Mobile Cinema Glasses Review

July 13, 2011 22:09 | By | 1 Comment

Video goggles designed for FPV flight often cost a fortune, but there’s also models meant for movie viewing – the Mobile Cinema Glasses fall into that category, but are they usable for FPV flight? Read on to find out in our in-depth review!

Every FPV pilot needs one: a pair of video goggles. Usually the products of choice these days are made by FatShark, who made themselves a recognized brand in the FPV community. There’s plenty of alternatives out there, but it’s difficult to know whether or not a particular pair of video goggles is good, or even suited for FPV at all.

DealExtreme is selling these goggles for about $270 – not exactly a small amount of money, more expensive than a FatShark Base edition which is sold for around $240.

The technical data sounds impressive: True 640×480 resolution, 80 inch virtual screen size, and a 1000mAh battery that puts the puny 200mAh cells found in other FPV goggles to shame.


These glasses are light and small. They do feel quite plastic-y, though the quality is arguably better than the cheap mold quality found with FatShark.

There’s plenty of stuff included in the box that most people won’t care about, various RCA connector cables and even a small remote. You can safely toss the remote aside, it does little other than switch to the (pretty useless for FPV) 3D mode, and change brightness and contrast – which did not have any noticeable effect anyway. The defaults are fine, regardless. Included in the box is a converter cable one might deep useless, for it has the same connector as the video input of the battery box. However it is in fact a pin-swapping converter. If you find that your video receiver output doesn’t show correctly in the video goggles, just add the converter inbetween and it will work just fine, as we tested with the 200mW 5.8GHz transmitter/receiver set from HobbyKing.


The goggles are powered by a lithium battery, the good news is that it’s a Nokia BL-4C battery so getting replacements is very easy. The battery is rated at 1000mAh and you can safely take the goggles with you for several days without needing to recharge. Recharging is done via a USB cable. The connectors for charging as well as the video connectors have a solid feel and a good contact, though some users reported intermittent contact with the video cable due to bad soldering.

 The battery box is small and has a physical on/off switch, volume control, extra headphone jack (the goggles have their own removable headphones) and a charge connector. On top are indicator LEDs for operation and charging.

The design reminds of Cyclops from X-Men, but hey, if it gets the job done… and that it certainly does. These goggles are special in that unlike FatShark, they can be worn by users who wear prescription glasses, both with and without the light-blocking rubber cover. That light-blocking cover does a decent job, though it is nowhere near as good a fit as, say, the foam on FatShark goggles. On the other hand these glasses are still usable in direct sunlight and the lack of a tight fit means better ventilation, and thus no risk of fogging lenses.

The battery box connects to the glasses via a proprietary connector. Luckily the cable does have a hook-and-loop strap to secure it to the glasses. Also shown in this picture are the plugs for the earpieces, which thankfully are detachable.

The most important thing about such video glasses is the image quality. For FPV, the second big question is whether or not they can display “static”: the snowstorm-like video image you see when the transmitter is switched off or out of range. Luckily, these goggles do display static and don’t go blank when you’re approaching the limits of your transmitter. The moment you connect the receiver, the true video signal is displayed without any potentially fatal filtering or blanking.

As for the image quality…

Video quality, viewing a CCD camera module feed

Video quality, viewing a CCD camera module feed

Video quality, viewing live feed from a GoPro HD

Video quality, viewing live feed from a GoPro HD

 

The image has a blueish tint, red tints are kinda mixed together and there’s a tendency for the image to become blurred on the edges if the eye position isn’t exactly centered. Since these glasses don’t have a way to compensate for varying pupil distance, that’s definitely a drawback.

Flying with these glasses is a straightforward and pleasurable experience – the slight blurryness at the corners of the image is only noticeable if they slip a bit lower, and even then piloting is not a problem. Don’t expect vibrant colors from these, they are enough to fly a plane with but you won’t really want to watch a movie with them.

 

Summary

If you have the cash to spend, you could do a lot worse than getting these. FPV compatibility is there, the image is decent (if bland-colored) and unlike FatShark goggles you can actually wear these over your regular glasses, which is probably the biggest argument in favor of this product. If you don’t wear glasses, a FatShark is a choice with comparable quality but cheaper price…

 

Positives

  • Good resolution
  • Large standard battery, easy to find replacement
  • Lightweight and compatible with prescription glasses
  • Displays true video signal without blanking out static
  • Comes with a useful assortment of cables and converters

 

Negatives

  • More expensive than FatShark Base Edition
  • Corners blurry if not worn 100% correctly
  • Disappointing color rendition

 

Source

Note: These goggles are sometimes called “VR1400” or “VISION DELUXE” in other shops.

 

 

Tags: , ,

Category: Reviews

About the Author ()

FPVCentral is a private, independent news and review site for all things related to First Person View RC model flight. Covering everything from hobby, commercial and military drones, RC models and electronics related to FPV flight, we are not sponsored by any manufacturer or affiliated with any company or project.

Comments (1)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

Sites That Link to this Post

  1. Hubsan H510 FPV Glasses : FPV Central | August 15, 2012 21:34

Leave a Reply