Ultra-D Glasses-Free 3D at CES 2014 - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 41 Old 01-10-2014, 08:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Last year at CE Week in NYC I saw an Ultra-D display for the first time. It was a 1080p panel and it looked like an experimental prototype, but it pulled off the trick of displaying glasses-free 3D. When I found out the company was based in Philadelphia (my home) I asked if I could follow-up whenever there was an advancement in the technology. When I next saw an Ultra-D display was a revelation—the use of a UHD panel dramatically improved the quality of the auto-stereoscopic 3D effect. By the time I saw the technology for the third time, it had already evolved into something that looked market-ready.

 

Fast forward to CES 2014, and my fourth encounter with Ultra-D. This time, instead of one panel, the company had a sizeable booth on the main floor filled with Ultra-D panels. They were the best-looking glasses-free 3D displays at the show. I had a long talk with CEO Mathu Rajan, CEO of StreamTV Networks, the company behind Ultra-D. His enthusiasm was justified, because Ultra-D is finally ready for prime-time.

 

You can't fake this—a 3D camcorder showed live footage on an Ultra-D panel

 

I took a good luck at 50” and 55” Ultra-D displays showing a wide variety of content—from broadcast TV to PS4 gaming to movies, even a 3D camcorder that was pointed at the booth, so attendees could see each themselves live in 3D. Most of the content was automatically converted by the software, as opposed to native 3D. It was hard to believe that 3D conversion could be so seamless and effective—nevertheless the proof was on display for everyone to see.

 

When a product is ready for market, questions turn to availability of equipment and content. Availability of content is a non-issue for Ultra-D because its 3D conversion is so effective and believable, and according to Mathu, hardware will ship sometime either in spring or summer of 2014. The first two units to hit the market will measure 50” and 55”, respectively. The company also plans to sell a 39-inch model, a 65-inch model, and even a home theater-friendly 110-inch model.

 

The StreamTV booth was smack in the middle of the main hall at CES

 

While I was a the Ultra-D booth, I also spoke with Duncan Humphries, a producer of 3D content who has worked on 3D broadcasts from Wimbledon, the World Cup, National Geographic, and various concert events. He described how difficult it was to produce and distribute 3D content using traditional methods. One of the differentiating factors about Ultra-D is that it relies on a traditional 2D broadcast, along with depth information. That eliminates the need for dedicated channels, like the now-defunct ESPN 3D.

 

Ultimately, the future of 3D is glasses-free. At CES 2014 I learned that the future is now. The technology is ready for prime-time. As a matter of fact, demo units will be in a few select locations shortly after CES ends. Curious 3D lovers will be able to see Ultra-D in person at NewEgg’s L.A. showroom, J&R Electronics in NYC, and HiFi House in Philadelphia. Other demo units will ship to Tokyo, London and Beijing.


I’m really excited to see this technology come to market—I enjoy viewing 3D content, but not the viewing experience. Ultra-D takes care of that by removing the main issues with 3D today—the lack of content and the need for glasses. So, who's looking forward to seeing a Ultra-D TV in person?

 

 

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post #2 of 41 Old 01-11-2014, 03:47 AM
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DO you object to ALL 3D glasses or just active ones? I only ask as you will note from my post that I am interested in a full 1080P RUnco projector (the D-73d) which used a dual stack to get full 1080P images with linear polarisation, so cross talk free and no flicker, so I am hoping that I will get less fatigue for long viewing periods, which I presume is your main gripe of using glasses for 3D ?

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post #3 of 41 Old 01-11-2014, 05:19 AM
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The biggest turnoff for me relating to 3d viewing is its so artificial look. Just look at the actor's hair and even there, you will find few parts in focus and rest of it as a blot of black mud. This doesn't look so in real world. Is this issue still persist in Ultra D Glass Free 3D?

