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IFA 2011: Toshiba to launch 55in glasses-free 3D TV in December

Well, it's what you tell us you've been waiting for, and the big news from Toshiba is that it will launch the world's first large-screen, glasses-free 3D TV in Germany this December.

Release dates in other European countries, including the UK, are still to be confirmed.

There's no price as yet – don't expect it to be cheap– but Toshiba claims its 55ZL2 will allow up to nine viewers to watch in 3D simultaneously without glasses, using built-in face-tracking and the firm's proprietary CEVO engine.

Using an array of lenticular lenses – a first in such a large screen – Toshiba's engineers say they have been able to calculate multiple viewing points from stereoscopic images.

The glasses-free 3D technology is based on the stereoscopic principle of simultaneously delivering a picture for the left eye and another one with a small offset for the right eye, which are then 'superimposed' on the viewer's brain to create the 3D effect.

The set also displays 2D content in four times (Quad) Full HD resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels.

Additional features include access to the Toshiba Places web portal for smart TV functionality, support for HbbTV (Hybrid broadcast broadband TV), USB connectivity and auto picture calibration.

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Andy Clough

Andy is Global Brand Director of What Hi-Fi? and has been a technology journalist for 30 years. During that time he has covered everything from VHS and Betamax, MiniDisc and DCC to CDi, Laserdisc and 3D TV, and any number of other formats that have come and gone. He loves nothing better than a good old format war. Andy edited several hi-fi and home cinema magazines before relaunching whathifi.com in 2008 and helping turn it into the global success it is today. When not listening to music or watching TV, he spends far too much of his time reading about cars he can't afford to buy.