Usually when we do a post regarding some new development in the world of display R&D we end up talking about something Samsung has recently cooked up. However, despite the Korean giant’s past record, it seems that Dolby has beaten them to the punch on this one. Dolby, a company best known for its audio technologies, has demonstrated a prototype 56-inch glasses-free TV with 4K resolution.
If that doesn’t mean anything for you then listen up. Not only does this TV reportedly offer glasses-free 3D when viewed from almost any angle, its 4K resolution should be enough to make 1080p owners want to give away their TVs in disgust. For clarity 1080p means 1920×1080 pixels, 4K means 4096×3072.
Glasses-free displays have always had extremely restrictive viewing angles, which is why they’ve only seen widespread implementation in smartphones, portable consoles and other hand-held devices. Holding a device means that you’re generally going to be staring directly at it front-on. It also allows the user to adjust the distance from eye-to-screen to achieve the maximum desired clarity for the 3D effect. Televisions don’t really afford that luxury, as viewing angles in a lounge room can vary dramatically and it’s hardly practical to move yourself or your TV back and forth in order to get that 3D image to really pop.
This is the main reason that while glasses-free 3D has existed for a while now home 3D TVs still use goggles to provide the 3 dimensional experience. The goggles themselves are often cited as the main deterrent of 3D home viewing, as many people don’t like the idea of donning special glasses just to view their own television. You also need enough glasses for every person who’s watching, otherwise that 3D movie you just bought or downloaded will be useless.
Removing the glasses has the potential to not only make things easier and more comfortable for the viewer but also sell the idea of 3D home movies to the large group of consumers who so far have not been swayed. Even if these customers aren’t in it for the glasses-free 3D, if 4K TVs are only released with this technology on board that could also help the adoption of 3D along.
4K TVs aren’t breaking news, but they’re still yet to hit the market in any big way. We have to say that Dolby creating this purportedly multi viewing-angle glasses-free TV is very cool in itself, but doing it on a 4K TV just makes the concept downright exciting.
The incredible resolution offers a clarity so far beyond what we’ve seen so far with 1080p ‘full HD’ displays that the jump seems surprising at first. Where did all of those possible resolutions in between 1080p and 4K go and what took them so long to move past 1080p, anyway? In truth it doesn’t really matter, now that tablets and smartphone displays are starting to catch up to the huge 50inch+ screens in our houses it’s about time we got something significantly better.
As a result 4K screens are a sure bet to be snatched up the minute they’re available to the mainstream market at an affordable price. If, as we said before, these televisions all come with glasses-free 3D viewing as an option then it’s much more likely that people who otherwise wouldn’t have tried the technology will give it a go and find that they like it. After all, what’s the harm in trying out a function that your TV already has and thus you’ve already payed for?
Of course the merging of 4K and glasses-free as standard is completely hypothetical, but it’s still something to think about. Whether it becomes a thing or not we’re still extremely keen to see this new Dolby prototype for ourselves. If it’s as good as we’re hearing then it could definitely prove to be a game changer in the home viewing market.