Toshiba unveils world's first large-screen glasses-free 3D TV

Thursday, September 1st, 2011
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The 55ZL2 offers innovative first-class technology in a premium design delivering a 3D experience without the need for 3D glasses

NEUSS — Toshiba Europe GmbH (Tokyo:6502) announced the launch of the world’s first large-screen glasses-free 3D TV. The 55ZL2 has a screen of 139cm (55″) in diagonal and does not require glasses to experience 3D. Plus, the 55ZL2 is the world’s first TV targeted at consumers that comes with a Quad Full HD screen. This enables the 55ZL2 to offer a 3D TV experience that can be enjoyed by a large group of viewers and displays 2D contents in four times (Quad) Full HD resolution. The 55ZL2’s glasses-free 3D application is powered by Toshiba’s high-performance multi-processor platform CEVO-ENGINE which also allows for many more innovative applications including PERSONAL-TV, enabling the consumer to personalise TV settings, and SMART-TV applications such as USB recording and access to Toshiba Places. It also comes with an Auto Calibration feature to achieve studio level picture quality. The 55ZL2 will be available from December 2011 in Germany with release dates to be confirmed in other European countries.

A new era for 3D TV

Toshiba engineers used their skills in designing software algorithms and developing powerful consumer electronics processor technology to calculate multiple viewpoints from stereoscopic images, combined with the ability to display them at high picture quality on a large screen. In the 55ZL2, they deployed an array of lenticular lenses that are found for the first time in such a large-screen device ready for market.

Sophisticated lenslet technology delivers multiple views

The glasses-free 3D technology is based on the stereoscopic principle of simultaneously delivering a picture for the left eye and another one with a small offset (parallax) for the right eye – these are then superposed in the viewer’s brain to get the 3D effect. To achieve 3D without glasses, it is essential that the lenses guide the dedicated images to the viewer’s eyes. The Integral Imaging technology, powered by the CEVO-ENGINE, applied to the 55ZL2 delivers nine views which create multiple wide-angle viewing zones in front of the glasses-free 3D TV. This allows several viewers to enjoy the 3D experience at the same time without wearing glasses.

Face tracking optimises glasses-free 3D experience

To optimise the viewing zones in respect to the viewers’ actual positions in front of the TV, the 55ZL2 features a face tracking application. At the push of the remote, it detects the viewers’ position and sets up the total viewing experience.

Quad Full HD screen for excellent picture quality in 3D and 2D

Delivering nine views from a screen in high definition picture quality is technically challenging. Toshiba therefore embedded a panel with 3,840 x 2,160 pixels, equivalent to a Quad Full HD resolution, to allow up to nine views to be displayed simultaneously. An additional bonus of the 55ZL2’s high resolution screen is the ability to display 2D contents in Quad Full HD resolution. In other words: photos captured with an 8 Mega-Pixel camera can be displayed on screen without compromising the image quality.

By using complex algorithms, Toshiba’s Resolution+ technology converts content such as TV programmes in SD or HD resolution – as well as DVD or Blu-rayTM content in four times Full HD resolution – to make full use of the high definition of the Quad FHD display.

A smart and personalised window to the world

The 55ZL2 delivers much more than glasses-free 3DTV. It also features advanced SMART-TV functions providing access to Toshiba Places, Toshiba’s online platform offering streaming, purchasing and sharing Web-based content. Plus, it supports the HbbTV® (Hybrid broadcast broadband TV). Last but not least, the 55ZL2 allows USB recording of digital broadcasting on an external hard disk drive connected to the TV via USB. Thanks to Toshiba Apps Connect, iPhone® owners no longer need to reach for the remote control but can control the TV using their smartphone.

The 55ZL2 also features PERSONAL-TV applications: The TV is able to store personal picture settings and a personal channel list for up to four users and it supports personal grouping of recorded content. In addition, the TV set is able to remember the volume level of each user after switching off.

CEVO-ENGINE: the powerhouse behind the innovative features

The CEVO-ENGINE, Toshiba’s high-performance multi-processor platform, is the powerhouse behind the 55ZL2. The CEVO-ENGINE’s outstanding technology is able to deliver the depth information needed to create the 3D effect and then calculates nine different views. It is the only engine available in the TV market today that is able to deliver the huge calculation power required to manage the complex algorithms that implement the glasses-free 3D technology and applications.

Auto Calibration: picture quality at studio level

The 55ZL2 exploits the CEVO-ENGINE’s performance to further increase picture quality. It powers the Auto Calibration tool, which optimises the display’s settings to show movies with exactly the colours and grey scale as intended by the films’ directors. Until now, the colour-analyser -based approach was only used by professionals and required an external computer. Now the CEVO-ENGINE can carry out all calculations internally.