It wouldn't be CES without Stream TV showing off more interesting glasses-free 3D technology and then launching, um, nothing into the wide market. Hopefully that won't happen this time, now that the company has paired with OEM panel-makers Pegatron and Hisense, and is now showing off its technology in UltraHD 4k. It has a proprietary system for encoding 2D and 3D video using occlusion, which is delivered to standard panels that have been retrofitted with its optical glass sandwich to bring the spec-less 3D illusion to viewers. This year, it added all-new algorithms that can handle native UHDTV content or up-res HD to 4k, both in non-realtime for quality, or realtime to convert standard 2D TV to 3D on-the-fly.
The 3D viewing experience seems better than previous iterations to our eyes, and Stream TV explained that the improved resolution was due to the company's software filling in pixels on standard HD content to make up the deficit to 4k. The stereoscopic level (which can be adjusted) also seemed decent even if you move around the room, though still not nearly as good as passive or active 3D with glasses. It does trump passive tech in one area though, as there's no drop in the screen's brightness that normally happens when you don specs. All the content we viewed was HD that had been converted to 4k, unfortunately, so we couldn't judge how higher resolution, glasses-free 3D images would look at that res. As far as the real-time encoded live TV content, the resolution looked fine but the stereoscopic illusion was a little, well, flat -- as if layers of 2D objects were placed at varying distances.
Though Stream TV has created some neat technology, we've heard this entire song and dance before -- a few times -- and have yet to see products actually arrive in any volume to the marketplace. The company expects panels with its technology to start shipping sometime this year with comparable prices to other glasses-free 3D tech, but until it actually happens, don't hold your breath. Check the gallery below and video after the break, in plain old 2D, of course.
Stream TV 4K glass-free 3DSee all photos