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Glasses-Free 3D Gets Ready For Prime Time

2/07/2011 12:01:00 AM Eastern

NEW YORK — Among the diverse new approaches for
developing the burgeoning 3D TV market was an attempt
by several manufacturers at the recent International CES
to test the U.S. waters for glasses-free 3D TV.

Several manufacturers showed prototype glasses-free
displays, with varying degrees
of success in presenting the illusion
of 3D.

On the surface, the concept
appears to be the panacea for
most of what ails the nascent 3D
TV movement.

Most consumers who have
expressed disinterest in 3D
TV in focus studies have cited
high price and the need to wear
glasses as the greatest impediment
to making a purchase.

The glasses-free concept
demos at the show offered hope
that very soon glasses-free 3D
sets will be viable market drivers.
Limitations in most of the
demos were a very narrow viewing
angle to see the effect, and warnings by several set
makers that the technology could make some people feel
discomfort and could be harmful to young children, while
their vision develops.

One company is already planning to deliver a set to market
in coming months.

New York-based Team ACX showed what may be the
first auto-multiscopic glasses-free 3D LCD TV to reach
the U.S. market. The 24-inch set produces high-resolution
3D images that can be viewed without special glasses.

Called the Vibrante 3DX-24 ($800 suggested retail), the
3D set will display FullHD 1080p 3D content and includes
an ATSC tuner, HDMI, component, VGA, S-Video, and composite
inputs, a 20,000:1 dynamic
contrast ratio, 5ms response time
and a 16:9 aspect ratio.

ACX said the Vibrante will be
distributed nationwide exclusively
by M. Rothman & Co.

It is scheduled to be available
at selected retailers and online etail
stores later this year, the company
said.

Several manufacturers tested
prototypes on CES attendees.

Sony showed early prototypes
of glasses-free LCD TVs and a
glasses-free 3D OLED display.
These included a 56-inch 4K
pixel LCD monitor, a 46-inch 2K
pixel LCD and a 24.5-inch 2K
pixel OLED display.

Toshiba showed 65-inch, 56-inch, 20-inch and 12-inch
lenticular glasses-free 3D panels, but all were prototypes
with no immediate plans for commercial introduction in the
United States.

The larger screens offered 4K resolution in 2D only, and
enabled viewing a 3D effect from three positions in front
of the screen.