If you've been waiting for someone to take the glasses part out of the current 3D TV viewing experience, Toshiba has finally put a launch date on its glasses-free 3D TV. The world's first to be available to the public at the size, the ZL2 will take its place at the top of the company's range of sets when it launches this December in Germany (no word yet on other European countries, or anywhere else for that matter) complete with an LED-backlit QuadHD resolution (3,840 x 2,160) LCD panel and Cell-processor based CEVO engine technology within. Check out the press release after the break for more of the specs, no word yet on how much it will cost but the glasses-based 3D ZL1 it's replacing was rocking a £4,000 price tag.

Update: We have a price, as Toshiba's German press site currently mentions the set will cost 7,999 euros when the 55-inch version launches. We're figuring you can afford a couple of pairs of active shutter glasses instead at that price, but at least it's still a 4K screen, right? [Thanks, Daniel]
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Toshiba unveils world's first1 large-screen glasses-free 3D TV*

The 55ZL2 offers innovative first-class technology in a premium design delivering a 3D experience without the need for 3D glasses
Neuss, Germany, 1

GmbH announced the launch of the world's first large-screen glasses-free 3D TV. The 55ZL2 has a screen of 139cm (55") in diagonal and does not require glasses to experience 3D. Plus, the 55ZL2 is the world's first TV targeted at consumers that comes with a Quad FullHD screen. This enables the 55ZL2 to offer a 3D TV experience that can be enjoyed by a large group of viewers and displays 2D contents in four times (Quad) Full HD resolution. The 55ZL2's glasses-free 3D application is powered by Toshiba's high-performance multi-processor platform CEVO-ENGINE which also allows for many more innovative applications including PERSONAL-TV, enabling the consumer to personalise TV settings, and SMART-TV applications such as USB recording and access to Toshiba Places. It also comes with an Auto Calibration feature to achieve studio level picture quality. The 55ZL2 will be available from December 2011 in Germany with release dates to be confirmed in other European countries

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September 2011 – Today, Toshiba Europe

A new era for 3D TV

Toshiba engineers used their skills in designing software algorithms

and developing powerful consumer electronics processor technology

to calculate multiple viewpoints from stereoscopic images, combined

with the ability to display them at high picture quality on a large

screen. In the 55ZL2, they deployed an array of lenticular lenses that

are found for the first time in such a large-screen device ready for

market.

Sophisticated lenslet technology delivers multiple views

The glasses-free 3D technology is based on the stereoscopic principle

of simultaneously delivering a picture for the left eye and another one

As of September 1st, 2011 for digital high definition LCD TV in consumer markets. (Source:Toshiba)

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with a small offset (parallax) for the right eye – these are then

superposed in the viewer's brain to get the 3D effect. To achieve 3D

without glasses, it is essential that the lenses guide the dedicated

images to the viewer's eyes. The Integral Imaging technology,

powered by the CEVO-ENGINE, applied to the 55ZL2 delivers nine

views which create multiple wide-angle viewing zones in front of the

glasses-free 3D TV. This allows several viewers to enjoy the 3D

experience at the same time without wearing glasses.

Face tracking optimises glasses-free 3D experience

To optimise the viewing zones in respect to the viewers' actual

positions in front of the TV, the 55ZL2 features a face tracking

application. At the push of the remote, it detects the viewers' position

and sets up the total viewing experience.

Quad Full HD screen for excellent picture quality in 3D and 2D

Delivering nine views from a screen in high definition picture quality is

technically challenging. Toshiba therefore embedded a panel with

3,840 x 2,160 pixels, equivalent to a Quad Full HD resolution, to allow

up to nine views to be displayed simultaneously. An additional bonus

of the 55ZL2's high resolution screen is the ability to display 2D

contents in Quad Full HD resolution. In other words: photos captured

with an 8 Mega-Pixel camera can be displayed on screen without

compromising the image quality.

By using complex algorithms, Toshiba's Resolution+ technology

converts content such as TV programmes in SD or HD resolution - as

well as DVD or Blu-rayTM content in four times Full HD resolution - to

make full use of the high definition of the Quad FHD display.

A smart and personalised window to the world

The 55ZL2 delivers much more than glasses-free 3DTV. It also

features advanced SMART-TV functions providing access to Toshiba

Places, Toshiba's online platform offering streaming, purchasing and

sharing Web-based content. Plus, it supports the HbbTV® (Hybrid

broadcast broadband TV). Last but not least, the 55ZL2 allows USB

recording of digital broadcasting on an external hard disk drive

connected to the TV via USB. Thanks to Toshiba Apps Connect,

iPhone® owners no longer need to reach for the remote control but

can control the TV using their smartphone.

The 55ZL2 also features PERSONAL-TV applications: The TV is able

to store personal picture settings and a personal channel list for up to

four users and it supports personal grouping of recorded content. In

addition, the TV set is able to remember the volume level of each user

after switching off.

CEVO-ENGINE: the powerhouse behind the innovative features

The CEVO-ENGINE, Toshiba's high-performance multi-processor

platform, is the powerhouse behind the 55ZL2. The CEVO-ENGINE's

outstanding technology is able to deliver the depth information needed

to create the 3D effect and then calculates nine different views. It is

the only engine available in the TV market today that is able to deliver

the huge calculation power required to manage the complex

algorithms that implement the glasses-free 3D technology and

applications.

Auto Calibration: picture quality at studio level

The 55ZL2 exploits the CEVO-ENGINE's performance to further

increase picture quality. It powers the Auto Calibration 2 tool, which

optimises the display's settings to show movies with exactly the

colours and grey scale as intended by the films' directors. Until now,

the colour-analyser3-based approach was only used by professionals

and required an external computer. Now the CEVO-ENGINE can

carry out all calculations internally.

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Toshiba's glasses-free 3D 4K2K TV launches in Europe as the ZL2 this December