CyberMaxx 2.0
Legacy Product Review

Quick Info: The CyberMaxx 2.0 is a consumer "Head Mounted Device" or "Virtual Reality Helmet" released in 1995. It uses two active color LCD panels each with 180.000 pixels for stereoscopic vision. The earlier model CyberMaxx 1.0 featured only 120.000 pixel per display. The device accepts VGA- and composite NTSC-video-signals. Other features include stereo headphones and headtracking. The CyberMaxx is discontinued, the developer "VictorMaxx" is out of business. There are some remainders and used units still available.

This review isn't intended for beginners. It's a good idea to consult the Basics and FAQ pages first.

Related websites: (CyberMaxx distributor, international shipping, website in english and german)
CyberMaxx Fan-Page (german)

Initial release of this page: August 30, 1998
Last update:


Pro and Con
Bundled Software

2 color TFT-LCD panels with 180.000 pixels each; 3 pixels, a triad - red, green, blue - represent one colored pixel 

stereo headphones 



15-pin VGA-pass-through 
cinch composite NTSC video 
9-pin RS-232 for headtracking 
3.5 mm stereo sound from soundcard 
cinch stereo sound from VCR 

Control Elements:

sound volume control 
color tint (NTSC-video only) 
eye-distance control 
focus left eye 
focus right eye 
headtracking recenter push button 

Video mode select - 10 modes :

for NTSC video: 

- 2D-Video 
- 3D-Video (frame sequential) 
- 3D-Video (frame sequential) stereo-reversed 
- Video SLS - what's that? 
- Video E - what's that? 

for VGA: 

- 2D-VGA 
- 3D-VGA (line sequential) lo-res 
- 3D-VGA (line sequential) lo-res stereo-reversed 
- 3D-VGA (line sequential) hi-res 
- 3D-VGA (line sequential) hi-res stereo-reversed



- no ghosting
- poor image quality, most text messages unreadable
- no flicker
- low resolution
- strong immersion
- heavy eye-strain
- works with any graphics hardware
- difficult setup of helmet and optics system prior to each use
- lush colors
- discontinued product - no service - no driver updates
- headtracking
- no 3D-page-flipping support for VGA-input, i.e. no LCD-BIOS support
- PC and Video/TV/game console (NTSC) compatible
- image distortion - pillow and prismatic effects
- no ISA-slot required
- poor headphones adjustability
- low weight compared to many other helmets like VFX-1
- comfort shortcomings
- 3D-Video compatible (NTSC) i.e. Nu-View, prerecorded 3D-VHS tapes, etc.
- no PAL support - a good, clean (camera, digital source) PAL signal is displayed in black and white; a mediocre (VCR) PAL signal isn't diplayed at all
- interlaced 3D format supported in PC mode
- no see-through or lift-up visor
- 2D modes work with any software
- hi-res and/or hi-refresh modes, i.e. windows desktop, are not displayed
- constitutes an independent, portable, low-res monitor
- occupies a serial port
- VGA-pass-through cable severely hurts video signal at high resolutions - 1024x768@85Hz is a mess - CyberMaxx pass-through cable has to be removed in order to work with the computer
- does not work with current H3D or Wicked3D stereo formats, i.e. no above-below or page-flipping format support


The weight of the CyberMaxx at about 400g is much lower than that of for example the VFX-1 at 1300g, but not as evenly distributed. The weight lies on the nose or forehead.

Optical System

The lenses of the CyberMaxx can be adjusted horizontally, but not vertically. The vertical adjustment is done by the headbands whcih means you have to adjust the whole helmet in order to get the optical system at the right eye-height. The image quality and brightness changes with every millimeter the CyberMaxx is moved on the head. The whole adjustment is incredibly delicate, but satisfying results are possible after some practice. As far as I know the VFX-1 sits on the headd in a fixed position, while the lenses are adjustable in all directions. I think that solution may work better.

The lenses are so close to the eyes that they touch the eyelash sometimes, which is irritating. I don't think that was intended by the designers, but I can't find another position which works for me. Prescribed glasses can not be used with the CyberMaxx. The optical system of the helmet accomodates for most eye-problems.

The lenses are very thick and cause heavy eyestrain. In the evening when my eyes got tired I can't use the CyberMaxx, because the eyes can't focus within the system anymore. I must admit that I'm a computer-grandpa - 31 years. Virtual Reality is something for the young people. Did you ever tried a Viewmaster? Well, the Viewmaster optics are wonderful compared to the CyberMaxx. The lenses are so strong they produce a prismatic effect, i.e. colored borders around objects. The image is also distorted like a pillow.


