Philadelphia sports fans will get a chance to watch the Summer Olympics on a unique glasses-free 3D set, shared Stream TV Networks CEO Mathu Rajan at this week's CE Line Show in New York.
"We'll be setting up prototype Ultra-D televisions at sports bars in New York, London, Chicago, Los Angelas and of course, Philadelphia," he told me. The "of course" is because Stream TV has corporate headquarters and roots in Philly, though much of the R&D work is done in Eindhoven, the Netherlands at the owned subsidiary SeeCube founded by former Philips engineer Walther Roelen.
At the CE Line Show, Stream TV demonstrated a much improved 42-inch version of its unique "auto-stereoscopic" Ultra-D TV and companion processor/switcher box. Using a combination of special computer algorithims and multi-layered/ultra-thin optical filters affixed to the inside face of the screen, the technology allows a viewer to stand or sit virtually anywhere in front of the set, without wearing special glasses, and still get a sense of depth from content created in 3D - as 200 hours of the Summer Olympics from London will be. Plus, that Ultra-D companion box can turn any 2D content into three-dimensional images, "so we expect the (sports bar) demonstrations will also hold a lot of interest in Eagles season," said Rajan.
At present, the auto-stereoscopic images don't always pop forward as dramatically on an Ultra-D set as you'd get watching a 3D TV with active shutter or polarized glasses, though a scene from the animated "Cars" and a demo piece created for a rival 3D TV maker looked terrific on the Ultra-D. This critical observer could still see a little bit of pixel and line patterning when standing nose-to-nose with the screen, but less than on the prototype Ultra-D sets shown at CES in January, and not at all from a few feet away.