Widescreen Gaming Forum

[-noun] Web community dedicated to ensuring PC games run properly on your tablet, netbook, personal computer, HDTV and multi-monitor gaming rig.
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PostPosted: 11 Jan 2018, 17:30 
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Joined: 13 Oct 2003, 05:00
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Matrox has been a leading proponent of multi-display configurations for many years. Their initial forays were in business and development markets, where users gained the most benefit from multiple displays. Not long after the turn of the millennium, Matrox brought multi-monitor to the gaming world with the Parhelia. This 3D graphics card had three independent connectors, and allowed the user to connect three monitors and experience Surround Gaming. I actually pursued a Parhelia setup back in 2002, and went as far as buying three 19" CRT monitors. In the end, I didn't have the desk space for three 75lb. monitors and abandoned the idea.

Fast forward to May 2006, and with a changed 3D graphics market, Matrox re-introduced the world to Surround Gaming with the original TripleHead2Go (TH2Go). By this time the 3D graphics market was now dominated by two players - ATI and NVIDIA. Rather than try to compete in the world of $500 video cards with 12 month life-cycles, Matrox introduced the original TripleHead2Go. The device sat between the graphics card of your choice and three monitors, and it allowed Matrox to pursue their vision of Surround Gaming while not having to compete in the volatile market of high-end 3D graphics. In addition, LCD panels had become commonplace in the computer industry. This removed one of the final barriers to Surround Gaming - the size and weight associated with using three CRT monitors. For reference you can see our article on Surround Gaming, and Paddy the Wak's review of the original TripleHead2Go.

Roughly fifteen months later, Matrox introduced an update to the original TH2Go in the TripleHead2Go Digital Edition (DTH2Go). One of the major complaints of the original TH2Go was its analog connections. Many people took issue with using analog signals when both their LCD panels and graphics cards supported digital connections through DVI. The new DTH2Go requires a Dual-Link DVI connection to handle the full bandwidth of 3840x1024 resolution. And, seeing as how Dual-Link DVI connections were not comonplace on 3D cards at the time of the TH2Go release (even at high-end), I better understand Matrox's decision to utilize analog for their first iteration.

I've now had a DTH2Go setup for about two months, and overall I am very pleased with the product, and I am wholly amazed with Surround Gaming. My rig is based on an Intel Core2Duo E6700, an NVIDIA 7950GX2, and three HP LP1965 LCD monitors. The monitors are mounted on the wall of my office, with a custom setup melded from a "Neo-Flex HD Wall Mount Swing Arm" and a "DS100 Triple-Monitor Desk Stand" - both from Ergotron. I have also posted a review of the Ergotron Neo-Flex HD and the DS100.

First Up - The Truth About Edge Distortion

Some gamers have taken issue with the object distortion seen at the edges of the outside monitors. The below video clip shows how the issue with Edge Distortion isn't caused by Surround Gaming and the TripleHead2Go. It is an issue apparent even in 4:3 and 16:10 aspect ratios, and is only aggravated by the increased FOV found in Surround Gaming.

Having your peripheral vision (the images on the side screens) filled with a continuation of images from the center screen - even if it is distorted - is what that gives the immense feeling to Surround Gaming. When you are focused on playing a game and concentrating on the center of the middle screen (as you do with any monitor configuration), you are not really looking at the side screens where the distortion is found. As such, the distortion isn't perceived in the same way it is when looking at static screenshots or a small video that doesn't fill your entire field of vision.


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