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post #4 of 41 Old 01-11-2014, 06:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by edjack1 View Post

DO you object to ALL 3D glasses or just active ones? I only ask as you will note from my post that I am interested in a full 1080P RUnco projector (the D-73d) which used a dual stack to get full 1080P images with linear polarisation, so cross talk free and no flicker, so I am hoping that I will get less fatigue for long viewing periods, which I presume is your main gripe of using glasses for 3D ?

I currently have a passive 3D television. I don't use the function very often. if I had a glasses free 3D television, I would watch 3D content far more frequently. Passive 3D with glassed is much nicer than active 3D in my opinion. But glasses-free is the best way to watch.

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post #5 of 41 Old 01-11-2014, 07:39 AM
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I would think that there may be a substantial market for just the 2D to 3D real-time converter, if its as good as expressed in posts about Ultra-D's technology on this forum. I am presently using the 2D to 3D converter in my Mits HC8000 projector for converting my favourite 2D movies to 3D. At present it does the best job of the seven or so converters I have tried and I very happy with it; however, if there's something that's even better for a reasonable cost I'd get in line.

I don't have a problem at all wearing the glasses, but glasses-free would be nice.
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post #6 of 41 Old 01-11-2014, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by imagic View Post

.......You can't fake this—a 3D camcorder showed live footage on an Ultra-D panel

Most of the content was automatically converted by the software, as opposed to native 3D........

Mark, was there any other native-3D source present for demonstration at CES 2014 besides live-capture from a 3D camcorder?

Thanks.
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post #7 of 41 Old 01-13-2014, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Deja Vu View Post

I would think that there may be a substantial market for just the 2D to 3D real-time converter, if its as good as expressed in posts about Ultra-D's technology on this forum. I am presently using the 2D to 3D converter in my Mits HC8000 projector for converting my favourite 2D movies to 3D. At present it does the best job of the seven or so converters I have tried and I very happy with it; however, if there's something that's even better for a reasonable cost I'd get in line.

I don't have a problem at all wearing the glasses, but glasses-free would be nice.

I agree. The fact that the conversion technology was able to fool him into thinking he was watching native 3d content is part of the impressiveness of this technology. That the 3d from the native was just that much better once it was displayed makes it really enticing. How many years does it take crews to convert 2d content into 3d for recent re-releases? certainly more than a moment smile.gif

I'm hoping I feel the same way when I get to see it in person and do some side by sides.
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post #8 of 41 Old 01-14-2014, 11:14 AM
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Thanks for the update, Mark! I am looking forward to seeing this technology in a 65"-70" TV set for the media room. Pity it can't be adapted to front projection for my home theatre too.
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post #9 of 41 Old 01-16-2014, 11:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deja Vu View Post

I would think that there may be a substantial market for just the 2D to 3D real-time converter, if its as good as expressed in posts about Ultra-D's technology on this forum. I am presently using the 2D to 3D converter in my Mits HC8000 projector for converting my favourite 2D movies to 3D. At present it does the best job of the seven or so converters I have tried and I very happy with it; however, if there's something that's even better for a reasonable cost I'd get in line.

I don't have a problem at all wearing the glasses, but glasses-free would be nice.


What 2D to 3D converter are you using. Who makes it and ere did you get it? Some just move the alternating horizontal lines apart by varying depth and this isn't supposed to be very effective. lines
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post #10 of 41 Old 01-16-2014, 12:58 PM
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Sounds like the conversion is better than 3D Bee which up to now is/was supposed to be the best. As for the tv's I can't wait to see one in person. With all the articles from CES I've seen saying Dolby 3D wasn't ready for primetime, I can't believe it took me this long to even find an article from CES about Stream TV and Ultra D. I just hope the eye fatigue is minimal - some mentioned the Dobly glasses free caused fatigue. I know fatigue is a bigger factor viewing converted material compared to native, so with the option to watch everything either native or converted to 3D with Ultra D - that will be important

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post #11 of 41 Old 01-16-2014, 01:19 PM
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Since Ultra-D's technology requires a special layer on the screen (even for viewing normal S3D movies), a stand alone converter for use with regular 3DTVs isn't viable.

