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Toshiba First to Sell Glasses-Free 3-D TV

Toshiba 3-D TV
If you live in Japan, and happen to have a few hundred thousand yen laying around, you can be amongst the first to own a 3-D TV that doesn't require special glasses. Toshiba announced today that it would be the first to market with such a display. Twenty-inch and 12-inch models of the set will hit shelves in December for ¥240,000 ($2,880) and ¥120,000 ($1,440), respectively. Instead of flashing two frames that are filtered by eye-wear to create a 3-D image, the new Regza GL1 Series sets use a technology similar to something we saw on display at CES back in January from Alioscopy at the Intel booth. A layer is added over the display that angles nine separate frames towards the proper eye.

Image processing on the TVs, which can convert 2-D images to 3-D, is handled by a Cell processor, similar to the one powering the PS3. The sets are also backlit by LEDs for lower power consumption and better contrast ratios. All of this fancy technology doesn't improve viewing angles, however. Toshiba says the ideal range of view is a 40-degree zone directly in front of the display, and the New York Times reports that images quickly become a blurry mess as you step away from the center of the screen. Still, expensive and clunky 3-D glasses have been viewed as an impediment to 3-D TV adoption. Considering the price demand for such displays, consumers don't want to drop an additional $75 on glasses or pass out eye-wear to guests before sitting down to watch some Monday Night Football. Until prices drop and TVs can pump out glasses-free 3-D images at a wide (and seamless) viewing angle, we're still going to consider the tech a novelty.

Tags: 3d, 3dtv, displays, top, toshiba, tv