Asus Erases Bezels On Multi-Monitor Setups, Using Trickery

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I'm actually a bit surprised that truly bezel-less gaming monitors aren't a thing yet. Perhaps it's something that will have to wait for OLED in order to be feasible. Of course, with curved ultra-wide monitors coming to market, especially ones like Samsung's 49" 144hz 32:9 display, I imagine fewer people will want to go with three separate screens.
 

There's a simple solution to that, get a larger screen. Obviously, a 27" 21:9 screen will be shorter than a 27" 16:9, and will have less total screen area due to the narrower aspect ratio, but if you move up to a 34" ultrawide, it will have the same height while being wider. Likewise, a 49" 32:9 screen like that Samsung will have the same height as well, while being wider still. It's like placing two 27" 16:9 screens side by side, only with no bezels blocking your view, and with a smooth curve rather than uneven angles.
 

bit_user

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Curved monitors will have distortion that's more difficult to compensate for, whereas images on angled monitors can be accurately projected, assuming the monitor aspects and angles are accurately specified. In practice, I don't know how many games actually support this.

I was hoping some clever software hack would enable anamorphic rendering in the joining edges of the monitors, so the projected bit would seem (nearly) undistorted.
 

Yep, I considered that as well, but any distortion compared to a flat screen is going to be quite minor, especially since your focus should be mainly around the center of the display in most 3D games. And of course, unless you have your field of view adjusted perfectly to match your seating distance in every game, and you remain at that distance, your view of the screen's edges will be distorted even on flat displays.

And again, we're comparing against triple-monitor setups, which as far as I know don't provide any universal way to compensate for the angles of the displays. Aside from a few hardcore racing sims, I don't know of any games that allow you to adjust for screen angles in a multi-monitor setup, so the geometry of the outer screens will appear quite distorted.

Of course, as far as immersive viewing angles go, VR will probably beat multi-monitor setups before long, once the resolution of headsets increases and they get eye-tracking to allow for optimizations that can make those resolutions viable. It's probably at least a few years off before HMDs will be able to make use of resolutions like that though.
 
Does anyone have a solution that simply treats the bezels as vision-blockers? Instead of an image being split in two with the bezels being dead space, have part of the image actually occluded by the bezels and keep the overall image (can't think of the right word) un-deformed?
 

DXsocko007

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I honestly would love this for my Dual monitor setup when gaming. I could have 32:9 1440p it would be awesome LOL i mean it would be fuzzy but id give it a shot if these things were $20
 

The distortion is actually easier to compensate for than with a flat monitor. When a game renders an image using a flat viewport (rectilinear), properly displaying that image requires not just a flat screen, but also for that screen to be at the right distance from your eyes. We regularly ignore that second condition. That's why wide-angle photos look like they're distorted.

https://img00.deviantart.net/fe90/i/2013/132/d/0/wide_angle_distortion__by_samvn-d65204h.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/h6eKRfq.jpg

They're not really distorted, you're just looking at them from the incorrect distance. If you were to put those photos a few inches from your face, they would look correct. This is why games look more distorted when you increase the angular width of the viewport. You're not just supposed to increase the angular width so you can see more. You're also supposed to move the monitor closer so its real angular width matches the virtual angular width of the rendering viewport.

So properly displaying images (eliminating distortion) on a 3-flat monitor setup requires (1) the monitors be placed at the proper distance for the image being rendered, (2) the monitors to be oriented correctly (pointed right at your eye), and (3) the game to render the two side viewports at the same angle as which those monitors are canted on your desk.

Properly displaying an image on a curved monitor is actually easier. Instead of a flat viewport (rectilinear - straight lines remain straight, but circles get deformed into ovals near the corners), you use a curved viewport (fisheye - angular width of objects remain the same regardless of location in viewport so circles remain circles, straight lines get curved but the curvature of the monitor cancels that out). The only thing that's required to support it is for the game to know the angular field of view the monitor presents (and of course for you to be sitting in the right spot for the monitor to actually cover that field of view).

But as you said, I don't know of any games which give you this type of control over the viewport. That's not to say it couldn't be done - it'd be trivial to do it since it's just math the GPU is doing anyway. Just that until it's supported, we're stuck projecting rectilinear images onto curved monitors, resulting in unnecessary distortion.
 

Like the A-pillars in your car (the bit of metal between the front and side windows). All that's needed is for the game to render the three viewports with slight separation.

But it's not really necessary. Your brain sucks at lining up objects passing "behind" an obstacle. So you probably couldn't tell the difference between viewports rendered with a slight separation and rendered without.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poggendorff_illusion
 

larkspur

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Are you talking about bezel compensation? If I have three 1600x1200 monitors the "uncompensated" resolution would be 4800x1200. As I drag a window across a bezel, the window splits across two monitors as if the bezel wasn't there (nothing gets blocked by the bezel).

If I have the same monitors with bezel compensation on (and configured properly) the rendered resolution expands to something like 5040x1200 (varies depending on how physically thick the bezels are). If I drag a window across a bezel, the bezel blocks part of the window. This makes it feel more "natural" like the bezels are the A-pillars in a car just like Solandri mentioned. To me, it feels more "natural" and I prefer it in games although it can be problematic because some games have fixed menus and fixed parts of the HUD that can be blocked by the bezels. With bezel compensation off, those bezel-blocked menu and HUD elements will be visible but split "unnaturally" between the two monitors. This doesn't feel "natural" but at least nothing is blocked by the bezels. Either way, the fisheye effect still exists. Not sure if that is specifically what you were asking about.
 

bit_user

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No, the renderer can't just treat a curved monitor as if it were a flat, rectangular monitor covering the same field of view. It should project the scene geometry on surface with the same curvature, rather than an image plane. That's what I meant, when I said it's more difficult, whereas properly implementing support for multiple rectangular monitors only requires knowing the parameters you mentioned.
 

bit_user

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I don't believe you've actually tried playing a game without bezel compensation. Perhaps you're right about still images, but it's definitely noticeable when objects instantaneously jump across the bezel.
 

mickdk2010

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I had this very same idea way back when I used Matrox Tripple-head-2-go. Seems it doesn't work as well as I expected it would.
 


That's a heck of an interesting answer. Thanks!
 
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