The next TV revolution: Britain's first glasses-free 3D television goes on sale... at the eye-popping price of £7,000

The next TV revolution: Britain's first glasses-free 3D television goes on sale... at the eye-popping price of £7,000

  • Array of tiny lenses 'aims' left eye and right eye images at each viewer
  • Face-tracking technology inside set 'sees' where viewers are sitting
  • Screen has a resolution of 4000x3000 pixels
  • First consumer TV with '4K' resolution - even though there is no way to watch a film in 4K so far
  • Peter Jackson is to film The Hobbit in '4K'

Britain’s first glasses-free 3D TV goes on sale next week, but it will cost you £7000 to watch.
The Toshiba ZL2 uses incredibly powerful computer processing to ‘beam’ 3D visuals to each person watching - who can ditch the silly specs you have to wear with other 3D TVs.
The ZL2 delivers a second first in the pixel-packed form of ultra high-definition resolution - it is capable of '4K' resolutions - four times current hi-def sets.
Toshiba's 'naked eye' 3D set will be 55 inches, and capable of '4K' resolution - a super-hi-def format four times the resolution of current HD sets

The £6999 Toshiba ZL2 goes on sale on Monday 12 March, exclusively at the flagship John Lewis store in Oxford Street; Harrods will be taking pre-orders a week later.
It could mark a revolution in 3D televisions - consumers are still lukewarm about the technology, and most surveys indicate that the problem is that people aren't comfortable wearing glasses.
Unlike previous 'glasses-free' technologies, Toshiba's uses a 'face tracking' system so that each person sees 'perfect' 3D.
Earlier 'glasses free' sets, such as ones pioneered by Philips, required you to be sat precisely in front of them to see 3D rather than a weird blur - and even then the effect was jarring and artificial.
Toshiba's technology uses high-powered computers in the 'back' of the television to 'aim' separate beams of parallax 3D at each viewer.
'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 to achieve the 3D effect,' says the company.
'To deliver a glasses-free 3D image and experience, a range of lenticular lenslets guide the dedicated images to each viewer.The ZL2 is able to provide 3D images for up to nine different viewing positions, enabling multiple people to enjoy simultaneous 3D viewing, with no glasses required.'
The 'lenslets' are tiny lenses that 'focus' the image towards each viewer, using 'face tracking' to ensure each person sees a correct left eye and right eye image.
'In addition, to tailor the viewing experience to the viewers’ actual positions in front of the TV, the 55ZL2 features face tracking technology. At the touch of a button, it is able to detect the viewers’ position and to adjust the viewing zones accordingly by moving the lenslets as required.'
Companies such as Sony are already shooting films in 4K - a super-high-def resolution touted as the 'next generation' of high definition. Toshiba's set is the first consumer TV with the technology - although there are no video players on the market capable of showing anything in 4K, or even any discs stored in the format.
The TV can also 'upscale' any 2D content into 3D - although it remains to be seen how convincing this function is. Other televisions' attempts to 'upscale' into 3D have looked unconvincing.

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