Toshiba: glasses-free 3D coming to Europe in 2012

When in Rome,,, Toshiba shows off 3D TV
When in Rome,,, Toshiba shows off 3D TV

Toshiba announced its UK 3D TV line-up in Rome this week, with the company revealing that it will be offering both passive and active 3D TVs.

Its big plan, however, is glasses-free 3D – something that has already launched in Japan and will be ready to be launched in Europe next year.

This is according Sascha Lange, head of marketing for Toshiba Europe Visual Products, who used Toshiba's European Forum in Rome to announce that its glasses-free technology is set for big improvements and it is all down to Toshiba's R&D department.

"Many people say that it will take five years to get 3D without glasses with good picture quality," said Lange

"We can say that it will take just 12 months to get high-quality glasses-free 3D.

"This is because of our own Cevo engine and all the in-house innovation we are creating."


As glasses-less TV in Europe is at least a year away, Toshiba has decided to try its hand at both active and passive 3D TV to fill the 3D gap but it is aiming the two glasses technologies at different parts of the market.

The VL series has the tagline '3D for all the family' and uses a passive display. In the box are four pairs of RealD glasses, which are cheap to make - something Toshiba believes is the key to bringing 3D to the mainstream.

"Technology is a fast evolving beast and our position at this time that different consumers will see more value in either passive of shutter," said Glenn Zanoni, product marketing manager at Toshiba, to TechRadar.

"The VL is targeted at the family consumer and group viewing. [The passive glasses] are part of eliminating that barrier."

The WL and YL range come packing Toshiba's Cevo chip and are part of the company's premium television range. It is here that Toshiba is using active shutter technology.

It is clear that Toshiba is hedging its bets using both 3D glasses tech due to the fact that 3D in the home is still a relatively new concept.

"3D in the home has been encouraging but content is a huge part. 3D is in its infancy and content is in its infancy," said Zanoni.

"What happens in the next 12 months or so will determine what we do with our passive and active technology."

Marc Chacksfield

Marc Chacksfield is the Editor In Chief, at DC Thomson. He started out life as a movie writer for numerous (now defunct) magazines and soon found himself online - editing a gaggle of gadget sites, including TechRadar, Digital Camera World and Tom's Guide UK. At Shortlist you'll find him mostly writing about movies and tech, so no change there then.