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post #12 of 41 Old 01-16-2014, 01:53 PM
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As I haven't been across these developments in 3D and have only just come across your reviews, I have to ask a most likely dumb question... does this technology now mean you can see the vision (without glasses) in 3D, if you only have the use of one eye?

If so, then bring it on (;->
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post #13 of 41 Old 01-16-2014, 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by _alvin_ View Post

As I haven't been across these developments in 3D and have only just come across your reviews, I have to ask a most likely dumb question... does this technology now mean you can see the vision (without glasses) in 3D, if you only have the use of one eye?

If so, then bring it on (;->

Unfortunately, this isn't possible with these technologies.

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post #14 of 41 Old 01-16-2014, 02:37 PM
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Damn, but thanks for the heads up.
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post #15 of 41 Old 01-16-2014, 03:00 PM
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alvin- When I closed one eye all 3D effect disappeared. You still need two eyes to see stereo 3D, even with the glasses free Ultra D system.
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post #16 of 41 Old 01-16-2014, 05:01 PM - Thread Starter
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alvin- When I closed one eye all 3D effect disappeared. You still need two eyes to see stereo 3D, even with the glasses free Ultra D system.

You also have to have your head upright, like any other stereoscopic 3D.


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post #17 of 41 Old 01-16-2014, 06:16 PM
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Thanks gang.
Mmmm, i'm an ex TV producer and love my movies on the big screen at home and can't wait until we then hopefully move to something maybe holographic one day, that will allow me (one eye not working) to enjoy the 3D ride (;->
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post #18 of 41 Old 01-16-2014, 10:06 PM
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So is stream tv the manufacturer of the sets or will they be licensing Ultra-D to others?
I've never seen a stream tv -set in the shops here in Sweden and I really want one... Will I have to import?
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post #19 of 41 Old 01-16-2014, 10:43 PM
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So is stream tv the manufacturer of the sets or will they be licensing Ultra-D to others?
I've never seen a stream tv -set in the shops here in Sweden and I really want one... Will I have to import?

No they are releasing the technology in TCL, I think maybe Toshiba, and some other Chinese manufacturers. That means it should be affordable to most I hope

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post #20 of 41 Old 01-16-2014, 10:51 PM
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No they are releasing the technology in TCL, I think maybe Toshiba, and some other Chinese manufacturers. That means it should be affordable to most I hope

Good news (I presume TCL means some kind of licensing)! Anyone know of any other brands than Toshiba that will have the technology?
Looking at prisjakt.se there are about 1600 models of TV's listed in Swedish shops and only about 50 are Toshibas, usually only 1 or 2 shops carryy each model... Not really ideal conditions for getting a good deal on one...
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post #21 of 41 Old 01-17-2014, 09:58 AM
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I'm pretty intrigued by this. I was hoping to get a new TV this year and 3D was one of things that I was considering, but with this I will like to see what happens with it down the road. The whole glasses free just may convince my wife that a TV upgrade is not all that bad after all. I'll most likely wait and see what reviews are saying since I'll be gaming and movie watching on whichever set I end up with (55-60" size).

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post #22 of 41 Old 01-18-2014, 07:08 PM
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What 2D to 3D converter are you using. Who makes it and ere did you get it? Some just move the alternating horizontal lines apart by varying depth and this isn't supposed to be very effective. lines

I'm using the 2D to 3D conversion provided by the Mit's HC8000. It's the best I've seen so far. Bill Livolsi had this to say about it in his review of the HC8000 awhile back and I concur.

"However, its one key advantage over the competition we've seen thus far is superior 2D to 3D conversion. Those with large 2D Blu-ray collections who want to see them in very satisfying 3D conversion would be well advised to take a close look at the HC8000D-BL."

