Toshiba 55ZL2 eyes-on

There's no doubt that Toshiba is fully committed to the glasses-free 3D revolution. Following the example set by its Qosmio spec-free laptop, the Japanese company used the IFA expo to announce the world’s first large-screen glasses-free 3D TV - the 55ZL2.

Back in February Pocket-lint got eyes on with a prototype model of what would essentially become the 55ZL2, although that model had a straight-on only 3D action, meaning that it wouldn't be all that useful in your living room - unless you are a Billy No Mates that is.

The 55ZL2 takes that work-in-progress a step further, offering multi-angle 3D viewing thanks to the face tracking technology, which uses a camera below the screen to see who's in the room and what angle they need their 3D action from.

The glasses-free 3D technology is based on the stereoscopic principle of simultaneously delivering a picture to the left eye, and another one with a small offset (parallax) to the right eye, in order to achieve the 3D effect. To deliver a glasses-free 3D image a range of lenticular lenslets guide the dedicated images to each viewer in the room. Toshiba say the ZL2 is able to provide 3D images for up to nine different viewing positions.

Up close and personal, we were only able to see the 55ZL2 in 2D action. Boo and hiss indeed, but with a 3480x2160 4xFull HD, we don't have any complaints about picture quality, which was simply incredible.

And, as for the TV itself, the minimal bezel thickness and the new square stand concept make it a stunning looking telly-box.

But it's the glasses-free 3D that sets it apart, and as such, Pocket-lint sat in on a demo of the platform. Sort of - we were shown action on a version of the TV that'll hit Japan later this year, minus the face tracking tech.

We were blown away by some 3D Final Fantasy XIII action, although an urban dancing video did seem to incur a bit of blurriness at times. Still though, impressive stuff from what is essentially still not a finished model.

But finished it will be, and sooner than you might expect, with a December 2011 launch planned. No word on pricing as of yet, but we'd hazard a guess at seriously expensive.