to be a non-commercial product and be updated on a regular basis with consumer requests. NTHUSIM does not seek to be a catch-all product like Warpalizer. Instead it's specificly targeted at the home consumer market.
[/*:m]
[*]NTHUSIM has a dedicated forums and wiki website that is maintained by a community of NTHUSIM users. Looking at the Warpalizer site...no such luck there. :wink:
[/*:m]
[*]Warpalizer requires the use of a hardware dongle, while NTHUSIM only requires a one-time network activation.
[/*:m]
[*]NTHUSIM is in direct communication with NVIDIA and AMD. AMD has collaborated with NTHUSIM on several occasions with event co-marketing. NTHUSIM directly assisted AMD with the 6800-series launch and CES 2011.
[/*:m]
[*]NTHUSIM is compatible with Matrox DH2G/TH2G, NVIDIA (3D) Surround and AMD EyeFinity.
[/*:m]
[*]NTHUSIM has community forum moderators (like me) that will talk with you at length and help you with custom designing your setup to best suit what you want to do.
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[*]NTHUSIM compatibility with DX7, 8, 9, 10, 10.1, 11 and OpenGL fullscreen applications. I've personally tested it with over 400 game titles. You'll not have that detailed a list of compatibility with Warpalizer.
[/*:m]
[*]You can watch fullscreen movies and video with your regular video player using a DirectX or OpenGL renderer and NTHUSIM. I personally prefer using Media Player Classic and DirectX renderer.[/*:m][/list:u]

While both can do similar things, NTHUSIM is going out of it's way to differentiate itself from Warpalizer and directly cater only to home user. Please keep in mind that NTHUSIM was first on the scene to recognize the home user as a viable market and have the vision to implement it.

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Brad Hawthorne
Product Manager
Nthusim Pty. Ltd. | www.nthusim.com


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PostPosted: 18 Jan 2011, 15:10 
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Joined: 28 Dec 2010, 18:10
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Brad,

Thankyou for your detailed reply.

Do you know if edge blending is planned for Nthusim? As far as I can see that is the main differentiator between the two products, although perhaps there is more that I don't know about yet. My own research has led me to the conclusion that, as you said, Nthusim has a better community and support network so if feature set was the same I'd be inclined to go with Nthusim.

One more question actually - does nthusim do only simply curved screens or can any shape, for example spherical or a leaning curve be accomodated (I believe in warpalizer you just drag points around to define the screen so anything goes).

Thankyou

Paul


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PostPosted: 18 Jan 2011, 15:21 
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Brad,

Thankyou for your detailed reply.

Do you know if edge blending is planned for Nthusim? As far as I can see that is the main differentiator between the two products, although perhaps there is more that I don't know about yet. My own research has led me to the conclusion that, as you said, Nthusim has a better community and support network so if feature set was the same I'd be inclined to go with Nthusim.

One more question actually - does nthusim do only simply curved screens or can any shape, for example spherical or a leaning curve be accomodated (I believe in warpalizer you just drag points around to define the screen so anything goes).

Thankyou

Paul


Edge blending is on the NTHUSIM wish list. The only thing Warpalizer currently has going for it over NTHUSIM at this moment in time is that edge blending. I've had lengthy talks with Alex and Andy about this. I'm sure something more definitive on this will be addressed soon.

As long as the projections are configured side-by-side you can do any type of exotic surface projection you want to. Circular screens, domes, partial domes, irregular surfaces, etc. Each projector has it's own user configurable grid that can be as simple or as complex as needed to properly map it to the projected surface.

My suggestion would be to make a user account over on the NTHUSIM site and merely download NTHUSIM Plus and play with it on your regular LCD in unregistered demo mode. It'll give you a good idea how it'll work once used with a projector and take a lot of the mystery out of all of this. :)

_________________
Brad Hawthorne
Product Manager
Nthusim Pty. Ltd. | www.nthusim.com


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PostPosted: 18 Jan 2011, 17:00 
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Thanks. I think I'll take your suggestion and download the evaluation copy to get to grips with it a bit.

One more thing - I am reading a thread on another site where a guy who is using nthusim for a dome was dealing with trying to warp one screen (or indeed I'd imagine, by the same token, a set of screens appearing as one big surface via surround/th2go/eyefinity) whilst leaving the others untouched and seemed to be having trouble doing so - I can imagine a lot of people want to do that, and I definitely do as my other LCD monitors would be kept for flight instruments, charts etc. in fsx. Has this been implemented now (or perhaps it was all along and that guy just wasn't aware how to do it???)


Paul


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PostPosted: 18 Jan 2011, 17:34 
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Thanks. I think I'll take your suggestion and download the evaluation copy to get to grips with it a bit.

One more thing - I am reading a thread on another site where a guy who is using nthusim for a dome was dealing with trying to warp one screen (or indeed I'd imagine, by the same token, a set of screens appearing as one big surface via surround/th2go/eyefinity) whilst leaving the others untouched and seemed to be having trouble doing so - I can imagine a lot of people want to do that, and I definitely do as my other LCD monitors would be kept for flight instruments, charts etc. in fsx. Has this been implemented now (or perhaps it was all along and that guy just wasn't aware how to do it???)


Paul


NTHUSIM can do dome just as long as the projection is side-to-side projection around the interior of the dome. The problem with dome is not NTHUSIM, but rather the game camera code. You'll need a game that is capable of rendering 360 degree unwrapped fisheye camera view. This is highly specialized and I know of no regular retail game that does it. there are a few open source hacked version of old FPS shooter games that can do this sort of camera view though. That really doesn't address something like MSFS though.

