Samsung has clarified its position on large-scale glasses-free 3D TV production, denying earlier reports that a potentially 55-inch set could be in the pipeline for release within the next three years. According to a new Samsung statement given to SlashGear, while Samsung's R&D is up to a glasses-free set, "attempts to put glasses-free 3D TV to market within the next 10 years will be difficult."
Full statement after the cut
"Considering our current technology, Samsung can make glasses-free 3D TV at the R&D level. However, it can only be viewed from a few viewing spots. To make naturally viewed glasses-free 3D TV, for instance in a living room where several people can watch TV from various angles, the technology needs to deliver 3D to at least 32 viewing spots.
We believe that creating a prototype for lab-grade glasses-free 3D TV, broadcasting system and display will take about five years. For mass commercialization to become possible, manufacturing costs must come down and TV broadcasters will have to upgrade infrastructure, which includes securing transmission bandwidth.
Attempts to put glasses-free 3D TV to market within the next 10 years will be difficult" Samsung Electronics
The issue with larger-scale 3D sets that don't rely on active or passive glasses is that they only have a limited number of "sweet spots" or angles from which the 3D effect is visible. Samsung suggests "at least 32" is required for a commercial launch, i.e. 32 positions from which viewers could see the picture in 3D.
In the 55-inch prototype shown recently, there were a total of nine angles supported, far short of what Samsung believes is the minimum necessary. So, the dream of being able to watch 3D without glasses in the living room won't arrive any time soon, unless you're content squinting at your HTC EVO 3D.