back to article Glasses-free 3D TV sales stumble

Toshiba's attempt to interest us all in 3D TVs that don't require special glasses has fallen flat. The company sold fewer than half the sets it expected it would in the first month of sales, a senior executive has revealed. Masaaki Osumi, president of Toshiba's Visual Products Company, revealed the news in an interview last week …

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FAIL

SED

All over again, I fear.

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Doing it the expensive way

3DTVs with active glasses are cheap, because all you need is a normal panel with a very fast response time. 3DTVs with passive glasses are more expensive, because you need to mess around with the polariser. 3DTVs with no glasses - lenticular stylee - are always going to be expensive because you need a very high-res panel. For HD you need a *very* high-res panel, so to the average consumer these just look like poor 3D options.

If they just sold it as a quad-HD 20" television (with a computer input), I'd be more tempted. The going rate for a used T221 is about half this, but £1800 isn't bad for a new product, at least compared with 56" quad-HD prices. I'd consider getting one as a monitor. If you can turn the 3D off (if the shutter layer is switchable) and it's still usable at quad-HD, £1800 is a bargain.

I remember back at SIGGRAPH in 2004 lots of people were demonstrating lenticular 3D by sticking bits of plastic on the front of T221s. A painful thing to do to a 9MP screen, but only because I'm a resolution junkie. It took a while for someone to try to shift them to consumers, I see.

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@Andrew Garrard All Wrong

"If they just sold it as a quad-HD 20" television (with a computer input), I'd be more tempted." U have it all wrong. These 20 inch panels are not 2160p.

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@Brian 6: Only if El Reg got it wrong too

The Reg article announcing these sets, linked to in the main article, describes the 20" version as having a native panel resolution of "four times the pixel count of a 1920x1080 display". This agrees with a report at, for example. 3DRadar, and elsewhere on-line. I'm struggling to find a press release from Toshiba on the subject, admittedly, so maybe the details have been universally misreported.

Multiple reports suggest that the underlying panels are 3840x2160, with a lenticular sheet over the top providing, presumably, 3x3 downsampling to 1280x720. I concede that they might have an odd subpixel arrangement, and I'm sure they won't take 2160p video content (or a DisplayPort 1.2 signal), but that's relatively simple technology to add once the pixel count is in place. I'm merely suggesting that Toshiba might do better selling the panels in a T221-replacement desktop monitor, especially if they could put an optional shutter layer over it to provide glasses-less 1920x2160 (or 1920x1080 upscaled) 3D in the style of various 3D laptops. I'd consider buying one as a high-end monitor; I wouldn't buy one as a low-end 3DTV.

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ok

ok fair point.

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FAIL

I say

I'm sure Toshiba has succeeded in interesting lots of people with this tech, but turning the interest into sales requires a realistic price point. Considering that there isn't much 3D material around, these sets will primarily be used to watch 2D material, so basically you're being asked to pay £1800 for what most of the time is an ordinary 20" TV. Seems a little steep to me.

Moreover, they use the same parallax barrier technology that's been around for a few years, and have the same problems; you have to park your head in a small sweet spot if you want to see the 3D effect at all, so you're not going to get your whole family watching a movie in 3D on these things.

http://crave.cnet.co.uk/televisions/toshiba-glasses-free-3d-tvs-explained-50002115/

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Stop

Forget it

The improvement vs. price ratio is just no-where near acceptable to the consumer market. 3D TV manufacturers really need a rethink on this one.

I believe the market needs more innovation than it has seen previously: CRT->flatscreen, flatscreen ->digital, digital->HD, HD->3D ... one small step too many, the market wants significantly more now. HD (blu-ray) still hasn't taken off in my eyes, much as minidiscs didn't until about the time just before the iPod came about. After that Minidisc was doomed.

