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Toshiba Readying No Glasses 3D TV

Andy Vandervell


Toshiba Readying 'No Glasses' 3D TV

We already had a fair amount of pre-IFA leakage yesterday, but we reckon Toshiba might just steal the show if the glasses-free 3D TV being touted today makes an appearance at the Berlin trade show.

According to Japanese daily newspaper, Yomiuri Shimbun, the company will be bringing out three new models this year and they will cost "several thousand dollars". The sets will emit rays of light at varying angles to create the 3D effect, and ensure that users can enjoy the 3D effect from various positions.

This is bound to be a boon for anyone who fancies 3D, but doesn't enjoy the expense, or experience of wearing, active shutter glasses that tend to cause eye-strain. Details are extremely thin right now, but given this news has appeared prior to IFA we'd be very surprised were these 3D TVs not to make an appearance.



Sam JB

August 24, 2010, 6:51 pm

Cool, saw some of these no glasses TVs recently (Alioscopy) - although they may have used a different technology to Toshiba's redition. IMO passive monitors are much better, can't really understand why companies haven't pushed them into the consumer market. So much less eye fatigue than active, and much more immersive than these no glasses sets.

Greg Shewan

August 24, 2010, 6:52 pm

Finally,this is the moment 3D TV needs if it is ever going to get off the ground, those active shutter specs are truly awful.... I hope Toshiba brings their A game!

They need to start driving panel prices down too, even decent LCDs and Plasmas are still too expensive to be called consumer goods. I think the best strategy is somehow cramming a 3D experience in a 32' TV and sell as many as you can (preferably without specs), and therefore force production to increase. Volume = savings.


August 24, 2010, 7:16 pm

Yippee! I really wouldn't bother to buy a 3D tv until 'no glasses' technology hits the mainstream. Went and saw Toy Story 3 in 3D last night, and it reminded me how annoying it is having to wear special glasses (particularly as I already wear glasses).


August 24, 2010, 7:17 pm

Unless it detects where each person is in the room and magically directs a separate beam from each pixel to each person's left and right eye, it must use a large-ish number of differently angled slices to create its 3D effect, so your left eye sees a different slice to your right. They'll need to be very careful about calibration for viewing distance (as the relative angle to the left and right side of the screen varies according to distance from the screen) and there would be some unpleasant effects if one of your eyes happened to fall on the transition between two slices, but at least you get a form of parallax effect as you move your head, provided there are enough slices.

The biggest problem I can see is that the fundamental difference created by the need for many slices makes this pretty impractical - live action video can't realistically produce more than a small number of slices (heck, stereoscopic filming is hard enough, never mind trying to get a rig with fifteen cameras on it) so that's not going to happen. You could readily produce as many slices as you want with rendered content, given enough processing horsepower, but cramming 15 (this is arbitrary, could be more or less) angles on a Blu-ray isn't going to be easy, nor will the current generation of consoles have any chance of generating that many angles of smooth graphics. Not to mention the Blu-ray and HDMI specifications make no provision for this.

As a tech demo, it will doubtless be impressive. In practice, I can't see it working in anything but the nichest of niche situations (billboards and ads like the ones on the escalators at London Underground stations spring to mind).


August 24, 2010, 7:28 pm

Im surprised its taken so long for a TV manufacturer to announce a non specs 3D TV. When 3D started to pick up again many predicted a format battle between glasses based TVs and non glasses based but the likes of the Sony TV reviewed earlier have stolen a march on these 3D TVs.

I kind of agree with John McLean. The 3DS works really well because you have the handheld a foot from your face and are always at the perfect viewing angle. For a home cinema Im sure something like this will work really well when you have a TV set up at an optimum position and distance but in a regular living room its going to be crap.

Fingers crossed though!

Sam JB

August 24, 2010, 8:14 pm


That's where the companies that provide these screens are currently aiming. Directly at digital signage and it's a bigger niche than it sounds.

You are correct in regards to the amount of data there is and not only is it a large amount of data but a very high rate of data transfer too(we're talking multiple PCIe SSDs in RAID for a reasonably detailed movie).

Of course, it would be possible to set up an autostereoscopic TV on Blu-Ray with a lower data transfer rate. However, only one angle could be veiwed, and therefore (in terms of consumer sized displays) it would only be suitable for one user/viewer at a time.

I have a feeling that this news has been somewhat hyped up. What we may see is Toshiba bringing out several displays meant purely for the commercial market and, unlike some commercial tech, there are a lot of obstacles to overcome before we see it in our living rooms.

Like I said previously I really hope manufacturers start to push passive displays through, okay so at the moment you have to live with half resolution on large screens, but it's a problem that is being combatted by people like True3Di, producing full res per eye displays. I have a feeling though, that we'll see passive consumer projectors (think lower cost LG CF3D) before we see passive TVs.


August 24, 2010, 10:42 pm

I reckon it will only display the standard two frames, one for each eye, but it will alternately project them along an arc, say 120 degrees, at intervals, say 12 degrees. This example would have five 'sweet spots' around the TV instead of the usual one. If that's the case it might work for a home environment, as long as you position your chairs accordingly, but it's hardly ideal. With such lens trickery going on, there could also be other side effects. Just my prediction.

Sounds interesting though.


