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Sony Personal 3D Viewer in depth

We've had a taste of the (possible) future, in the form of the Personal 3D Viewer, and we've discovered that patience, perseverance and meticulousness are the keys to an enjoyable experience.

Derek Fung
Derek loves nothing more than punching a remote location into a GPS, queuing up some music and heading out on a long drive, so it's a good thing he's in charge of CNET Australia's Car Tech channel.
Derek Fung
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1 of 15 Alexandra Savvides/CNET Australia

We've had a taste of the (possible) future, in the form of the Personal 3D Viewer, and we've discovered that patience, perseverance and meticulousness are the keys to an enjoyable experience.

Slip the Personal 3D Viewer on, and two 720p OLED screens will deliver cinema-sized viewing pleasure straight to your eyeballs. But before you reach that happy point, there's a lot of fussin' and a-fiddlin' that must be done first.

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2 of 15 Derek Fung/CNET Australia

It takes a lot of adjustment and not an inconsiderable amount of luck to get the Personal 3D Viewer fitted perfectly to your head. Anything short of this will result in too much weight resting on your nose.

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3 of 15 Derek Fung/CNET Australia

A little tab on each arm of the 3D Viewer needs to be clicked before the head strap can be adjusted in or out.

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4 of 15 Derek Fung/CNET Australia

Both the high and low portion of the head strap can be adjusted.

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5 of 15 Derek Fung/CNET Australia

The headphones tilt and telescope. Sound is good, but virtual surround sound is a tinny, hollow mess.

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6 of 15 Alexandra Savvides/CNET Australia

There are three forehead-rest thicknesses supplied with the 3D Viewer. The medium version is fitted as standard, but the one pictured above is the shallowest version.

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7 of 15 Derek Fung/CNET Australia

There's a high and a low mounting point for the forehead rest.

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8 of 15 Derek Fung/CNET Australia

Be prepared to have a box of tissues handy if you're handing the 3D Viewer around to friends, as the forehead rest's faux leather attracts skin oil like a BBQ does flies.

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9 of 15 Derek Fung/CNET Australia

These two sliders allow for an element of lens correction. Depending on your eye condition, the fact that the sliders work in tandem may be an issue.

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10 of 15 Derek Fung/CNET Australia

If you can't quite get the 3D Viewer fitted right, the best option is to point your head down. That way, the weight of the unit is borne by the head straps, and not your nose.

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11 of 15 Derek Fung/CNET Australia

Try as he might, our video editor Matt Oxley couldn't get the Personal 3D Viewer to sit correctly. (In the device's defence, we only gave him 15 minutes of play time, as our stomachs were growling more fiercely than a pack of hungry lions, and we had to get lunch.)

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12 of 15 Derek Fung/CNET Australia

The five-way controller for the on-screen menus, as well as the volume and power buttons, are surprisingly easy to use with the Viewer on.

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13 of 15 Derek Fung/CNET Australia

A blue light will let everyone know that you're off in your own little virtual world.

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14 of 15 Derek Fung/CNET Australia

To view any source, the Personal 3D Viewer must be connected to the supplied processing unit. The 2m long HMD cable ensures that you'll always be sitting close to the processing unit, and, if you don't have a long HDMI cable, you'll be sitting pretty darn close to your Blu-ray player or console, too.

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15 of 15 Derek Fung/CNET Australia

Out the back, there's a solitary HDMI input. The HDMI-out port allows for vision and audio to pass through when you're not using the Personal 3D Viewer.

Stay tuned for our full review of the 3D Viewer, which will be up early next week.

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