[CEATEC] Toshiba Explains Details of 55-inch 4k2k Naked-eye 3D TV

Oct 5, 2011
Shinya Saeki, Nikkei Electronics
The Regza "55X3" and Masaaki Osumi, Toshiba's executive officer, corporate senior vice president and president and CEO of Digital Products & Services Company of Toshiba Corp
The Regza "55X3" and Masaaki Osumi, Toshiba's executive officer, corporate senior vice president and president and CEO of Digital Products & Services Company of Toshiba Corp
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3D image viewable with the naked eye
3D image viewable with the naked eye
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The method of switching 2D and 3D video
The method of switching 2D and 3D video
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A printed circuit board (PCB) mounted in the 55X3. The TV is also equipped with a normal PCB for TVs.
A printed circuit board (PCB) mounted in the 55X3. The TV is also equipped with a normal PCB for TVs.
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Toshiba Corp announced the "Regza 55X3," a 55-inch LCD TV capable of displaying "4k2k" (3,840 x 2,160-pixel) 2D video and 3D video viewable with the naked eye, Oct 3, 2011.

The 55X3 is a domestic model of the product announced at IFA 2011 in September 2010 in Germany. It will be launched in mid-December 2011 in Japan. Though there is no manufacturer's suggested retail price, its price is expected to be about ¥900,000 (approx US$11,716). Toshiba is planning to manufacture 1,000 units per month.

"4k2k is clearly different from 2k1k (1,920 x 1,080 pixels)," said Masaaki Osumi, Toshiba's executive officer, corporate senior vice president and president and CEO of Digital Products & Services Company of Toshiba Corp, commenting on the aim of releasing the 4k2k TV. "It is true that some people wonder if it is really necessary. But we want to realize video of dreams."

As for the naked-eye 3D display, he said, "Though it is OK to use special glasses in theaters, it is uncomfortable to use them at home. We want to provide stress-free 3D video."

Creating 4k video

The 4k2k video, which is one of the features of the 55X3, is created from input video by using the "Super-resolution Processing," which Toshiba has developed for its Regza series of LCD TVs. Video of terrestrial digital broadcast (1,440 x 1,080 pixels) and DVD video (720 x 480 pixels) are first converted to full-HD video (1,920 x 1,080 pixels). Then, based on the full-HD video, 4k2k video is created. The 4k2k video is vertically divided into two parts and output to the panel.

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This time, Toshiba employed an up-converting process called "color texture reproduction" in addition to the "reconstruction," "self-congruity," "3D frame" and "color" processes, which are used for the company's previous products. The color texture reproduction process restores fine, high-saturation color information that is lost when input video (4:4:4 format) is converted into digital broadcast signals (4:2:0 format) so that the textures of objects are improved.

"As for technologies to deliver 4k2k video, NTT Plala Inc, which provides "Hikari TV" (IPTV service), started considering them," Osumi said.

Number of parallaxes increased from 2 to 9

For the naked-eye display, which is another feature of the 55X3, Toshiba used the "integral imaging method," which the company is currently developing. In this method, lenticular lenses are arrayed on the front side of an LCD panel. This time, 2D video or 3D video (for two parallaxes) is converted to 3D video (for nine parallaxes). The pixel count of 3D video is 1,280 x 720.

To display both 3D and 2D video, Toshiba added the "polarization switching sheet" between the LCD panel and lenticular lenses. This sheet has a function of switching polarization by 90° and is used to turn on/off the lenticular lenses. The 55X3 has the "face tracking" function, which determines the location of a viewer by using a camera, and shows 3D video best suited for the location, the company said.

2 main image processors

Toshiba developed the 4k2k panel capable of displaying 3D video viewable with the naked eye in collaboration with a panel maker. It is equipped with a direct-lit white LED backlight unit. It can adjust the light emission of white LEDs in 12 (horizontal rows) x 20 (vertical rows) areas in accordance with input signals.

As a video processing platform, Toshiba employed the "Regza Engine CEVO Duo." The 55X3 has two main image processors, a chip for estimating depth information in 2D-3D conversion and a chip for separating 4k2k video into two parts and outputting them, the company said.