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Gadgets -Now You Can Too Sit Close to the TV: Toshiba Reveals 'No Glasses' 3D TV

October 04, 2010

Now You Can Too Sit Close to the TV: Toshiba Reveals 'No Glasses' 3D TV

By Tracey E. Schelmetic
TMCnet Contributor

If you like watching movies or programs in 3D but hate the glasses, Toshiba may have a new solution for you. The Tokyo-based company today introduced what it's calling “the world's first high-definition liquid crystal display 3D television” that does not require the use of special 3D glasses to experience the 3D effect.

Electronics and entertainment companies around the world are banking on 3D to fuel a new boom in TV, movies and games. Most 3D TVs on the market today rely on glasses to rapidly deliver separate images to each eye, which creates a sense of three-dimensional depth.

In its new TVs, which are available in 12-inch and 20-inch sizes, Toshiba (News - Alert) uses a “perpendicular lenticular sheet,” to achieve the 3D effect. This sheet, which consists of an array of small lenses that directs light from the display to nine points in front of the TV, requires the viewer to sit within “the optimal viewing zone” so the brain can integrate these points into a single 3D image.

“The result is precise rendering of high-quality 3D images whatever the viewing angle within the viewing zone,” Toshiba said in its release. The system is similar to what's used in Nintendo's 3DS, the company's highly anticipated hand held device that features glasses-free 3D gaming.

Critics have expressed some doubts that viewers might find the “optimal viewing zone” a little too close to the TV for comfort: suggested viewing distance for the 20-inch model is 35.4 inches and 25.6 inches for the 12-inch size, which may force consumers to re-arrange their living or family rooms to use the TV to its best effect, and they'll certain have to discard the advice of grandmothers everywhere not to sit too close to the television.

There has also been some criticism on the price of the device: $1,400 for the 12-inch television, and about twice that for the 20-inch version.

The TVs will be available in Japan by the end of the year, with no information available on worldwide availability.

Tracey Schelmetic is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Tracey's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Tammy Wolf

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