Toshiba to launch glasses-free 3DTVs in December

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Toshiba says it has cleared one of the biggest obstacles for 3DTV adoption by developing the world’s first television set that won’t require users to wear special glasses to view stereoscopic images. The new Regza line of glasses-free 3DTVs will include a 20-inch and a 12-inch model and should be available in Japan by December. Before you get excited, though, we should note that Toshiba’s TVs suffer from the same the problems that plague glasses-free 3D screens: limited viewing angles.

The recommended viewing angle for both models is 40 degrees (20 degrees on each side), while a distance of three feet for the 20-inch or two feet for the 12-inch model is required for the lenses to hit properly. Price will likely be an obstacle as well. According to reports, Toshiba’s 3D Regza GL1 range will cost the equivalent of $1,400 and $2,800 for the 12 and 20-inch model, respectively. As PC World notes, right now you can get a 50-inch Samsung 3DTV from Best Buy with two pairs of glasses for around $990 – not to mention a wide variety of non-3D high definition LED-backlit LCD TVs.

Toshiba acknowledged the technology is still imperfect. Nevertheless, the company says it wants to lead the market in glasses-free 3DTVs and that they would certainly be doing. They didn’t mention any plans to sell these TVs outside the Japanese market but said they’ll continue working to eventually to sell larger models as well.

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