The headphones look like average walkman headphones. They can be adjusted horizontally, but not vertically, just like the optical system. After adjusting the optics it may be that the headphones are below or above the ears. Bad solution - poor sound in my case.


The headtracking is an interesting feature. Due to the strong immersion the system provides one can't stop from moving the head to follow the movements on the screen whether there is headtracking or not. With headtracking enabled it's just much more fun. The headtracking is somehow jerky of course, but the overall effect is better and easier to handle than I thought.


The CyberMaxx displays any VGA-signal up to at least 640x480@60Hz. The quality of the image is far below of what you came to expect from a 640x480 scree resolution. A 640x480 signal looks slightly better than a 320x200 though, especially in Stereo3D-mode. Quake1 and Terminal Velocity in Stereo3D are real highlights on the system.
Using the CyberMaxx for video playback, either AVI, MPEG on the PC or analogue video from the VCR the loss of image quality, especially resolution, appears to be not as severe as in PC applications and games.

The CyberMaxx does work with 3Dfx boards, but is not compatible to the page-flipping or above-below stereo format of H3D or Wicked3D titles.


When it comes to Stereoscopic3D on the PC the CyberMaxx supports any program which provides an interlaced Stereo3D format. The VGA-board must not be set to interlace-mode though!!!!
As the author of the Stereoscopic 3D Homepage I use 90 percent of my time to try to explain the difference between interlace-format and interlace-mode.
Interlace-mode is a special form of hardware-page-flipping performed by the graphics hardware. This is not allowed, nor required by the CyberMaxx.
The picture of the horse you see above has an interlaced-structure, but your VGA-card and monitor are most likely not in interlaced mode at the moment. That's what the CyberMaxx uses: interlaced images and a non-interlaced standard VGA-signal.

The video-in port of the CyberMaxx for TV, VCR, Camcorders and game-consoles accepts frame-sequential 3D - that's a different story.


Upon release the price of the CyberMaxx was over a 1000 dollars. Since the system has several problems this price was totally unacceptable. No wonder the thing was no success. Now that the company is out of business and the price dropped below $200, sometimes even below $100 it's a hi-tech toy. It's interesting to play around with the concepts of immersive displays and headtracking. There's a lot to learn from that experience. At least you can impress your friends by owning a real VR-helmet, like the guys in the movies and on TV. It also makes a nice, but eye-straining, portable monitor for your camcorder or game-console.

Don't expect too much, but the baby has it's moments. Hurtling around a mountain in Stereoscopic3D in Terminal Velocity gives you a glimpse of the future of immersive displays. There are certain aspects no monitor and no shutterglasses can provide. The immersion, the strong stereo3D effect, the absence of ghosting, the unusual, lush colors. Problem is there's not much to see due to the poor resolution. The eyes can't relax one moment. It's like looking onto a 15 inch monitor from 10 inch distance. There's no illusion of a distant big screen like the manufacturers of such devices claim. The eyes have to focus onto a really close point. Another problem is that there's nothing to really focus on, because there is no sharpness in the image. It is somehow blurred, period.

HMDs are the future, that's for shure. The CyberMaxx can provide a little, humble preview of that future, no more - no less.

Content of the german CyberMaxx CD-ROM and util-floppy:

setup utils
CTMF emulator to run programs designed 
for older versions of the headtracker
Flight Unlimited OEM
Locus Demo
VR Slingshot Demo
yes ?
Cyberbykes Demo
yes ?
Witchhaven Demo
Tekwar Demo
yes ?
Dark Forces Retail Patch
Flight Sim Toolkit Retail Patch
Wings of Glory Engl. Retail Patch
Mech Warrior II Retail Patch
Fortress of Dr. Radiaki Retail Patch
TekWar Retail Patch
Witchaven Retail Patch
MousMaxx Doom Headtracking
DoomMaxx Doom Headtracking
RottMaxx Rise o.t. Triad Headtr.

For more CyberMaxx compliant Stereo3D application and game software check the various software charts on this website.

The CyberMaxx 2.0 system was provided by

One Dimension More - Eine Dimension Mehr
List of Sponsors and Supporters
Please consult the HMD Comparison Chart for a complete market-overview.

Brand and product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.
Most images are "borrowed" from the official manufacturer sites.
The author can not guarantee the accuracy of the information given on this page.
Christoph Bungert, Germany