Unofficial i-O Display Systems H3D Terminator, H3D Cruiser and 'Universal' controller page

The 'universal' controller hardware reviewed on this page should be identical to the controller hardware distributed with: 
i-glasses X3D-TV-special, i-glasses i-ware, X3D Extreme, C3Dnow Econo, eDimensional, VRealities VR-3D Glasses and some others. However the author takes no liability for the accuracy of this statement, since these products weren't reviewed individually. Apart from that the software-packages and glasses-designs do vary.

by Christoph Bungert

Sept. 2, 2000
last update Nov. 22, 2003

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i-O Display Systems

This review isn't intended for beginners. You should first check the basics, game-basics, faq and 3D-formats page. It's also recommended to read earlier reviews first and go on in chronological order. See the review-history.

Scroll down for product photos and charts

i-O Display Systems is a big player in the shutterglasses and HMD market. They produced the actual H3D, eyeSCREAM and ELSA Revelator glasses, to name just a few. The Terminator, Cruiser and the  "Universal" 3D shutterglasses models are distributed directly by I/O Display under their own brand and by various other distributors.
Their wired and wireless glasses are quite similar to the corresponding Revelator models. The controllers are different though. (Actually the Revelator doesn't have a real controller.) At least the Cruiser and the Universal controller show their relation to the Revelator by supporting the ELSA Revelator technology and subsequently the nVidia reference driver (via DDC-trigger).

The Terminator is targeted at the game sector, while the Cruiser is mainly for watching images and animations. Since the Cruiser supports the nVidia-driver gaming is still possible as long as you have an nVidia powered game accelerator.

The 'Universal' controller combines the features of both systems. It looks exactly like the Terminator and has the same connectors!  The controller works fine. It listens well to the H3D-Activator. There are two major advantages to the old classic-H3D controller. First it supports higher resolutions and refresh rates, second it stays active, even if you change the graphics mode. So you can activate page-flipping and then use any 3rd party driver or application. The old H3D just dropped out at each mode-change and it was impossible to use it for the ASUS driver or whatever.

'Universal' vs. Eye3D-4-in-1

So, the Universal has the same capabilities as the Eye3D-4-in-1 with the big drawback of not having any manual controls. The Eye3D-4-in-1 has manual line-blanker, manual reverse and doesn't require an activator-tool for page-flipping and interlace.


All 3 models draw their power from the VGA-board. Some boards doesn't provide power. i-O now offers an adaptor which sits beween the VGA-board and the Terminator controller. It draws power from the keyboard connector. The adaptor may already have become a part of the standard package.


At least the Cruiser and the upcoming 'Universal' have a line-blanker device which works on virtually any VGA-board under any operating system without a driver. It's main purpose is to watch 3D-images.
The line-blankers seem to work fine on most graphics cards. Unfortunately until now they failed on my ASUS boards. This seems to be no power problem, since I'm using the keyboard-power-adaptor. The monitor may play a role in the problem too. Further testing and discussion with i-O will be neccessary.

Wireless Version

The wireless version of the Terminator comes with a Revelator-type DIN-3 IR-emitter. The wireless Cruiser was supposed to have a Revelator-type IR emitter with 3.5 mm connector.

Driver, Code and Mode Compatibility
classic H3D Terminator 'Universal' Cruiser
Wicked3D - i-ODisplay code NO YES YES NO
Wicked3D - H3D/eyeScream code NO YES NO
Wicked3D - i-Art Eye3D code NO NO NO NO
ASUS driver (1) NO NO YES (4) NO
nVidia reference driver/ ELSA Revelator/ (DDC-trigger) (3) NO NO ??? YES YES
VRStandard VRCaddy driver NO NO YES YES (2)
eDim driver (ATI) YES (4) YES (4) YES NO
Page-Flipping (without DDC-trigger) limited NO ? YES NO
Line-Blanking YES NO ? YES YES
Interlace YES NO ? YES NO
Sync-Doubling (Above-Below format) YES YES  YES NO
Frequency range
max. signal input (sync-doubling mode) 70 kHz 100 kHz
(1) The wired Terminator and Cruiser glasses can be connected directly to ASUS Deluxe boards with 3.5 mm stereo connector. The external Terminator and Cruiser controllers do not work with the ASUS drivers
(2) half-res line-blanker mode only
(3) What is DDC? ELSA uses a certain pin of the VGA connector, the Data Display Channel, to sync the Revelator glasses. Not the brightest idea, by the way.
(4) Requires H3D-Controller or H3D-Activator
Terminator controller VESA DIN-3 and 3.5 mm
Terminator wired glasses 3.5 mm
Terminator IR-emitter DIN-3 
Cruiser controller 3.5 mm
Cruiser wired glasses 3.5 mm
Cruiser IR-emitter 3.5 mm


Cruiser Wired

The Cruiser comes optionally with a bunch of 3D-image CDs by Razor Digital Media.
There are 'Bugs in 3D', 'Beneath the Sea in 3D' and 'World War I' in 3D.
They are produced in 800x600 line-sequential 3D format. All titles provide classic H3D/eyeSCREAM color code, which isn't required for the Cruiser. The Cruiser has manual control (which is nice) and as far as I'm informed by the manufacturer does not understand any color code.

The CD's are nicely done and feature music and commentary. 'Sea' has 44 photos, 'WWI' has 100 and 'Bugs' somewhat less than 100. I haven't counted them.

The controller of the "Cruiser". It's compatible with the ELSA Revelator and in addition has a line-blanker with manual control. This allows for watching 3D-images in interlace format on any computer system with any VGA-board on any operating system from any application, image-viewer or web-browser. The ability to just sync to a standard page-flipping or interlace signal is oddly missing, which is a big minus.
Unfortunately the line-blanker in my H3D-Cruiser sample was defective or incompatible to my setup. Usually it should work though.

Terminator & 'Universal'

Game driver

For the Terminator i-O Display liscensed the Wicked3D game driver by Metabyte. It supports the largest range of VGA-chipsets. Unfortunately it cuts the resolution into half and therefore is somewhat inferior to the more proprietary ASUS and ELSA page-flipping drivers.
Another problem is the fact that the current Terminator controller only supports the new i-O Display color code. Drivers and driver updates for the original eyeSCREAM or i-Art Eye3D glasses won't work. Also the H3D-Activator and Eye3D-Activator tools won't work. Either i-O themselves or some other programmer should do an i-O-Activator.

The Terminator and the "Universal" controller look the same, but the latter has much more functions.
None of them has any buttons. Both are solely controlled by color codes or Revelator-trigger-signals.

The Terminator and 'Universal' controllers both feature connectors for classic 3.5 mm jack wired glasses
as well as for VESA/StereoGraphics/Revelator DIN-3 type glasses and emitters. (Test with NuVision DIN-3 emitter was positive.)


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