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Review: Iogear 3D Complete + a costly 3D TV toy you don't need

July 28, 2012|By Salvador Rodriguez
  • The Iogear Complete 3D   is a $200 box that converts any of your digital content into 3D, but the device is overpriced.
The Iogear Complete 3D is a $200 box that converts any of your digital content… (Salvador Rodriguez / Los…)

The Iogear 3D Complete + is a box for your 3D TV that comes with the promise of converting any of your digital content into 3D. But it also comes with a $200 sticker price, which is just too much.

The 3D Complete + will take pretty much anything you can plug into it with an HDMI cable and work its magic. This includes Blu-ray players, game consoles, digital media receivers such as Apple TV or a Roku and computers, too.

The actual device is a box, which is always a pain, but at least it's small in size. The 3D Complete + is less than an inch tall, less than four inches in depth and about six inches wide. On its back, it has a power input, one HDMI output to connect with a 3D TV and three HDMI inputs along with another on its side. Besides that, the device has just a source button and a power button.

It also comes with a tiny control, which is essential to the unit, and that makes it a problem. To adjust your 3D settings or tell the device to begin converting, you have to use the control, and because it's so small, you could easily lose it and render your $200 box useless. I also had to try two different units of the 3D Complete + twice because the first one came with a faulty control and left me unable to do anything.

But once I got a working control, I was good to go, and I began my tests converting movies. I watched a Blu-ray copy of "The Bourne Supremacy" using my PlayStation 3 and I quickly began watching it in 3D. But to really notice the 3D layering, I had to crank each of the settings (3D level, depth and pop) all the way up, and this went for any type of content I watched. The bad part was you have to do this every time you turn the 3D conversion on because the device won't save your settings.

I could notice the 3D right off the bat, but there wasn't much popping. It was depth that was more noticeable but also forgettable.

I noticed the 3D a bit more while streaming "Thor" on Netflix using an Apple TV. "Thor" has more special effects and wide-landscape shots than the "Bourne" film, so the box was able to show off its abilities more.

However, during this film, it seems that some shots won't work with a box. During a scene in the movie where characters are walking in a hallway with repeating designs, the 3D Complete + was thrown off and didn't display the image correctly. All in all, the 3D Complete + does what it's supposed to, but you won't get amazing 3D during movies. And frankly, after a while I just felt like I was watching a regular movie while wearing glasses.

But the 3D Complete + can convert other content, too, so I tried playing FIFA 12 on my PlayStation 3. Though the conversion did work, the 3D was more subtle. However, it was far more noticeable that the image was being converted because the 3D Complete + caused a major lag on game play. All of my controls were slowed down and I could certainly feel that they were stopping at the 3D Complete + before showing up on the screen.

With the ability to convert games into 3D such a high selling point, this was a terrible result. I ended up disconnecting the 3D Complete + halfway through my game just to avoid losing. 

The lag was also felt when I mirrored my Mac's screen using Apple TV. I tried watching highlights from the Olympic Opening Ceremony, and while the converter did turn the images into 3D, it was pretty difficult to navigate because the lag threw off the mouse. In the end, I was stuck in an annoying routine of taking off the glasses to navigate on my computer and putting them back on to watch videos in 3D.

Besides 3D conversion, Iogear also touts the 3D Complete +'s ability to improve the quality of any image, and this it definitely did do. After disconnecting my FIFA game from the converter, I immediately noticed that the quality dropped and the colors weren't as vibrant. But this isn't a major benefit, and I certainly wouldn't put up with a lag in exchange. 

Another thing going against the 3D Complete + is most Blu-ray players already upscale your content to improve the image, and nowadays, many 3D TVs also come with the ability to convert 2D to 3D.

Overall, at $200, this imperfect and obsolescent device is not worth the purchase. The 3D Complete + is high on promise, OK on delivery and you don't need it.

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