New XTAL discussion thread for 2021/2022

Well we are closing in on 2021 and the old XTAL thread has been closed out due to inactivity.

So Ive been talking on the phone and emailing with Andrew “Ondrej” from XTAL. He’s in Sacramento CA helping set up the a new XTAL outlet in California. Im probably going to pull the trigger on the XTAL 5K. Sure the Pimax 12K to be released next year but thats a whole year or 2 :roll_eyes:) away. The 8KX is useless to me due to the well known eye strain issue. I havnt been able to play in wide FOV for a while now and tired of waiting for other manufactures to come out with wide FOV and OLED, lets hope the Pimax QLED panels deliver because Im spoiled with OLED panels, which is another reason to get the XTAL 5K. I cant afford the newer XTAL 8K and just barely able to choke down the cost of the XTAL 5K.

The old XTAL thread was for the 5K(OLED) model and XTAL has released an 8K(LCD) model and are phasing out the 5K unit. So I thought I would post this thread for any updates that you XTAL users, or future XTAL users, might have or that might want to throw in their 2 cents.

Since the XTAL lenses utilize most of the OLED panel, unlike the Pimax 8KX using about 3/4 of the panel, I think the XTAL 5K image will be closer to 8KX regarding clarity and SDE than any other wide FOV headset available at this time. I posted some pics of the XTAL 5K, 8KX and 5K+ pics for verification. In the “thru the lens” pic with the 5K+ and XTAL 5K you can see the XTAL is clearer, and in the “thru the lens” pic of the 5K+ and 8KX you can see that the 8KX looks similar to the XTAL 5K. Im going to be asking Andew if he has been able to do A/B comparisons with the XTAL 5K and the 8KX. What do you guys think?


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The main complaint on the Xtal weight as I recall.

Itvis ashame Xtal only seemed to test the waters on interest in a consumer model.

Maybe @mixedrealityTV & @Voodoode can post some of there xp as they participated in the prospect of a consumer version

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Weight is a concern. Some of the reviewers say if your not into beat saber, heavy aerobic, bow and arrow type games it shouldnt be a problem. Im into chill games, usually “sit down” versions. Voodoode reviewed the 8K model. @mixedrealityTV if you have your ears on, tell us what you think about the XTAL 5K as a 2022 VR headset contender and if the 8KX perceived SDE/pixel compares.

Im also going to be asking Andrew about any bumps in framerates, the 5K is only 70hz. I know they were going to try to improve framerates.

Edit: They upgraded the headstrap from a few years ago to a Halo style. Maybe that will hold it in place better?? Another question for XTAL…

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How much they are selling you the 5k?

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The 5K unit retailed for $6600 USD, ouch… The refurbished units are listed on their website for $4340 and thats not including the $500 6dof tracker. So after talking back and forth with Ondrej (Andrew) from XTAL, great guy and easy to talk with, we agreed on $3600. He said shipping is really inflated from the pandemic, inflation, yadda yadda, $390. Yea I wasnt happy about that so he threw in the $500 6dof tracker, and no tax, should’nt be any duty taxes either.

Also I just noticed that they are not listing the 5K unit on their website anymore.

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I woudnt buy it, but if you find value in it, go for it

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Its on its way from Prague to USA

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Did you deal with Marek?

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Ondrej (20 characters)…

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OK, well sounds like a decent deal. make a thread once you get it. Im curious how it performs

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Well how Was the 5k ?

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Its big, a little bigger than the Pimax headsets. Weighs a little more too but is built like a tank, great head strap. Its horizontal FOV is on par or a little wider than the Pimax 8KX’s “Normal” setting. The vertical FOV is better than the Vive Pro 2 but worse than the 8KX. The clarity and colors are stunning. The SDE is hard to describe, the OLED panel they use has a very tight pixel density so its hard to see the pixels, but they are definitely visible, better than the Pimax 5K+ but worse than the 8KX. The software is excellent, many options, The Auto IPD function works great. Works with all the Steam games I threw at it.

My issue right now is eye strain, just like I had in all the wide FOV Pimax headsets, thats a real let down. Im working with XTAL support to remedy that but I have a feeling that with my low IPD Im just going to be one of the few that get eye strain with canted panel wide FOV headsets.

If I cant get the eye strain dialed in, Im going to have to return the headset, its a real bummer because it has a beautiful picture even though its only a 5K. The eye strain is just a deal breaker for me, same reason I sold all my Pimax headsets, 5K+, 8K and 8KX.

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Yeah this leads me to believe the eye strain issue is more related to canting displays to the degree that wide fov headsets needs So far.

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I really dont understand the theory about the canted displays creating an issue. Is it because of the different distances from the lens to screen, since the panels are at an angle, Im assuming the left side of the lens would be closer to the left side of the panel and the right side of the lens would be further away from the panel??

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This is what Milan at XTAL told me to try to fix the eye strain

  • try changing the ‘Eye relief offset’ parameter in profile settings

    • go to XTAL tray icon Settings
    • click on the Profile tab
    • select Custom profile
    • change the ‘Eye relief offset’ parameter and check if you see any difference
    • this parameter basically translates to virtual distance between your eye and the headset lens, so it can help in some cases
    • selecting a proper ‘Eye relief offset’ value needs a little trial and error, as it is again not easily measurable
  • try using the ‘Canted rendering’ option

    • this is again located in the Profiles settings
    • you’ll need to check the ‘Canted rendering’ checkbox and restart SteamVR
    • this switches the rendering algorithm to use non-parallel cameras, which correspond better to the physical optical system inside the headset
    • be aware that this has to be supported in the VR application, so not every SteamVR compatible game/app will support this (you should see right away if the application doesn’t support it as the image will have strong cross-eyed effect)
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Thanks for the insite stixvr

Well that proves my theory that 5k is still to date an exelent choise in image wise and requires less resources compared to pimax units.
Its the first time i have heard of canted displays causing eyestrain. Still i did have somewhat crosseye feeling when using my starvr. Though it could have been also due the missing display optimization files.

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True, that was my hope before I purchased it. Its does hold its own even in the new year of 5K and 8K headsets. The SDE is quite amazing. You really dont see the pixels, you see the subpixels which reminds me of the 8KX matrix, however, when there is only one color being displayed like red for instance, thats when you notice the lack of resolution. Still a beautiful image.

I tried the new XTAL 3 for a while at CES and it was great. It’s improved in every way from the previous versions. They even had small insertable lenses for each eye so you can mix and match the diopter to get it exactly right. Obviously $10K+ is a lot but what they have achieved really is excellent.

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Too bad Covid shut you guys down, was really looking forward to some good reviews on the 12K. One of the XTAL guys Daniel told me they have a consumer XTAL on the horizon.

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Why get an xtal 3 if the 12k qled will release in 11 months and will cost only a fraction of that price ( 3000€/$) and will habe a higher vertical fov and even more horizotanl foc with way higher resolution.
Not sure if the xtal 3 is a good investment even for the enterprice marked its too much

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