Toshiba shows off glasses-less 3D TVs

The displays are small, the prices are large, and the seating area is specific. But still, a longtime goal has been reached.

Toshiba 20GL1 3D TV.
Toshiba Regza 20GL1 3D TV. Toshiba

Toshiba unveiled two 3D TVs today that work without special glasses.

The Regza 20GL1 is a 20-inch flat-panel display with 1,280x720 resolution. The Regza 12GL1 is a 12-inch flat-panel display with 466x350 resolution. Toshiba unveiled the models to coincide with this week's Ceatec electronics show near Tokyo.

Toshiba said that its 3D technology, which is currently best-suited for small displays, provides "nine different perspectives of each single 2D frame." The company added that those perspectives are then "superimposed" by the viewer's brain "to create a three-dimensional impression of the image."

The 3D effect is available within a 40-degree area in front of the set, Toshiba said. According to the Associated Press, viewers must also sit two feet from the 12-inch LCD and three feet from the 20-inch LCD to view 3D content.

The new LCDs are "first step into the 3D future in the consumer home cinema market," Toshiba European marketing chief Sascha Lange said in a statement. "But it will take several years to develop larger 3D TVs without glasses with screen sizes of 40 inches and more at a yet reasonable price point."

The possibility of viewing 3D content sans glasses is something that many consumers will welcome, though.

Last month, a survey about 3D TVs showed that 30 percent of people don't like the need to wear special glasses to view 3D content.

Although Toshiba is trying to make its name in the glasses-free arena, the company is already a player in the 3D TV market. It currently sells the WX800 line of 3D TVs. Both the 46- and 55-inch models of the WX800 require glasses.

Toshiba's 20GL1 and 12GL1, which switch from 3D to 2D mode, are scheduled to be released in Japan later this year. They will retail for about $2,900 and $1,400, respectively. The company has not announced plans for availability outside of Japan.

 

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