3D glasses are a hot topic at CES 2011. Monster has been bragging about their $250 pair that works with any 3DTV. Samsung debuted their "lightest pair ever," weighing in at just one ounce. And Vizio — among others — have been touting the fact that their passive 3DTVs work with the cheap-o polarized glasses you get at the movies.
But what has really caught our attention are those that have managed to nix the eyewear all together.
Three companies currently have glasses-free 3DTV demos on the show floor: Toshiba, LG and Sony. Samsung's glasses-free solution is MIA despite making an appearance at last year's initial 3DTV. Sharp has several devices that use the technology, but none of them are TVs. A rep from Mitsubishi came right out and told us that they don't have much interest in the idea until the technology is more "figured out." Panasonic too.
It's all a little disappointing.
Our first experience with glasses-free 3D at this year's show was with Toshiba's 65-inch panel. We lined up our toes with the black footprints carefully taped to the ground and it still took several seconds to lock onto the 3D effect, which was surprisingly easy to lose. When the effect is working, it's more subtle than with active or even passive glasses, but even when you're properly aligned, the film that helps create the 3D effect gives the look of a screen door overlaying the screen. When it's not working? Break out the Aspirin.
Despite its short comings, Toshiba is the only manufacturer on the floor who will at least speculate on bringing their solution to market, and before the end of this fiscal year no less. Toshiba reps claim that they're working hard to improve the viewing angle issues, but even if that's solved there are still plenty of barriers to overcome. In order to deliver full-HD 3D without the shutter effect, they need to use a 4K panel (one with approximately four times the resolution of 1080p HD), which means just about everything you'll watch, including Blu-ray, will need to be upscaled (and that the panel itself will be ridiculously expensive). Watching just about any kind of broadcast TV is going to result in an extremely ugly experience.
LG's panel looked dedidedly better, even though it's being touted as little more than a "future 3D technology" demo. They opted for a 55-inch, 4K side-lit panel with local dimming which drastically improved the picture quality. They say you need to sit in a sweet spot about 12-feet away to maximize the effect, but it works to about 14-feet.
While LG's panel is encouraging, it's clear that Sony is going to have to bear much of the burden in pushing glasses-free tech forward if they want to cash out on having bet the farm on 3D. They brought three prototype displays with them to show off. Unfortunately, and in typical Sony fashion, they're extremely reluctant to give up specifics. Their 56-inch 4K TV is easily the best looking of the bunch. The viewing angle is solidly ahead of everyone else, it churned out excellent blacks (in the blackout-curtained viewing room, anyway), and the screen-door effect that plagues the Toshiba is far less noticeable.
Unfortunately, the only other info we were able to squeeze out of the person manning the demo was that there was "an entire room full of gear" behind the TV making it go.
Despite its diminuitive size, Sony's 24.5-inch OLED display is also a good reminder of how much potential glasses-free 3D has. The high pixel density and ridiculous contrast ratios offered by OLED give it serious punch, even though it's only a traditional 1080p screen as opposed to 4K.
Glasses-free 3D tech has made its way into all kinds of other tech on the show floor this year, too. You can find everything from smartphones, laptops, digital photo frames to mobile TVs like Sony's 10.1-inch portable concept. But the focus really needs to shift back to the big screen where 3D can achieve its ultimate goal: immersion, without the hoaky eyewear.
This article is republished from our sister site Sound+Vision
About thirthy years ago they showed a 3-D sample of a baseball game. It was shown on regular T.V.'s. You could see it without glasses! It was only in Black& White, but it worked !! I guess the problem was the wexpense of the camera and Computer needed. It couldn'hown in color, and that was what they were working on,then it would be avaiable for all T.V.'s !! What Happened??
Back in 2000 I used 3-d glasses to play computer games with games not made in 3-d. I don't know what all the hoopla is about with 3-d intergration with movie watching. It shouldn't be as expensive as they are making it out to be. It's all about money in the pocket.
Would you mind clairifying what you did with your computer back in 2000? I don't mean to insult your intelligence if you found some way to make it work, but using 3D glasses wouldn't do anything but skew the colors and make your eyes hurt.
3D glasses (then) were just plastic: transparent blue on one eye, and transparent red on the other. They don't make anything appear 3D.
The new ones don't either. They are nicer, but they acomplish the same thing; how to get a steroscopic view from one screen. The old ones worked by two different pictures of a scene shot from slightly different angles shown on top of eachother. One was a red rendering, the other was blue. (These were typically both on top of the normal picture, so you got decent colouring in both eyes).
The blue/red glasses would then filter out of of the pictures for each eye, letting each eye see a similar but different angle of the shot, which your brains integrates into an image with depth.
The new ones have the TV oscilate between two images while each eye turns opaque in tandum, resulting in the same one-view-per-eye trick.
So, in short, if your computer games didn't run a double image of themselves in blue and red, then your 3D glasses would have done nothing as far as making it 3D. There wouldn't have been steroscopic images, and there wouldn't have been filtering.
Though I agree with you, the hype over 3D itself is a little over-the-top. I personally don't care much at all, and I certainly don't care $1000+ worth.
I can't see 3D TV getting off the ground until it works without the dorky glasses.
Let's just focus on holograms please.
I don't get what the big deal is with "dorky glasses"???
You're watching a movie... not staring into the eyes of everyone else watching the movie... why does it matter if you look silly wearing glasses?
Who's there to look at you instead of the movie and laugh about it?
Plus, I already wear glasses just to see... it's not a big deal. People wear sunglasses all the time... no biggie.
Obviously it's not a "comfort" thing with glasses... it's just some stupid "vanity" issue? Seriously?
Maybe they can hire a celebrity to say 3D glasses are cool. I bet Kanye could be convinced to give up his stupid plastic "bars" glasses for some 3D glasses... and then the lemmings would be rushing to buy the "cool" 3D glasses.
For me at least, it is not about glasses being "dorky". It is about spending 200 dollars per person (4 people in a house = 800 dollars) extra to watch TV. Its about losing your glasses in the couch, its about your dog chewing them up, stepping on them, and the general annoyance of having to find and put on a pair of glasses just to watch TV. TV and movies are a lazy activity. You do them passively, you dont want to put forth effort. I just want to sit down and watch.
the price on the glasses will come down like anything else tech related. Does anyone remember a game in the mid 90's that was holographic and video based? there were no glasses and the hologram popped up from a dish. sort of like the little mirrored capsules that create a hologram.
my friend's sister makes $79 hourly on the internet. She has been laid off for 6 months but last month her pay was $14062 just working on the internet for a few hours. you can try here