August 24, 2010, 10:48 pm

Wouldn't PC monitors been a great place to start with this kind of tech? I am in the market for a new monitor, in fact I have been for a while but really don't see the point till this 3D stuff settles down.

I don't know if I really want 3D or if I would find it a must have but the glasses are really putting me off. Not only because you have to wear them for the effect, keep them charged and pay quite the premium but also due to the loss in contrast. I hear it's pretty bad. We really need this tech to ditch the glasses.


August 25, 2010, 2:32 am

I remember watching a Philips native 3D TV some four years ago. That was a demo LCD screen and worked surprisingly well. It also had a reasonable angle of view @John. So it's wholly possibly to produce a 3D TV without glasses and over the last number of years that tech has too improved. So watch out all you early adopters, your set will be assigned to the tech corner sooner than you realise....


August 25, 2010, 4:02 am

@Guy I saw a Phillips 40-42inch native 3D-TV at this year's Farnborough airshow in July on the Russian stand. It was impressive. I tried viewing it at different angles and distances and it didn't seem to have any adverse effect.

I then latter saw another well known AV company's 3D-TV using glasses. I passed on it!! Wasn't interested in wearing the glasses to see standard sales garb.

After years of giving contemptuous miss to 3D I had no hesitation in forking out extra cash and time to see Avatar 3D at the BSI's IMAX cinema. I was suitably very impressed despite the naf viewing glasses and I believe now 3D is here to stay - if they can live up to Avatar's standards. If companies like Samsung and Panasonic produced the 'affordable' 3D quality tvs as recently reviewed as opposed to the ridiculously priced Sony 3D tv reviewed presently.

So yes what's the problem manufacturers giving, sorry selling, it to masses? I suppose the big multinational can afford to cough up £/$5-10K! Maybe you'll finally make our X-mass this year?


August 25, 2010, 4:11 am

I've seen a couple of recent demos of specs-free 3D... and found it a very odd experience.

The sort of prism distortion effect of the screens produced (for me at least) the impression of watching something that had a very blocky/low-res appearance and the slightest side-to-side movement of your head was severely detrimental to the 3D effect.

In short - I hope Toshiba's tech is based on a different and greatly superior approach, otherwise specs are looking like the better of two uncomfortable options.


August 25, 2010, 11:59 am

To all those that are really enthusiastic about this an that wonder why manufacturer's have gone the active route, the problem with this tech is you fundamentally change the TV. This means you have a whole other set of problems with getting the 2D quality of the picture right. In contrast, an active 3D TV is simply a normal TV, whether ultra high-end or bog standard, and the 3D is added with no I'll effects to 2D, and being as 99 percent of what you watch is 2D that is what's most important. Obviously the 3D still needs to be decent but from my experience it is okay on these active sets, and I'll be very surprised if this passive tech is significantly better..


August 25, 2010, 1:37 pm

I have seen pictures on a no-specs 3d tv in the ground floor reception of the O2 Finchley cinema. It did require you to stand in a sweet spot to see the picture and get the effect, and the sweet spots are seperated by about 10-15 degrees. The picture is not composed of slices. You don't see more of the side of an object by moving to the next sweet spot. You just see the same 3d image, but from a slightly different place.

Truth is, the picture quality wasn't that great, but I suspect that it could be massively improved if targeted by the kind of investment which has gone into glasses based 3d systems.

Mike 39

August 25, 2010, 3:46 pm

Having tried a pr of demo sony 3D glasses in front of a sony 3D demo set in a shop, I definately won't be buying into 3D unless they can produce the same effect without having to wear glasses. I found it uncomfortable on my eyes and though the effect wasn't too bad, it definately wasn't an experience I would want to go through to watch 3D tv generally. So unless 3D tv takes off with out the need to wear these glasses, I'll stick with 2D tv thanks.


August 26, 2010, 6:29 pm

I think the glasses take a lot of heat that is probably undeserved. Some people find them physically uncomfortable (I imagine particularly those who already wear prescription glasses), and in those cases I can understand the objection, but others seem to object on principle (and admittedly they do look a bit absurd) or because they blame their poor experiences with 3D on the glasses rather than the underlying display technology. Thing is, I think those same people might find autostereoscopic 3D objectionable - the lack of a parallax effect when you move your head can be disorientating (and in some people causes nausea), as can the fact that your eye is forced to focus at a different depth to where your brain expects a 3D 'object' to be. Add in cross-talk (which I'd expect is likely to be solved within a generation or two of 3D TVs and active shutter glasses, but which is probably more of a potential problem with autostereoscopy, as moving your head even fractionally will put one eye or the other into the other's plane) and it's clear why some people have a problem.

Autostereoscopy also has its own problems, as noted above - there are resolution issues, and if it alternates the same two images across various sweet spots, then unless you are in a sweet spot you must easily be able to end up with right and left eyes in the wrong planes, so you get a screwed up reverse 3D image that will really bend your brain. Who wants to have to arrange their living room furniture around the sweet spots built into their TV at factory level (I can't see how mass produced lenticular lenses could possibly be customisable to set your TV up according to your room, so you'd be stuck with whatever the manufacturer decided was best)? Personally I'm okay with 3D glasses, and I remain hugely sceptical that there will be any other viable way to watch 3D content in the foreseeable future. Sorry to burst everyone's bubble, but with current optical technology, that's just the reality of the situation.

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