I'm now watching all my favourite 2D movies in 3D -- pretty close to 3D heaven!. Blade Runner, Dune, Serenity, Ender's Game and so on. I have a large HD-DVD collection as well and the Cream Reunion concert looks great. Next up -- The Eagles. They're almost giving the HC7900s away and they have the same 2D to 3D conversion.
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post #23 of 41 Old 01-21-2014, 09:24 AM
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"I took a good luck... "
??????
I think you mean "look."
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post #24 of 41 Old 02-03-2014, 10:11 AM
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Gary Merson offers up his takeaway from CES on Ultra-D.

HD Guru: Trendspotting At CES 2014.
Quote:
While this was the best demo we’ve seen from [Stream TV], it was not without issues such as limited viewing angles.

He preferred Sharp's 8K demo but feels that

Quote:
At this point, glasses-free 3D seems best suited to education and possibly CAD applications.

Not a ringing endorsement.
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post #25 of 41 Old 02-07-2014, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by bluescreen View Post

Gary Merson offers up his takeaway from CES on Ultra-D.

HD Guru: Trendspotting At CES 2014.
He preferred Sharp's 8K demo but feels that
Not a ringing endorsement.

So I guess we're looking at another couple of years before glasses-free 3D is ready for primetime?
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post #26 of 41 Old 02-11-2014, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by bluescreen View Post

Gary Merson offers up his takeaway from CES on Ultra-D.

HD Guru: Trendspotting At CES 2014.
He preferred Sharp's 8K demo but feels that
Not a ringing endorsement.

This certainly brings the whole discussion back to earth. How does anyone reconcile the glowing endorsements for this glasses-free technology with the above-noted appraisal? An educational tool? Wow, if that doesn't hit below the belt! Now we have to wait for 8K to get glasses-free 3D T.V.s? Will I live long enough? mad.gif
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post #27 of 41 Old 02-11-2014, 06:44 PM
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Originally Posted by bluescreen View Post

Gary Merson offers up his takeaway from CES on Ultra-D.

HD Guru: Trendspotting At CES 2014.
He preferred Sharp's 8K demo but feels that
Not a ringing endorsement.

This makes me sad. frown.gif I so want Ultra D to be ready for prime time.
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post #28 of 41 Old 02-12-2014, 07:12 AM
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This makes me sad. frown.gif I so want Ultra D to be ready for prime time.

It seems there are wildly different opinions here. Mark said the technology looked like it WAS ready for primetime, and he saw the displays multiple times so I will take his word for it. I say ready or not, they need to release something glasses free already - even if it has a limited # of viewing angles. Unless you are trying to fit 52 people on a sectional couch watching one glasses free 3DTV, I don't see the problem. I don't see how it would be too hard for 2-4 people to each find a good place to sit and watch a movie. I remember one of the earlier prototypes from another company which involved some head tracking software. As long as I don't have to hold my head completely stiff and rigid for a whole 2 hour movie and the effect isn't lost super easily - I say let's get this thing rolling already. No rollout of new technology is perfect, hell they're already pumping out 4K televisions even thought there's no content and most people who have bought them already can't even use it for that purpose

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post #29 of 41 Old 02-12-2014, 09:55 AM
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It seems there are wildly different opinions here.

This is what got me concerned. I was ready to roll with imagic's assessment then read the HD guru article. What is the cause of such big difference in opinion?

I wish I can take a look at Ultra D and decide for myself. Patience is a virtue but when is Ultra D going to be available for demo at my nearest brick-and-mortar store (more specific than vague sometime this year)?
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post #30 of 41 Old 02-12-2014, 10:03 AM
 
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I wish I can take a look at Ultra D and decide for myself. Patience is a virtue but when is Ultra D going to be available for demo at my nearest brick-and-mortar store (more specific than vague sometime this year)?
This is the heart of the matter. It's all theory, speculation and possibly smoke and mirrors until we can see it at Best Buy.
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