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How Far Away is Glasses-Less 3D TV?

11.9.10 @ 10:03AM Tags : ,

3D, 3D, 3D. Everyone’s talking about the technology and films are raking in much higher returns by utilizing it, but do any of us actually want to sit down in our living room and put on a pair of special glasses in order to watch TV? Not really. If 3D TV is going to take off in the home, it’s going to have to be sans specs. I’ve said in the past that it’s only a matter of time until this happens, and Toshiba will soon be shipping some small TVs that fit the bill. However, 3D torchbearer James Cameron has his own take on how long it will be before most of us have a glasses-free unit in our own living room:

In Cameron’s words, eight to ten years:

“Once we get to auto-stereoscopic, that’s watching 3-D without glasses, it is going to be the way we watch all of our media. That’s probably eight to 10 years away.”

3D certainly has its detractors, among them Roger Ebert, but I can’t help but agree with Cameron that it’s a matter of when, not if.

Here’s a clip of the aforementioned Toshiba units scheduled to ship in December to Japanese consumers:

I’ve wondered in the past where the 3D art films are, but Cameron reportedly spending $1 million/minute to add 16 extra minutes of footage to Avatar is perhaps an answer in and of itself. Still, with the technology making its way down to compact camcorders like the Panasonic AG3DA1 and even consumer cameras like the Panasonic GH2, I can’t help but think that 3D capture technology is ahead of 3D display tech. For anyone out there who purchased a 3D TV for your home, do you find yourself watching much content in 3D, or are your glasses just gathering dust?

[via Gizmodo]


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  • Hmm make me wonder what web design will look like in 8-10 years.
    Will we be placing content in z-space much like the 2.5d in AE.

    We have had those 3d images for a while now. You know the ones that have the ribbed plastic sheets over them and when you move them they either look like they are moving or they are 3d. Special edition movies often get covers like that. I have often wondered what it would take to use a simple idea like that in a TV. You could easily make a polarized screen to do the same effect.

    I wonder if the type of 3d on these new TVs will be different. I would imagine with out the glasses the 3d effect would look more like looking out a window, rather than the image coming out at you when wearing glasses.

  • It’s definitely a matter of when and not if, but as someone who literally just took the plunge on a Blu-Ray player yesterday, I can’t say I’m quivering with anticipation. Like HD television, when it becomes a viable option for a larger part of the market, then it will really take off.

  • Fad fad fad.

    The sooner it dies, the better. What a valueless gimmick.

  • about those 3D art films, I think they’ll come from CGI, not from cameras like those panasonics

    there’s lots of “3D CGI rendered to 2D” art films out there, and many of them would offer a better experience in full 3D, which is something I can’t say about most camera-captured content

  • Absolutely a Fad. I either hope it dies or it becomes widespread fast enough that it’s not a marketing gimmick anymore and we actually see people choosing to use 3D over depth of field as a well thought out artistic choice (like Avatar). I’m so sick of the hype around this, I don’t even mind the stupid glasses, just make a movie that uses it for a reason!

  • Haters: decry it as a fad at your own loss… there’s so much opportunity for new and creative uses in every medium, indie film especially. If you’ve seen the glasses-free tech with your own eyes, you’d understand that it can’t not be the future. Tis amazingly awesome stuff. Years away from ubiquity, but we’re well on our way.

    And true that O’Ryan: can’t wait to see some web design using z-space. And your screen overlay idea for the tv is baaaasically the concept they’re using for the glasses free display tech… effectively just using a much thinner wale on those ridges (and a ton of other sweet geekery):

  • I still don’t think 3d is necessary or even worth it for most content. What this will do is force the industry to create content around the premise of 3d, so everyday you’re going to watch stuff jumping off the screen at you? That’s retarded, not to mention it will take away from the quality of storytelling in place of greedy 3d revenue seeking. Ugh, it’s fine and fun for amusement parks, for the occasional kiddie film even, but do I need to see the Today show in 3d, do I need to watch the news in 3d, or any number of the regular shows and sitcoms. Will it really make it better? Nope, in fact it will probably make it worse, not only that, what is this kind of viewing doing to our eyes and our brain for that matter. I heard there was a study published that said it’s basically brain damage, and I can’t imagine continued and constant use being better for us. I say save the 3rd dimension for our actual lives, and let’s enjoy tv in 2d, before we’re all brain dead zombies glued to a stupid tv set (not that some aren’t far off from that already).

    • You guys are a bunch of Idiots. You know nothing about stereoscopics so you will all fall by the waste side in the future film making industry. Hey Stu, you can pull focus and do a rack focus… dummy. We are not talking about the old days of 3D this is the way your eyes work, you have 2 cameras built into your head, 2d is like viewing the world with one eye. (apologizes to people with one eye, your missing out)

  • 3D is bullshit, a desperate indication of the desperate times in which we live it’s nothing more than a gimmick. If 3D’s main proponent is James Cameron then that’s enough information to tell anyone 3D is a waste of time and effort, the guy hasn’t made a decent film in twenty five years, he’s become a salesman not a film maker.

    The whole thing is just a desperate attempt by the elite to reclaim ‘film making’ (i.e. generating profit from artistic pursuits) from anyone with enough balls to go out and buy a camcorder or DSLR and start shooting stuff.

    Unfortunately I think the really sad thing is that there’s so much money being thrown at media saturation (conditioning and brain washing) that the sheep will ‘adopt’ and 3D will become the norm, instead of the stupid theme park/’event’ movie gimmick it is.

    Fuck 3D and all who are stupid enough to sale in it, hopefully there will be an indie/underground iceberg big enough to sink the stupid piece of shit concept.

  • One of the biggest problems I have with 3D is that there’s no ability to “pull-focus” with your eyes the way you could with REAL objects. Instead, the 3D is forced, so what the film-maker decides is in focus — is in focus. Nothing but eye strain and brain confusion when you try to do anything ACTIVE with your viewing.

    I think it’s silly for narrative film-making, and merely an excuse to tack $3 onto every ticket price. It’s commerce driven, first and foremost, not a “revolutionary” technology that will change our experience. I watched Avatar in 2D the other day, and I had the exact same appreciation for it. Probably more, actually, since I didn’t have to wear glasses …

    I’ve yet to see it used in a sportscast, and I think that might be an untapped market still, but as for “regular” films/TV … I think 2D has served and will continue to serve us just fine.

  • I am sooooo tired of hearing WHEN 3D-less Tvs will come out. They have been out for a looong time, I watched one from LG at Harrod’s in London back in 2008.

    The problem is that it splits the image in half e.g. resolution is also cut in half. This means that a FullHDTV can only present a resolution in (1920×1080)/2. It would therefore require a resolution of (1920×1080)x2 to get a good resolution (not to mention real 200 Hz screen) and even Steve Jobs wold have trouble getting the money for it at this stage.

    BTW 3D is fad. Holograms however will be really neat in 10 years.

  • If I want 3D, in good resolution, I GO OUTSIDE

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