Samsung Disses Toshiba, Says Common Glasses-Free 3DTVs Are At Least 5 Years Off

It’s a safe bet that 3D TVs that require buzzkilling glasses won’t catch on in mainstream living rooms, so all eyes are on the next wave of technology — the 3DS-like goal of TVs that let you see Vikings battling dragons in 3D without the burden of eyewear.

A Samsung honcho tells the Wall Street Journal that glasses-free 3DTVs are five to 10 years away because price and technological hurdles will keep the devices out of homes.

This statement comes shortly after Toshiba announced its pricey lineup of glasses-free 3D TVs that are due out this year and will start at $1,400 for a 12-inch model.

Will a glasses-free 3D set — this year or a decade from now — convince you to take the plunge into the third dimension, or are you fine with 2D?

Samsung: Glasses-Free 3D TV Unlikely in Next 5-10 Years [The Wall Street Journal via High-Def Digest]

Previously: Are The Glasses A Dealbreaker For Buying 3D TVs?


Edit Your Comment

  1. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    I want something that is more along the lines of a holographic projection. I know we’re very, very, very far from anything remotely approaching a Holodeck-like experience (interaction, tactile sensory), but I think 3D holographic projections from a flat surface would be really cool.

  2. Lethe says:

    I just don’t get the whole 3D craze. It very rarely adds to the experience of watching something. Off hand, I can only think of 2 movies (Coraline and How to Train Your Dragon) where I thought the movie was better for being 3D. Usually it’s just a distraction, and I go out of my way to avoid paying $16 a ticket for it.

    • PunditGuy says:

      I’m with you, but I don’t know how much of that is truly the newness of the thing versus its utility. I wonder that because I’m sure there were people who railed against color TV, and there are still folks around who think that SDTV is just fine.

      Will we learn to love it? I don’t know. My kid thought it was kind of cool to watch the 3D demos at Costco last week.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        I find that it’s children who really embrace it and love it and they’re not the ones paying for it. Studios are hoping that parents will just go along with it to placate their children.

      • vastrightwing says:

        LOL. I think you’re thinking is correct, except color was pretty significant compared to increasing the resolution by a factor of 10 or more. Sure, 3D is here to stay and I will get it when the cost drops to a point it comes in a TV costing under $1,000 for a 50″ flat screen. For now, it remains a cool gimmick until there is some content that really makes 3D worth having. Avatar is not it.

    • vastrightwing says:

      Let me also add, that increasing the resolution from SD-TV to 720p to 1080p doesn’t add a significant impact to the viewing experience. For example, I can be entertained by watching a good story/video on YouTube even in low-res mode. This is why Blue-Ray isn’t taking off: most people don’t care enough about the Blue-Ray experience to update all their equipment to play back that level of resolution. Likewise, Toshiba isn’t going to take over the TV market by being 5 years ahead in 3D technology: people aren’t going to care that much. Sure, it’s cool and Toshiba will benefit by having the bragging rights, but I think that’s where it will end.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        I don’t think Blu-Rays are taking the place of DVD sales, but they were up 70% in the first quarter of 2010. I can definitely tell the difference in quality, and we pretty much only buy Blu-Ray discs now. We don’t buy many movies so we can justify the (relatively small) added cost of a Blu-Ray, compared to a DVD. And there really isn’t a lot of “upgrade” involved – a lot of people have HDTVs now, and the prices are still dropping.

        And sure, I’m entertained by a YouTube video, but I don’t want to watch everything in grainy YouTube-quality. I think people care a lot about the quality of video.

        • Firethorn says:

          Sure, people care about the quality of the video; but it depends on what they’re watching. A good engrossing story has people forgiving poor video quality.

          Another thing to be aware of is that studies are finding that most people are sitting too far from their TVs to actually enjoy 720 or 1080. (

          For example, to enjoy 1080 I’d have to be within 5.5 feet of my 42″ screen. Given that I tend to watch from 8′ away, that’s a 62″ screen. I DO get 720(14.6′ for the average person), but I don’t get the ‘full benefits’ of 1080 material.

          • GuidedByLemons says:

            Realizing a difference between 1080 and 720 generally requires a huge screen. But again, DVD resolution is well below 720 lines. As a general rule it is very easy to tell the difference between DVD and 720p, even on moderately sized TVs.

      • GuidedByLemons says:

        1) Blu-ray is taking off.
        2) DVD is not 720p, and there is a huge difference between DVD resolutions and actual HD.

        • vastrightwing says:

          Yes, there is a huge difference in the resolution between DVD & 720i/p but most people aren’t that picky. Only when the price difference becomes insignificant will people start moving to Blu-Ray because the better picture isn’t enough to make the format thrive. Yea, Sony beat Toshiba in the HD-DVD vs. BlueRay war, but they didn’t beat DVD. DVD still out sells Blue Ray by a huge margin!

