The problem with the future is that it's always 3 to 5 years away. Nevertheless, what you're looking at is what Philips and Dimenco, a small company of ex-Philips engineers, say will be coming to the consumer television market as early as 2013 -- earlier if you're in the professional advertising business or just want to view your family photos on a small 3D photo frame. Just remember that Philips has been showing off variations of the glasses-free technology behind this prototype lenticular lens
television for years
, so we're not getting our hopes up. Nevertheless, Dimenco assured us that the path to the consumer market for its 3D display is clear.
So how did it look? Well, it was ok, we guess. It doesn't have that in-your-face pop of the current generation of 3D televisions that require 3D glasses. The effect is more subtle (or maybe the content was). Our biggest problem was with the sharpness of the display. Although the 56-inch prototype CCFL LCD was 4k (that's 4 times the resolution of your Full HD TV) the image we saw was coarse in appearance due to the lenticular lens required to refract the left and right images for each eye. Having said that, the lenticular lens technology used is certainly better suited for non-stationary viewing. While the border around objects on the screen tended to shift quickly and blur (see the video after the break) when looking at the panel frombetween any of its 15 viewing angles (spread across a 120-degree arc), at least it didn't exhibit those horrible dark vertical bands seen when changing your angle even slightly while viewing 3D panels based on the parallax barrier
method of glasses-less 3D. Still, it was hard to find the viewing sweet spot and honestly, given the option to sit in front of this display and a 4k panel "limited" to 2D, we'd have to opt for the latter. Get back to us in 3 to 5 and see if we feel the same.