Toshiba 3DTV without glasses

Toshiba has launched what it claims are the first 3D television sets that do not require special glasses. The two sets are able to create 3D effects in real time from standard film and television pictures.

The sets use a special lenticular sheet to create an array of nine overlapping images. A viewer sees different images with each eye, creating the illusion of a 3D picture. Both Toshiba televisions use the Cell processor – originally designed for the PlayStation 3 – to process the pictures.

However, the technology requires a person to be sat in an optimal position to see clear 3D images. The electronics giant suggests a person sits 35 inches from its 20 inch set and 25 inches from the 12 inch screen. The picture is also best viewed within a 40-degree “sweet spot” in front of the set.

These limitations are why most manufacturers – including Sony, Samsung and Panasonic – use glasses to generate 3D effects. These rely on images for each eye being broadcast one after the other in rapid succession.

Toshiba said the smaller version of its new sets will cost about $1,400, and the larger one will be double the price. It is also working on a larger 56 inch model.

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