updated 08:50 am EDT, Mon October 4, 2010
Glasses-free 3D TV due out in Japan by year’s end
Toshiba Japan today that it will be the first company to bring a glasses-free 3D TV to market. The launch is planned for late December, and in Japan only. Two initial models, the 20-inch 20GL1 and 12-inch 12GL1, will both be based on the parallax barrier approach found in the Nintendo 3DS. The approach requires that viewers sit in "sweet spots" but is more comfortable over long periods and cheaper for multiple viewers.
The 20-inch model will be powered by a custom Cell processor, similar to that used in Sony’s PS3 and which was co-developed by Toshiba in conjunction with Sony and IBM. Its 20-inch 720p display is LED backlit and will also play 2D images. For maximum effect, viewers must sit back at least 2.95 feet away from the screen. It will incorporate a range of ports including CEC-capable HDMI, USB and Ethernet.
The 12-inch model drops the Cell processor, as its lower 466x350 resolution doesn't require the same level of processing power to deliver the same effect. Optimal viewing is achieved from a minimum distance of 2.13 feet. It's also equipped with LED backlighting and similar ports but can double as a photo frame, accepting SD cards loaded with JPEG images. The SD card can also play AVCHD files, and the TV can tune in 1Seg over-the-air TV when in Japan.
The 20-inch will retail for the equivalent of $2,900 and the 12-inch for $1,450. International pricing and availability has yet to be announced.