Toshiba Unveils Glasses-Free HDTVs4 Oct, 2010 By: Chris Tribbey
Hoping to snare consumers who don’t like glasses with their 3DTVs, Toshiba Oct. 4 unveiled two LCD 3DTVs that don’t need them.
Available by the end of the year in Japan, the 3DTVs will be available in 12- and 20-inch sizes, and allow for 2D viewing as well. Toshiba did not reveal prices, or say when the 3DTVs would be available elsewhere.
“The commercial launch of our 12-inch and 20-inch 3DTVs without glasses in Japan is a first step into the 3D future in the consumer home cinema market,” said Sascha Lange, head of marketing for Toshiba Visual Products, Europe. “But it will take several years to develop larger 3DTVs without glasses with screen sizes of 40 inches and more at a yet reasonable price point.
“Those who want to enjoy the 3D home cinema experience on a large screen already today are well served by 3DTV using active shutter glasses.”
To date commercially available 3DTVs have used active-shutter glasses, while more than one manufacturer has announced 3DTVs that use passive glasses. Toshiba’s new 3DTVs use a “perpendicular lenticular sheet,” made up of a series of lenses that directs light in front of the display at nine different points, turning a 2D image into 3D. Toshiba said the 3DTVs will offer a wide viewing area that will allow people to turn their heads and move their eyes without losing the effect.
John Lowry, co-founder of home 3D company TrioScopics, said the 3DTVs may put off a neat picture, but only for one person, due to the small screen size and the distance viewers need to be from the screen.
“It will add utter confusion to the marketplace,” he said. “They talk about personal use, but what about your wife, what about your kids?”
Until larger screen sizes with lenticular technology can be developed cheaply, Lowry said its best use is for signage and packaging.