1. Computing

Discuss in my forum

3D Without Glasses - Can I Watch 3D TV Without Glasses?

By

Toshiba No-Glasses 3D TV at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show

Toshiba No-Glasses 3D TV at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show

Photo (c) Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com
Question: 3D Without Glasses - Can I Watch 3D TV Without Glasses?
Answer: Currently, all 3D TV viewing available for consumers has to be done by wearing 3D glasses. However, there are technologies in various stages of development that can enable you to see a 3D image on a TV or other type of video display device without glasses.

So far, no-glasses 3D viewing is becoming available on some cellphones and portable game devices. In order to view the 3D effect, you have to look at the screen from a specific viewing angle.

However, the no-glasses 3D concept is being demonstrated in a larger screen TV screen form factor as Toshiba, Sony, and LG all showed prototype glasses-free 56-inch 3D TVs at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show.

What makes these TVs groundbreaking is that they sport 4K resolution (four times more than 1080p) for 2D images, and full 1080p for each eye in 3D mode. However, the viewing angle is limited for 3D viewing (about 15 degrees on either side of the center of the screen), which makes them currently impractical for general consumer availability, but the race is on.

With Toshiba, LG, and Sony all onboard with this developing technology, it will be interesting to see which one makes it to store shelves first. In talking to Toshiba reps at CES 2011, they seemed confident that Toshiba will be ready by 2012. However, before no-glasses 3D is viable, it must allow for wider viewing angle and must also be affordable. However, it is no longer a matter of if no-glasses 3D TV is possible, but when it can be made available to consumers.

In another encouraging note, "AutoStereoscopic Displays" (the technical name for no-glasses 3D TVs) being developed for the consumer market, are designed to work with all current 2D and 3D systems now in use (although LG's prototype is currently only capable of displaying 3D). In other words, you will be able to watch TV in either 2D or 3D, and if you own a 3D Blu-ray Disc player, 3D Blu-ray Discs, or 3D compatible home theater receiver, they will be compatible with all no-glasses 3D TVs when such sets are available. This is an absolute requirement if no-glasses 3D TVs are to be acceptable to consumers.

For more details on my impressions of Toshiba's no-glasses 3D TV, including a video clip of no-glasses 3D TV in action, check out my past guest appearance on the AV Rant Podcast.

For technical info on the various technologies used in no-glasses 3D TVs, check out the article 3D TV Without Glasses and How It Works posted by 3DTVGuide.org

You can be sure that as more details become available on no-glasses 3D TVs, this site will bring you the news...

Proceed to the Next Question or Return to the 3D Home Theater Basics FAQ Intro Page

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.