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Toshiba : Glasses-less 3D REGZA GL1 Series


Ever since its invention in the 1930s, television – a medium for the simultaneous transmission and reception of visual and audio information – has enjoyed a position of primary importance in our daily lives. In developed countries, in particular, it has retained its influence even in the face of the rapid development of multiple new media.

The basic research that enabled the core technology of the television to be developed was undertaken in the second half of the 19th century, mostly in Europe and the US. At the beginning of the 20th century, Russian scientist Boris Rosing developed a television system that used the cathode ray tube, developed by Ferdinand Braun in Germany in 1897, as a receiver for images transmitted. In 1926, Japanese engineer Kenjiro Takayanagi succeeded in creating the first fully developed electronic television system, using a cathode ray tube to electronically transmit signals and receive images.

Unique research and development into television sets continued in Japan, based on Takayanagi’s legacy. In 1953, Sharp Corporation began selling the first ever domestically produced television sets for the general household. At the same time, terrestrial television broadcasts began in Japan in earnest. Although the first television broadcasts were transmitted in black and white, by 1960 Toshiba had developed Japan’s first color television set, and this achievement prompted the beginning of color broadcasts.

Over the years, television broadcasting has developed and diversified, and television sets have become increasingly common in Japanese households. Strong domestic performance was soon followed by increasing export sales, as international demand for Japanese television sets grew. Japanese television sets and technology continues to dominate a large share of the global market.

Television sets have developed in response to broadcasting technology, as it has moved from monochrome to color to high definition. Since the beginning of the 21st century, new technologies such as liquid crystal and plasma types have allowed television sets to become ultra-thin. Television sets are now ubiquitous and increasingly high-performance.

Until now, television broadcasting has been exclusively in 2D, but the launch and increasing popularity of 3D broadcasting has led to the development of television sets that are 3D-ready and 3D enabled. The Toshiba Glasses-less 3D REGZA GL1 Series is the most advanced model among all currently available 3D television sets. As of 2011, two sizes, the 12-inch and 20-inch, are on general sale.

The REGZA GL1 series is notable by the fact that the viewer can experience the 3D effect with the naked eye. Thanks to a new integral imaging system, newly developed by Toshiba, the need to wear special glasses has been eliminated, thereby distinguishing the model from conventional 3D sets.

The integral imaging system is based on a principle whereby an image broadcast simultaneously from multiple locations and perspectives is perceived as 3-dimensional by the viewer. These differing images, as viewed with the left and right eye respectively, are then superimposed within the brain, thereby eliminating the need for 3D glasses. This multi-parallax picture transmission principle is utilized within the GL1 Series via the integral imaging system, which provides nine different perspectives (parallexes) of each 2D frame, generating them immediately as the broadcast signal is received. A perpendicular lenticular sheet is then used to extrapolate these perspectives out for the liquid crystal panel, enabling the view to perceive 3-dimensional images with the naked eye, and from a number of perspectives, heralding the advent of high 3D picture quality in the home.

In order to make possible this sort of high quality 3D television set, Toshiba uses the Cell Broadband Engine as its core chip, selected for its ultra-high-speed processing capacity. The television sets also employ the Glasses-less 3D CELL REGZA Engine which features newly developed multi-parallax conversion LSIs. This Engine has two significant benefits. Firstly, it enables multi-parallax transformation processing, which generates nine different perspectives in real time. Secondly, it results in high quality image performance, which enables the optimal reconfiguration of pixels for 3-dimensional images. The Engine is therefore the key to the effortless achievement of 3-dimensional images in the home, viewable from multiple angles without glasses.

It is almost certain that 3D television is the TV of the future. And Toshiba will be leading the pack of manufacturers providing outstanding sets for high quality 3-dimensional viewing.

Mar 25, 2011

About the author
Eriko Kinashi is a reporter for Japanest NIPPON
(Toshiba Corporation)
Screen size 20 inches
Liquid crystal panel (LCP) type glasses-less 3D LED-backlit panel
Dynamic Contrast/Contrast 2,000,000:1 / 550:1
Panel resolution (width x height) 1,280 x 720 pixels (8.2944 million pixels in panel in total)
Screen size (width x height/opposing corners) 45.2 cm×25.4 cm / 51.9 cm
Overall size (width x depth x height) *excluding stand 64.0 cm×10.3 cm×66.3 cm
Overall size (width x depth x height) *with stand 64.0 cm×41.0 cm×101.0–112.0 cm
Weight *with stand 30.5 kg