XpanD X104 YOUniversal 3D Glasses - Review and Photo Profile

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XPAND X104 YOUniversal 3D Glasses - Package

XPAND X104 YOUniversal 3D Glasses - Package
XPAND X104 YOUniversal 3D Glasses - Package. Photo (c) Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com

You Need Glasses to Watch 3D

To view 3D content you need to wear glasses. If you own a TV that uses the passive 3D viewing system, you need to use Passive Polarized Glasses. Usually, several pairs are provided with the TV and extra pairs are very inexpensive (in fact, you can usually substitute those RealD glasses you may have gotten at your local movie theater.

On the other hand, many 3D TVs (especially Plasma TVs and most video projectors), require the use of Active Shutter LCD glasses (some 3D LCD TVs also use the active system). These glasses may, or may not come with your TV, and are more expensive than the passive type. Also, the 3D glasses that work with one brand and model may not be compatible with other brands and models. Read more on the difference between Passive and Active 3D Glasses technology.

Introduction to the XpanD X104 YOUniversal Active Shutter 3D Glasses

To solve the problem of incompatible active shutter 3D glasses between different brands and models of TV that use the active system, third party manufacturers have entered the market with glasses that can work on several brands and models of 3D TVs and 3D video projectors. XpanD was the first to market with its X103, but it had some limitations, such as not having a rechargeable battery.

As a result, XpanD has introduced its X104 YOUniversal Active Shutter 3D Glasses, which provides not only a built-in rechargeable battery but also can work with either IR or RF-based 3D emitters (the transmission devices that send a 3D synchronization signal from the TV or video projector to the glasses), and even provides access to online firmware updates and customizable user settings via PC software. The glasses come in three sizes.

Shown on this page is a look at the packaging that the XpanD X104 YOUniversal 3D glasses comes in when you buy it at a dealer or order it online.

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XPAND X104 YOUniversal 3D Glasses - Package Contents

XPAND X104 YOUniversal 3D Glasses - Package Contents
XPAND X104 YOUniversal 3D Glasses - Package Contents. Photo (c) Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com

There are more than just a pair of Active Shutter 3D glasses inside the XpanD X104 YOUniversal package.

As shown in this photo, starting on the left, in the back is the RF Dongle user guide, the glasses case, and the X104 glasses user guide. Moving to the front is a lens cleaning cloth, one pair of glasses, a small bag with an option RF dongle, two nose fittings, and finally on the right is a USB cable.

The features and specifications of the X104 YOUniversal glasses include:

  1. Availability in three different sizes: Small (5.5-inches W, 1.83-inches H, 6-inches D), Medium (5.67-inches W, 1.67-inches H, 6-inches D), and Large (6.43-inches W, 1.83-inches H, 6.47-inches D).
  2. Available in two-tone color combinations: Small (red/white and blue/black), Medium (white/black only), Large (blue/black and white/black).
  3. All glasses designed to fit over prescription eyeglasses.
  4. Active LCD Shutter 3D technology.
  5. Sync Method: IR (built-in) and RF (via plug-in dongle). The X104 provides three ways to sync the glasses to a 3D TV or video projector: IR Auto Detect, manually by repeated pushing of the on/off/IR protocol button (can be cumbersome), and via access to the online firmware updater software application.
  6. Built-in Lithium ION rechargeable battery (135mAH capacity - 35 hours under normal use), 3.5 grams (.12 ounces) weight.
  7. Supported TV, monitor, and PC video card brands (active shutter models): Acer, Bang and Olufsen, HP, JVC, Panasonic, Nvidia, Panasonic, Sharp, Vizio, LG (IR synch models), Samsung (2011 models with RF sync only). Also compatible with Mitsubishi, Philips, and Sony - but some models may also require external 3D emitter to be plugged into the TV. The X104 is also compatible with XpanD 3D emitters, as well as movie theaters that use the XpanD system.
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XPAND X104 YOUniversal 3D Glasses - Views of RF Dongle and USB Cable Attached

XPAND X104 YOUniversal 3D Glasses - Views of RF Dongle and USB Cable Attached
XPAND X104 YOUniversal 3D Glasses - Views of RF Dongle and USB Cable Attached. Photo (c) Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com

Here is a photo of the X104 YOUniversal glasses with the RF Dongle (on the left) and USB cable (on the right) alternately attached.

The X104 YOUniversal 3D glasses has a built-in IR receiver for use with 3D TVs and video projectors that utilize the IR 3D emitters. However, some TVs and video projectors use an RF emitter system instead. As a result, XpanD provides the detachable RF dongle for TVs and video projectors that use that system.

The reason that a USB cable is included is that the X104 also has a built-in rechargeable battery that can be charged by pulling the glasses into a USB port on a TV, video projector, or PC. In addition, the X104 is also firmware upgradeable and provides other setting options when connected to a PC using the provided USB cable. and provides other setting options when connected to a PC using the provided USB cable.

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XPAND X104 YOUniversal 3D Glasses - RF Dongle Close-Up

XPAND X104 YOUniversal 3D Glasses - RF Dongle Close-Up
XPAND X104 YOUniversal 3D Glasses - RF Dongle Close-Up. Photo (c) Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com

Shown here is a close-up of the provided RF Dongle. Take note of its extremely small size - when not in use make sure you put it in the glasses case or in another easy-to-find location. It can be easily misplaced or lost - definitely keep away from pets and infants - as it can be easily swallowed.

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XPAND X104 YOUniversal 3D Glasses - Firmware Updater Application

XPAND X104 YOUniversal 3D Glasses - Firmware Updater Application
XPAND X104 YOUniversal 3D Glasses - Firmware Updater Application. Photo (c) Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com

One interesting feature of the XpanD is access to a PC Application that can be downloaded from the XpanD website that provides the ability to update the glasses' firmware as well as providing the ability to tweak the operational settings for the glasses.

Final Take

If you own a 3D TV or video projector that requires the use of active shutter glasses, you might consider a couple of pairs of XpanD's X104. Even though you might have some glasses that came with your TV, you can not only take the X104 with you to your friends or relative's homes, but if you live in an area where one of the local movie theaters uses the XpanD 3D system, they will work there as well (see map).

The X104's are comfortable (they will fit over most standard prescription glasses, come in three sizes), are convenient (built-in rechargeable battery, firmware upgradeable, settings tweakable), are stylish (with several color combinations), and work great.

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