System Upgrade - Sharp 3D Monitor
October 12, 2006

Sharp sells autostereo 3D LCD monitor and laptops - I decided to try the LL-151-3D monitor ($450 + shipping ... on sale). This autostereoscopic monitor (means "glasses not required") displays left and right stereo pairs at the same time and in such a way that each eye sees only one of the images. (This is way cool.)

It is even possible for several people to see the images in stereo at the same time. (Possible ... but not really useful.)

How it Works

Many of you have seen the stereo postcards covered with a sheet of lenticular plastic - plastic with vertical ribs that make half the image visible to one eye and the other half visible to the other. Because the "image" is actually a combination of 2 separate images, your eyes will see the 2 original images. You "see" depth because the original images were taken from slightly different locations (just like your eyes are in 2 separate locations) and your brain merges the 2 images into a single stereo view.

In the case of the Sharp stereo monitor, the lenticular lens is replaced with a light collimator placed behind the screen. However, the effect is the same - light from half the pixels on the screen goes to one eye and the light passing through the other pixels goes to the other.

In both scenarios, part of the trick is to take 2 separate pictures, cut them into narrow vertical strips, and then to recombine them into a single picture by selecting a vertical strip from one image and then the other and continuing in that way until a complete image is produced. (This process looses one half the horizontal resolution of the original images.)


The basic install was straight forward - plug it in, Windows automatically installed 2 drivers (presumably, the video driver and the USB driver), turn it on, and it worked. (That's right, the monitor was detected by Windows BEFORE I turned it on.)

However, the software did not work. (2 additional drivers had to be manually installed ... see below.)

The provided CD comes with several programs - 2 of them require the .NET runtime (now there's a bad idea).

SHARP SmartStereo Photo Editor

When I try to run it I see

SHARP SmartStereo Slide Show - Demo

Presumably, this allows you to display stereo images. In fact, when you right click an image, this is one of the options.

Unfortunately, it does not run

However, Sharp.SmartStereo.Devices.dll is in the same directory as the program.

Based on my analysis, SSDLIB.DLL is missing. Apparently, it *should* have been installed via D:\3D\SSD\ENGLISH\SSDMAN.MSI.

Driver Reinstallation

Well, thanks to the data I discovered, I learned that I had only performed a partial installation. That's right, the manual says that the installation instructions are in D:\3D\SSD\ENGLISH\READMEE.TXT. (There really are 2 E's)

Based on that, I manually installed SsdMan.msi and SsdComp.msi (by double clicking on them, in that order - the order is important).

At that point the software worked fine ... without errors.

I left the error descriptions above because they must be common enough that they SHOULD have been on the support web site, in the manual, or at least found via Google. This way, anyone else will have a clue and not waste a day debugging.

SHARP SmartStereo Photo Editor

This allows you to select separate left and right images and to save the combination as a single jpg. There are a few settings that you can control ... but they are no big deal. This must be done to prepare individual images for the SmartStereo slide show.

SHARP SmartStereo Slide Show - Demo

The Demo displays a group of images- most of them work ok.

To produce your own slide show, select a few images (or a directory) in Windows Explorer, right click, and run the slide show.

This only works with images that contain both the left and right portions. If you have separate left and right images, you must first combine them using the SHARP SmartStereo Photo Editor.

I have used this program with images I took using a digital SLR camera with special stereo lens that captures both left and right images on a single frame ... it looks great. (Close ups are a bit of a problem ... but they still work.)

However, this program has a problem with scanned stereo cards. Basically, each card image usually contains the 2 images and the left and right card borders. Since the software merely cuts the complete image in half and aligns the 2 halves, the Left and Right Images are actually too far apart. (I can fuse them by crossing my eyes, but several other people have had problems.) This software would be much better if it allowed the user to control the relative horizontal offset of the 2 halves.

Monitor Brightness

Initially, the monitor was too bright - even with the brightness control turned down all the way, the monitor was still way too bright. The scroll bars all but disappeared. It was difficult to make out buttons and edit blocks. Using Thunderbird (a free email reader) it was all but impossible to see the highlight bar that indicates which email is being read.

The fix turned out to be fairly simple (it only took 2 weeks to stumble on to it).

In the monitor menu, select Gain Control and set it to auto. On my system, this changed the following settings


All products have some negatives (listing them is one of the things that makes this site useful). I don't consider any of these to be show stoppers, in fact I typed this page using the stereo monitor in normal mode (yes, it was very bright - now its fixed) ... but the user should know this information before buying the monitor.

Author: Robert Clemenzi -
URL: http:// / user / clemenzi / technical / Upgrades / Sharp_3D_Monitor.html