LAS VEGAS –
iPont International promoted the concept of glasses-free 3D TV at International CES by showing a fully functioning set-top box that can handle live 3D TV feeds, streaming 3D Internet content and 3D Blu-ray for new auto-stereoscopic screens.
Slated for delivery by the end of the first quarter of 2011, the glasses-free 3D1 will be distributed by an unnamed U.S. partner that is also supplying an auto-stereoscopic 3D display that can connect to the box to complete the presentation in the home.
The company said the initial version of the device was actually placed in an operating PC, “so we can integrate these features in a PC format as well. It was a strategic decision to combine everything into a small, easy-to-use settop box that will be the union of all 3D viewing in the home theater,” said Andor Pasztor, iPont’s chief technology officer.
The company expects to market the set-top for approximately $1,311 (1,000 euros).
“To achieve the best viewing experience, the customer will also need to purchase an excellent auto-stereoscopic TV,” Pasztor explained. “We recommend displays manufactured by Tridelity, and use their displays for our own viewing.”
The Tridelity displays, he said, allow for multiple viewing angles of up to 120 degrees.
“There is no need to sit directly in the middle of the screen or worry about moving your head — you can see the 3D effect from a wide range of angles,” he said.
As for content, Pasztor said material produced with the intention of being shown in 3D will usually be superior to most converted 2D content.
iPont expects to be able to convert streaming stereoscopic 3D TV feeds (ESPN, DirecTV movie channels, Sky3D) for viewing on auto-stereoscopic displays.
“We can also convert online streamed content, such as YouTube. Other online TV channels come next, and then HDCP Broadcast TV channels, like ESPN3D,” Pasztor said. “For existing 2D material, we prefer to convert the actual source file offline for viewing back through 3D Blu-ray players.”