          Blu-ray still only accounts for 12.3% of packaged media sales.

          So yea, there’s a 70% increase in sales for Blu-Ray and that sounds impressive. But when you consider that it only has a small 12% share, stats lie.

          • kujospam says:

            People are moving to blueray, but they are moving to netflix a lot more. Which I generally watch in 720p as long as I’m not downloading a crap load of other stuff. Like HD movies or games.

    • TuxRug says:

      My Soul to Take was really good in 3D. The 3D wasn’t used as a gimmick (no body parts flying at the audience); it was very subtle and realistic.

  3. Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

    price, goofy glasses, price, and the price of glasses.

    Until thats all straightened out, no 3d TV for me!

    • eyesack is the boss of the DEFAMATION ZONE says:

      Happily, the entire effing article is about glasses-free 3D. RTF[anything having to do with this article, excluding the puppy].

    • AustinTXProgrammer says:

      I think standardized glasses will eventually bring me on board.

      • common_sense84 says:

        No. What will bring you on board are polarized glasses that cost a few bucks. The same glasses you use for 3d in an imax.

        Shutter glasses are junk and will always be junk.

        Wait 6 months until the 3d tvs that use circular polarized glasses come out. Current 3d with shutter glasses is stupid. It’s a technology that is 15-20 years old, that is cheap to implement. Tv companies have been charging 1k more for what is essentially a 5 dollar sensor that can tell shutter glasses when to blink.

  4. agent 47 says:

    3D is just a gimmick that comes and goes every couple of decades or so, starting back in the 1800s. It AMAZES everyone and then slowly slips back into a comma. Anyone who invests in a 3DTV has more money than common sense.

  5. geekpoet says:

    I’d have to see it. So far 3-D movies do nothing for me aside from give me headaches. I can’t imagine there being enough incentive to spend the money, though.

  6. MonkeyMonk says:

    I’m amazed how much the television industry seems to be getting behind 3D-TV and how much R&D and marketing $$$ they must be spending. It seems like a total fad to me and one that’s going to eventually fade.

    I’ll occasionally go see a 3D film in the theaters but for the most part I actually go out of my way to see the 2D version.

    • amuro98 says:

      3D movies is a great way for the studios to justify $15-20/ticket. (nevermind you could buy the blu-ray 2 months later AND still have enough left over for a large pizza!)

      3D movies at home makes no sense until the studios stop foisting their squabbles onto consumers, not to mention how expensive the glasses are – glasses, which Samsung seems to be saying, won’t be needed in 5-10 years. Sorry, but no.

    • eb0nyknight says:

      I have to agree. For me, it’s neat. Like going to a amusement park once in a while. Get a season pass to one and it gets boring.

      The thing that I don’t like about 3D is it ruins the HD aspect of the picture. I saw avatar in 3D and all through the movie, I am nitpicking in my head at how “low” the resolution is vs 2D.

  7. Blow a fuse? I can fix that... says:

    Well, I went and saw the 3D-versions of Avatar and Alice in theaters, and if that experience is anything to go by, I’ll be having snowball fights in hell before I spend extra for 3D at home.

    The glasses are a large part of the problem, but I suspect another part is that 3D just doesn’t work very well when the picture is static, i.e., you can’t refocus on another part of the picture, nor does the picture change when you move your head. I suspect the first explains the eyestrain and headache 3D-movies give me, while the latter probably is complicit in the slight nausea they give me.

    For short clips, 3D works fine, but not sustained viewing.

    • Conformist138 says:

      THIS! Nothing is worse for me than really wanting to focus on one part of a scene only to have my eyes and brain freak out when everything remains a blurred mess. Or when I naturally want to move my head to change the view and… nothing. 2D I can suspend my disbelief and get drawn in to the movie. But 3D tries to trick me into it and my mind can’t help but give back a steady stream of error messages. During 3D films, I am always intensely aware that I am sitting in a theater and watching a movie.

  8. drburk says:

    I think it will come down to if major sports leagues will allow games to be broadcast in 3d. We’ve already seen ESPN block HD events and we are hearing that the NFL is loosing ticket buyers to HD TV’s. I don’t see major sports leagues broadcasting games in 3D without a pay per-view fee. If HD 3d TV’s are high enough quality the crowds will shrink so every sport looks like MLB. The same may even go for movies if a studio cannot make money from first run theaters they won’t release the Bluray in 3d
    If I cannot watch sports or movies in 3D why bother with 3d TV (CSPAN won’t be much more exciting in 3d) or are we just going to see more channels and events move to Pay per view?

  9. Steve H. says:

    I’ll plunge into 3D when there are video games that support 3D. There are a very small handful out right now, and I’m sure there are studios out there working on it. But it isn’t there yet.

    So when there’s enough content to justify going 3D, I’ll probably get it. As is though, most of the content is coming from movie studios and even then, it’s mostly done in post, which most people agree doesn’t look as good.

