Truth be told, we haven't been wildly impressed with the glasses-free 3D solutions we've seen to date, be it because of the limited viewing angles, unconvincing picture or lack of availability here in the US. That could soon change, however, if Dolby's version of the three-dimensional experience makes its way to a production-ready television set. Best known for its audio technologies, the company just launched its own 3D standard in cooperation with Philips, called Dolby 3D. The platform-agnostic solution is far from ready to make its way into your living room, but it's conceptually sound, and the prototype 4K 3D TV and mobile versions being demonstrated at Dolby's NAB booth make us hopeful for the future. As with all displays -- especially those that support 3D -- you'll really need to see to believe, but we had an opportunity to do just that, and walked away very impressed.
The 56-inch 4K prototype display is viewable from nearly any angle, with 24 different viewpoints, though you'll really need to be front and center for the greatest 3D effect. Side viewing is certainly possible; you'll just sacrifice some depth in the process. Even from the front, 3D appears slightly muted compared to what we've seen with passive- and active-glasses equivalents, though we can't say that we mind much, considering that the image is still dramatic enough when you need it to be, such as when displaying scenes with significant depth. The company was also demonstrating Dolby 3D on an HTC Evo 3D along with a nondescript tablet, where an on-screen slider lets you dim the three-dimensional intensity just as you would adjust the volume, enabling you to customize the experience to suit your needs. Since Dolby 3D is merely a display standard, we won't be seeing any branded televisions or smartphones, though perhaps we'll see some third-party adaptations come CES 2013. Jump past the break to see it in action.
Dolby 3D on prototype 4K display and HTC Evo 3D hands-onSee all photos