RealD has shown off a new 3D panel for HDTVs that will hopefully change the landscape of HDTV by making the tech a slightly bit more affordable by eliminating the need for battery-powered active shutter 3D glasses which carry an IR transmitter and retails for $100-$150 a pair. Instead, RealD is going to license out its Zscreen technology, which will be embedded into the television’s pannel, and is essentially, according to HD Gurus, “electro-optical system built into the front of a flat panel that very rapidly changes the light from clockwise circular polarization to counterclockwise and back again.” The benefit of this panel is that consumers can buy cheap goggles, like the ones you get at movies or 3D shows at amusement parks, rather than having to pony up for the active shutter variety.
Passive screens, like the ones that RealD is trying to commercialize, are still expensive and according to the company, active 3D screens will still be sold alongside the passive variants in the next half-decade. The way the passive screen works is described as such:
The RealD circular polarized passive glasses act like shutters, permitting the left image to go to the left eye by making the right eye black out, during which time the right eye shows the right eye view while blacking out the left eye. Images are displayed sequentially on the flat panel, just like the current 3D TVs.
Thus far, Luxottica, makers of the Oakley brand sunglasses, says that it will bring Oakley 3D passive glasses with or without prescriptions later this year for those eying this technology, which has its benefits. For one, the glasses are lighter and cheaper. Also, if someone walks in front of you, you won’t lose your 3D viewing experience, and if you turn or tilt your head, the screen won’t go 2D on you unless you’re not looking through the lens.