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Brad Hawthorne
Product Manager
Nthusim Pty. Ltd. | www.nthusim.com


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PostPosted: 18 Jan 2011, 19:07 
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Joined: 28 Dec 2010, 18:10
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Hi Brad,

Thanks, but I'm not sure you understood my question quite right. Getting a dome system right seems complex and I am fairly sure I will just end up with a curved screen, however my question was whether I could have 3 projectors in an nvidia surround group (appearing to the PC as one large surface) which I then warped with nthusim for projection onto a big curved screen. I would then have an additional 3 or 4 flat panel LCD monitors connected to a separate video card which I'd not want any warping on - do you have any experience of this?

EDIT I found the guys thread here and it was about not being able to leave a cloned view unwarped on the secondary display whilst warping it on the main one. This would not be a problem for me, but I would want the second display (which would not be cloned, but instead would be an entirely separate display) unwarped whilst the primary display was warped. Does this work currently?


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PostPosted: 18 Jan 2011, 23:14 
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Hi Brad,

Thanks, but I'm not sure you understood my question quite right. Getting a dome system right seems complex and I am fairly sure I will just end up with a curved screen, however my question was whether I could have 3 projectors in an nvidia surround group (appearing to the PC as one large surface) which I then warped with nthusim for projection onto a big curved screen. I would then have an additional 3 or 4 flat panel LCD monitors connected to a separate video card which I'd not want any warping on - do you have any experience of this?

EDIT I found the guys thread here and it was about not being able to leave a cloned view unwarped on the secondary display whilst warping it on the main one. This would not be a problem for me, but I would want the second display (which would not be cloned, but instead would be an entirely separate display) unwarped whilst the primary display was warped. Does this work currently?


Should work fine if your motherboard supports 3 or more PCIe 16x mechanical slots to put the video cards in. Two slots would be used for the NVIDIA Surround setup. Then on the third and/or fourth card you could run as many displays as you have enabled ports to do so.

For example, I could be using an EVGA E762 4-way motherboard that is all 16x PCIe mechanic slots. I could fully populate that motherboard with as many video cards as needed, just as long as two of them are dedicated to the NVIDIA surround using Windows 7. I would use the best two cards I could afford for the NVIDIA Surround, and the cards for the other displays could be anything NVIDIA as long as it used the unified video card driver and installed enough ports to run the displays.

_________________
Brad Hawthorne
Product Manager
Nthusim Pty. Ltd. | www.nthusim.com


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PostPosted: 19 Jan 2011, 00:14 
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Joined: 28 Dec 2010, 18:10
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Hi Brad,

You have actually touched on something there that I had been meaning to check out, and you seem like you might know the answer. The card I was thinking of using for additional displays is an Nvidia Quadro NVS 440 (because it's Nvidia, cheap and provides 4 ports from a single slot (I will be very tight for space), it's also passively cooled and since the whole PC will be watercooled and practically silent that is important to me).

It is listed on the NVidia site as using the Quadro driver so would be a different driver than the cards which will be running the projectors (I'll be using 580GTXs). I hadn't realised up till now that there were different drivers for the quadro cards. Does the fact that this uses a separate driver mean it won't work? If that's the case I might have to consider keeping my th2go to put on a geforce type card, as I am not aware of any that are cheap and provide 4 ports, unless you can suggest something.

By the way, if you don't mind me taking the thread off-topic slightly and asking you another question I'd like to ask how I should deal with projector placement. I am considering viewsonic pjd7382 (4:3) projectors which have a throw of 0.61 to 1. Doing the numbers I see that I am just able to place them such that each is exactly the right distance to throw equal size images around a 180 degree screen. The numbers I'm working with generate throws between 39 and 48 inches in a radius somewhere in the 57 to 72 inch range. I see from the spreadsheet that I can't increase the FOV much beyond 180 degrees without the placement starting to become very tight - I had considered going to 225 degrees (FSX can do this by using multiple view windows) of physical screen, then when playing other stuff with a maximum FOV of 180 degrees I could warp the image in to the middle thus sacrificing about 25 percent of my horizontal resolution to maintain the 1 to 1 relationship between game FOV and screen arc and stop things looking stretched. Could I even leave the warping set up as it was for 225 degrees then create a custom resolution to get the game to use 180/225ths of the actual resolution horizontally, or if I did that would the projector just scale that back up and project it across the whole screen? - it looks like 225 degrees actually won't even be possible due to projector placement problems, but I see I might get 210 or something, have you ever tried anything like this?


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PostPosted: 20 Jan 2011, 14:57 
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Joined: 20 Jan 2011, 14:36
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Hi BHawthorne,

I`m a long time reader/follower on your builds in various forums, but registered here just this very moment.

This year I will install a system of 3 projectors for gaming. Thus I will have to choose between Nthusim and Warpalizer, too.

I very much like to use Nthusim, since it offers the better support ..... But Edge Blending really IS important to me.

What I want to tell you is:
Please use your connection to ImmersaView to convince them how important Edge Blending might become even in the consumer market. Though Sorround Gaming is a niche still, it is growing rapidly. I know at least 3 people who also want to jump the bandwagon. True 120 Hz projectors are perfect for gaming with smooth motion and very little input lag. They really get affordable.

But I really want to use edge blending. Plese integrade it in Nthusim. It absolutetly ok, if this comes as an option and costs extra (not to much though:)

THX for enriching the community so far and my best luck (honestly) to make Nthusim a true mass market solution.

Regards

PS: Please keep us updated if and when Edge Blending might get integrated


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