One CES press release that quietly landed in the inbox last week, in amongst all the fanfare from the likes of Sony, LG, Samsung, was an announcement that a small company known as Stream TV (and its ‘Ultra-D’ technology) had forged a alliance with BOE Technology Group, a Beijing-based flat-panel display innovator and supplier.

The idea is to bring a far more sophisticated glasses-free 3D technology to consumers. If any of you have already experienced glasses-free 3D demonstrations over the past few years, you might have found the results to be mixed, with several relying on the viewer to be seated within specific quadrant viewing angles from the display to get the full effect, while others lacked acceptable perceived image resolution. But there was never any doubt that R&D by various companies would eventually come up trumps, and it seems perhaps we are getting closer to that end goal.

Stream TV’s Ultra-D solution is considered by many to be the ‘world’s best’ glasses-free 3D technology, and the company claims that its ‘advanced optics and powerful rendering algorithms’ create a 140-degree viewing angle with a ‘crisp, clear and vibrant 3D experience’. The new deal means that this new technology should find its way into consumer televisions, with BOE shipping millions of panels to a number of manufacturers.

“4K TVs and PC monitors are obsolete now that 8K panels have arrived,” said Mathu Rajan, CEO of Stream TV. “Working with high-resolution panels from a partner like BOE allows us to gain significant traction in the global market. The human eye can’t tell the difference between 4K and 8K in flat 2D. Without using the third plane, you’re basically throwing away all those pixels. We use those extra pixels for pop and depth to create an immersive experience that brings real value to device makers and their customers.”

At CES last week, the collaboration between Stream TV and BOE was showcased with an 8K ‘Lite’ glasses-free Ultra-3D display, by appointment only. If you want to read more about the Ultra-D auto-stereoscopic technologies, which are destined to roll out in a number of device categories, there is plenty of information on the Ultra-D website. In the meantime, if any of you had a chance to witness the performance at CES, and were one of the lucky ones to get an appointment, please add a comment below.

 

 

 

 

 

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HarleyDog

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Sounds promising. Now, if my LG OLED 3D television will just hold out until the technology becomes affordable. . .
 

Dick

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Sounds promising. Now, if my LG OLED 3D television will just hold out until the technology becomes affordable. . .
I just can't imagine any glasses-free technology being able to provide us with the same quality 3D as we have been enjoying with glasses. How the hell would it work? Will we be watching a hologram? Could it possibly be even as good as what 3D displays give us when converting 2D images in the set? Is there a way to explain this process to a layperson?
 

Brian Kidd

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Doesn't sound like it offers as much of a sense of depth as current 3D tech.
 

John Dirk

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I'm in favor of anything that settles the 3D debate in favor of us Home Theater enthusiasts. I'l be watching.
 
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John Sparks

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noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo. I'm too old to start again collecting.
 

Adam Gregorich

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We saw a glasses free 3D prototype from Dolby several years ago at a National HTF Meet. It was using a 4K display and it worked very well with some of the limitations mentioned above. If Ultra-D is basing theirs on an 8K display and using the extra pixals to fill in some of those holes I image the real world performance is pretty impressive. Unfortunately I imagine the cost will make this targeted at the commercial market (electronic mini billboards, museum displays, etc.)
 
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WillG

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Doesn't sound like it offers as much of a sense of depth as current 3D tech.
And supposedly "pop-out" is impossible with these glasses free displays.
 

Josh Steinberg

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I'd love to see a glasses-free technology just for the possibilities that it might open up with filmmaking.

I think most people would be resistant to wearing glasses on a movie if there was only a 3D component in a single scene or single shot, or just select moments. And while there have been some mid-2000s IMAX releases that had sections of the movie in 3D but not the whole, the cues to put on and take off the glasses can be a little distracting - they alert you that something is about to happen in the movie, instead of it being a surprise.

But just the way a movie can have a restrained sound design and then turn up the volume or use the surround channels at a key moment to heighten the impact, I think it would be exciting to see films that used "3D moments" unexpectedly to draw you in just as part of the movie's general design.
 

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At the end of the day though, you still have to use a lenticular lense to pull this off, which means the optimal viewing angle will be very small, unless they have made massive advances in the lenticular lense itself, which is pretty old tech.
 

JoeDeM

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I just can't imagine any glasses-free technology being able to provide us with the same quality 3D as we have been enjoying with glasses. How the hell would it work? Will we be watching a hologram? Could it possibly be even as good as what 3D displays give us when converting 2D images in the set? Is there a way to explain this process to a layperson?
I saw the demo a few years ago, and it was very impressive, it reminded me of a lenticular Image, it moves as you move, it was also very important to be at the right distance to the screen, but remember what I saw was a prototype, so it may have improved since then.
 

Kevin Collins

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I remember watching Toshiba's prototype 3D glasses free display back in 2008 @ CES. Giving that half the resolution was for the stereo image, the resolution wasn't HD and wasn't interesting. With an 8K display creating a 4K stereo image things could be interested if they really have a 140 degree viewing angle.
 

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So much hype. It is like the consumer electronics version of the Segway "people mover".
 
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Last month Natgeo had a show about how the Titanic actually sank. While telling the story, they used old photographs that showed the launch of the ship. Not sure how they did it, but you saw the launch in 3D and it looked pretty damn good.
 

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What’s StreamTV’s strategy? Consumer 3D is effectively dead. UHD doesn’t support it. TV makers are leaving it out.

Are they trying to get the UHD format revised to support their flavor of 3D? Are they working towards getting 3D put into a spec for UUHD or whatever 8K is called?

What’s the game plan to come in with 3D technology a year after everyone has quit the game?
 

Dick

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I am an unbeliever until I see a demo on display that can, sans glasses, give me a 3D experience even close to what I see on my OLED.
 

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Is this new technology still suposed to work with two, three or four people watching at the same time ?
How could it track and project images direct to the eayes of more than one person ?