  10. Joe-TFW says:

    3D TV sales will soar simply because stores like Best Buy are devoting more space to the sets. So while you don’t necessarily want a 3D TV, you may walk out of there with one simply because they don’t sell a comparable 2D only alternative.

    However, 3D content will be nothing more than a niche. Even with glasses-free 3D, the cost to create effective 3D is just too much. not only that, post process conversion 3D (where something is filmed in standard 2D and converted after the fact) looks abysmal and consumers have already caught on to that.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      I highly doubt this is will happen. It took decades for stores to finally stop stocking tube TVs. HDTVs are now the standard, whether they’re LCDs, plasmas, or LEDs. It’ll take a lot more than 3D TV to unseat HDTVs as the standard, to the point in which stores will stock only 3D TVs or enough of them so that HDTVs don’t look as great in comparison.

      • Joe-TFW says:

        It’s already happening. 3D TV’s are already beginning to take over the space previously held by 2D HDTV’s. Hell, a lot of times they aren’t even being marketed as 3D TV’s. It isn’t until you look at the spec sheet and realize that fancy LCD you’re eyeing up is actually a 3D capable set.

        You seem to forget that 3D sets ARE HD sets. LCD’s, Plasma’s, LED’s, they all getting their own 3D versions. Just walk into a Best Buy, look around. At first you’ll see 2 – 4 3D “Setups”. But look around at a dozen or more sets dispersed throughout the section (displaying standard 2D content) and you’ll easily find a bunch of 3D sets masquerading as 2D sets.

        • erinpac says:

          I actually have only seen one here, and I have gone looking for them out of curiosity. Best Buy even moved that one example away from the aisle now.

  11. HogwartsProfessor says:

    Not interested. Not only can I not afford it, but I just don’t think it adds anything. Like Raketkirurg, I saw Avatar and Alice in 3D. Avatar looked GREAT, but then they shot it that way, and the 3D experience was the thing because the story was junk.

    With Alice, we could have saved the money and seen it in 2D and enjoyed it just as much. They need to spend more money on the CONTENT, not the way it’s delivered. A shitty story is a shitty story, no matter what bells and whistles you tack on.

  12. sheldonmoon69 says:

    I’m perfectly fine with current 2d HD. I bought my LCD television just over a year ago, I’m not about to go out and get another one just because it’s 3d.

  13. balderdashed says:

    I only wish I could have 3D — preferably with, but even without glasses. But today’s so-called 3D doesn’t look much different than the 3-D I watched in the 60s — a series of layers that create an experience that might be visually interesting, and appropriate for certain kinds of films that rely on special effects, but otherwise distracting and silly.

  14. Bye says:

    I like turtles.

    But I love them in 3D.

  15. amuro98 says:

    Congratulations Samsung. You just killed the 3D market.

    5-10 years, eh? So, why would anyone buy a TV for 3D now when in as little as 5 years I’ll probably have to replace it? And in the meantime, I get to, what, participate in yet another industry standards squabble – which will most likely be repeated when these new TVs come out?

    Thanks, but no. I’ll buy a nice TV for 2D now and pass on the $100/pair glasses.

  16. common_sense84 says:

    Except something coming out in the next 6 months are 3d tv that use circular polarization filters over the lcd to create 3d that uses cheap passive glasses that cost a few bucks.

    Shutter glasses are junk, they have always been junk, and will always be junk. They invented 3d based on light polarization for a reason. Because shutter glasses are junk.

    Also you cannot trust this industry one bit. Shutter glasses and the technology to make them work are cheap. Yet the industry charges you almost 1k more for a tv that has this cheap stuff in it. And over a hundred bucks per pair of glasses.

    They have been ripping people off blind with 3d technology that is 15 years old and has been doable on home pcs as well as video game consoles for just as long.

  17. jdmba says:

    One year or a decade … they could have made this battle a little less ridiculous, time scale wise. Besides, I thought it was December for the holidays.

  18. george69 says:

    do not want

  19. LADude says:

    It’s way more than a gimmick, people…

    Anyone who has ACTUALLY seen it done right is blown away….

    People just need to hate…

    But it is to bad that inexpensive, high quality, glasses free 3D is a long way off. Its hard to beat physics!

  20. ShinGetterPoPo says:

    I’m still not wanting 3-d, at least not until I have a tv that can do the Princess Leia bit from Star Wars.

  21. SWBLOOPERS says:

    Industry is behind 3D technology because they see it as an opportunity to replace billions of TVs (planet-wide) long before they die of normal attrition (read, “profits.”) Unless you are specifically concentrating on it, your brain tends to translate everything into a 2D image for storage anyway.

    Screw 3D and even screw holography. I’m waiting for the direct cranial interface. (It will be sold by Monster cable, of course.)