Glasses-Free 3D Experience Coming from Dolby

By Joe Rizzo January 18, 2013

At this year’s CES, Dolby 3D introduced a glasses-free 3D TV. The 3D technology is built into the flat screen so you have the comfort of watching 3D TV without the glasses. Dolby 3D delivered a TV that offers HD 3D with a crisp, clear, three-dimensional image without the use of 3D glasses. The 3D intensity can be customized, so if you are sensitive to 3D but still want to enjoy 3D films and TV, you don’t have to suffer a headache for a good 3D viewing experience.

Dolby, normally associated with sound, was working on a prototype 3D TV in April 2012. One of the major problems with 3D viewing is that you have to be sitting right in front of the image in order to get a real 3D effect. Dolby glasses free 3D is a suite of technologies that was developed by Dolby and Philips that is applied to both 3D content and displays.

The glasses-free TV that Dolby introduced has the 3D technology built into the flat screen, made possible by the use of 4K panels. The term 4K refers to the horizontal resolution that exists in digital TV and digital cinematography. They both have 4,000 pixels.

The use of a super-high-resolution 4K panel is one reason why these TVs provide high-quality 3D. They aim a separate image at each of your eyes, and with so much resolution, they’ve got enough pixels to create two sharp HD pictures. A TV using a 1080p panel couldn’t really do glasses free 3D in HD. This technology also converts 2D displays real-time into sharp and crisp 3D. The main reason that these glasses free 3D TVs are still prototypes is the availability of appropriate 4K panels. 

Image via 3D Focus

There are several companies working on glasses-free 3D TVs. Earlier this year, Dimenco unveiled Nabla. Several other companies were also showing prototype glasses-free 3D TVs at CES 2013 including Vizio, which is basically using the same 4K technology. Roland Vlaicu, director of technical marketing at Dolby, thinks its technology will benefit from a better 4K, 3D-capable display panel than Vizio used. Vlaicu said Dolby doesn’t expect TVs based on its technology to ship until next year.

Not only are more movies being produced in 3D for the theaters, but there are a lot of older movies that are being remade in 3D. People are going to want to watch these movies at home. That means that there will definitely be a large market for glasses-free 3D televisions in the very near future. But unless the quality improves to the point that it does not matter where you are sitting, and the price is affordable, will it be a worthwhile investment?

Edited by Rachel Ramsey

TechZone360 Contributing Writer

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