Perhaps timing for this product is just wrong.... 3D TV would do better if, for instance, it were released when the new internet TV on demand was released and 3D content online would be significantly more abundant - perhaps then 3D TV would stand a chance. At present its a total no hoper though for the mass market - there's just no demand because there is not enough appealing content.

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What a fugly set...

Technical capabilities aside that's one ugly TV - possibly a factor in poor sales, especially when world+dog don't really care about the abilities of the TV and more of the "ooh, shiny" aspect..

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Silver badge

Well duh

I would be very surprised if these TVs had sold well. People don't really want to buy TVs with puny screen sizes and questionable presentation quality for large sums of money, Sony learned it with their OLED TV a few years back and Tosh are learning it now with these 3D efforts.

I expect the tech will improve over time but buying these TVs represents a compromise and expense very few people would accept.

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Silver badge
Grenade

Huh, no goddamn' wonder

While on a layover in Cape Town last year waiting for my flight home, I caught a look at some of the new 3D TV sets set up all over the terminal as a promotion. Man, did they ever look like shit. I couldn't watch them for more than five minutes without my eyeballs aching. You had to stand in just the right spot to get the 3D effect, or else it was a nasty, blurry mess. They looked like those little picture toys we used to get in boxes of Cracker Jack, where you turn them one way and it's Bruce Wayne, and you shift the position slightly and he turns into Batman.

Besides, what the hell is there on TV that's worth watching in 3D -- American Idol? Dancing With The Stars? Two And A Half Men?

Shit in 3D is still shit.

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WTF?

Seen a good 3D tele that didnt needs glasses years ago...

Saw a 42" set by Philips called WOW 3D almost two years ago. It was actually very good when it displayed real 3D pictures rather than post-process pictures.

I dont know whats happened to them.

http://www.business-sites.philips.com/sites/philipsbs/3dsolutions/pressarea/pressreleases/philips_introduces_new_42_3d_lcd_display_for_stunning_3d_experience.page

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Silver badge

Getting quieter

You notice that there's a lot less hype over 3D lately? I think more than a few of the manufacturers and retailers saw the dismal pre-Christmas sales and realized that it's nowhere near as huge as they predicted (hoped?) it would be.

Now if they can just start releasing things in a 2D version for theatres again, I might actually go back to the movies once in a while.

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FAIL

3D needs to be heavily taxed

Let's face it, if you're the person buying one of these screen, you're probably a company selling 3D shit and want something to display it on.

On the other hand, if you're an at home consumer buying a 3D TV (any flavor) then in reality, you're probably replacing an earlier TV that you bought. In fact that earlier screen you bought probably is still quite new, remember people used to keep their TVs for 10 years.

3D is simply a gimmick to sell more screens. Selling 3D when the tech sucks as bad as it does now is just a way to sell a 3D screen to an early adopter who will buy a good one when they come around.

Nearly the entire western world "upgraded" their CRTs to LCD over the past 5-10 years. 99% of those screens are still perfectly good. I know my daughter is using out 10 year old 22" screen in her bedroom and that was cheap samsung crap and it still works just fine.

3D is a gimmick to get people to rush out and replace perfectly good televisions with a new television which doesn't really offer them anything but eye strain.

Come on, let's face it, you finally got a full HD screen. Bluray discs finally started encoding with decent quality. Television stations are now sending a borderline shitty HD signal that at least looks a little better than DVD. You finally got a clear picture on your big screen... at least clearer than you had before on your old ass CRT or rear projection screen. Now, you're going to rush out an get a 3D screen which severely degrades the perceived image quality of the picture?

The governments need to tax the shit out of this technology because if the technology every does catch on, people are going to be rushing to the junk yards with 3-5 year old 40-46" LCD screens to make room for their fancy new 22" 3D auto-stereoscopic screens. It's stupid, it's wasteful and it's wrong.

3D in the movies, while I despise it is at least understandable. But in the home? Give it 10 more years, it's just not time to throw away another gazillion TVs so that Sony and Toshiba can line their pockets a little better.

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