Considering the new Tir5..how much better is it really?

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Smokytyrz
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed May 13, 2009 2:44 pm

Considering the new Tir5..how much better is it really?

Post by Smokytyrz » Wed May 13, 2009 2:49 pm

Hi folks

Long time Tir user here (since 3.0). The move from Tir3 to Tir4 was incredible. But even in my dark room, with perfect alignment, and using the pro clip, I still get a couple "hang ups" where the eye motion gets stuck at a limit, or skips. Much less than on the 3, and the range improvement was GREAT. Overall I've been very happy with the Tir4 and feel it works very well.

So if I already LOVE my Tir4, and am impressed with it, will I be as blown away by the Tir5? Main improvement is resolution, right? But the Tir4 is already more precise than I could ever be with my head (as evidenced when trying to view-over buttons in Black Shark using the cursor and the Tir4...the Tir4 can do it easily, at any zoom level...but my head just isn't that steady! lol).

So what will be my main value add for upgrading? What would I notice as the real differences?

Thanks

-Smoky

Seth Steiling
Posts: 1366
Joined: Fri Jun 27, 2008 11:29 am
Location: Corvallis, Oregon

Re: Considering the new Tir5..how much better is it really?

Post by Seth Steiling » Wed May 13, 2009 3:59 pm

Here's my feedback, from my own personal experience...

The jump from TrackIR 4 to 5 is quite a bit larger than 3 to 4. TrackIR 5's 12% increase in field of view is nice. The new hardware designs (detachable magnetic base, usb cable anchor, serrated rubber feet, etc.) are great too. But the resolution--combined with the new image processing--is far and away the largest improvement. It takes the performance to new heights for me.

You mention feeling like you probably don't need to have a more precise head tracker, because you already feel like you can't hold your head still enough. I can appreciate that feeling. With my TrackIR 4, there were times that I wanted to focus on an object outside of my deadzone... something maybe 90 degrees from center. A quick glance was fine, but it felt like a prolonged steady focus was difficult, because my natural head movements were being picked up too easily. Of course, one solution is to increase smoothing. But, that's not really an ideal fix, as it reduces responsiveness on normal movements. (Enter TrackIR 5! :) )

I think people assume this experience relates to higher resolution and sensitivity levels of a camera, because that makes sense. If I know I can't hold my head perfectly still, and I see unwanted head movements on the screen, it must be because the camera is actually too precise for my head's lack of stability. This is only partially correct, though, and can lead you to an incorrect conclusion.

It's true that because we often can't hold our heads perfectly still, the camera will pick up on unwanted movements and translate them into the game. But, the best solution actually *is* more resolution.

TrackIR 4 was and is a solid piece of technology, but it has its limitations. It *is* four years old! :) When it's picking up on your unwanted head movements, it's because it has enough resolution to see that you're making small, subtle, unconscious movements. But, it doesn't have the optimal image processing needed to report these with absolute accuracy. So, instead, it will sometimes pick them up, sometimes not. It will sometimes under-report your movements slightly, and sometimes exaggerate them a bit. This semi-representation of your unwanted head movements can be undesirable enough that you'd be best off to smooth them out.

TrackIR 5, on the other hand, has so much more resolution and such improved image processing, that this issue (for me at least) is now nonexistent. When my unwanted head movements are picked up by the camera, they are much more subtle and smooth than they were with TrackIR 4. It turns out that I actually *can* hold my head pretty still, when the camera is picking the movements up super accurately! Since the unwanted movement is now so much more subtle, if I *do* want to smooth them out (which isn't always the case, as I really don't mind them now), it takes way less smoothing. This makes normal tracked movements more responsive and accurate. Kind of a fantastic domino effect! :)

You can find more information from a non-NP employee here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9wXx3vMy_AQ
Marketing Manager
TrackIR | OptiTrack

Smokytyrz
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed May 13, 2009 2:44 pm

Re: Considering the new Tir5..how much better is it really?

Post by Smokytyrz » Wed May 13, 2009 4:07 pm

That's great info!! Thanks for the very helpful post.

Now if someone can just offer a sale, I'm golden. :-)

Happy to hear about the evolving mounting solution. Not sure if I want a magnet anywhere near my gear... but I bet that mounting platform offers me a few new options for velcro'ing the base..

Thanks again

Seth Steiling
Posts: 1366
Joined: Fri Jun 27, 2008 11:29 am
Location: Corvallis, Oregon

Re: Considering the new Tir5..how much better is it really?

Post by Seth Steiling » Wed May 13, 2009 4:14 pm

FYI - The magnet used is so low-power that even if you set your TIR 5 directly on top of your tower, it won't affect your components. Additionally, for a magnet to become harmful, it needs repetitive motion to create a current. With the unit largely being stationary, it doesn't create a consistent current.
Marketing Manager
TrackIR | OptiTrack

BMoffa
Posts: 19
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2008 8:54 am

Re: Considering the new Tir5..how much better is it really?

Post by BMoffa » Sat May 16, 2009 9:36 am

How about offering a trade up deal? I've already bought 2 TrackIR 4s, 1 for me and 1 for my son.

DanKurt
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Apr 28, 2008 8:22 am

Re: Considering the new Tir5..how much better is it really?

Post by DanKurt » Mon May 18, 2009 2:08 pm

Ive got both TIR4 and TIR5 and I whilst I think the 5 is an improvement, it is more so for its aesthetics and build quality that sets it apart.
The v5 software is very much a beta( thats being kind!) and I have reverted back to latest V4 as the zoom is just way to jittery and I tend to look like Marty Feldman after a few hours BS.( I tried for a full day to get it right, but it is a beta so I am hoping it improves.)
TIR5 with V4 software (latest build) works a treat and I do think it is a shade more smooth than TIR4 but its no massive leap like the hype on the NP website implies.
I needed an additional TIR devise for when I am working away so I bought TIR5 as it wasn't a massive premium over a TIR4. Im happy but I would not say its something you should buy as a TIR4 replacement as in my opinion its only a shade more smoother and is hardly noticable in BS, LOMAC or IL2.
I hope that the v5 software development improves as the interface is good but it needs to improve the jittering on zoom and light filter is still bad, before I move from the latest v4 which seems to me spot on.

Magic Man
Posts: 93
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2003 5:00 am

Re: Considering the new Tir5..how much better is it really?

Post by Magic Man » Mon May 18, 2009 4:27 pm

[quote=Smokytyrz]...Not sure if I want a magnet anywhere near my gear...[/quote]

You'll find a couple just mm's away from your drives platters, and they are far, far stronger...

Birch
Posts: 1139
Joined: Thu Jan 30, 2003 5:00 am
Location: Corvallis, Oregon

Re: Considering the new Tir5..how much better is it really?

Post by Birch » Mon May 18, 2009 5:08 pm

[quote=DanKurt]I needed an additional TIR devise for when I am working away so I bought TIR5 as it wasn't a massive premium over a TIR4. Im happy but I would not say its something you should buy as a TIR4 replacement as in my opinion its only a shade more smoother and is hardly noticable in BS, LOMAC or IL2.
[/quote]

In the TrackIR 4.x software you might want to try turning down the smoothing setting in your profile when using your new TrackIR 5 device. It should work well with a much lower value than a TrackIR 4 device would. This should allow you to utilize some of the improved responsiveness of the TrackIR 5. The new 5.x software will adjust this setting automatically the first time, but the 4.x software does not - so some of the improvements might not be as apparent.

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