RealD Bringing Full HD Passive 3D in 2011

During the 3rd Annual 3D Entertainment Summit, RealD president and co-founder Josh Greer said that licensees will be able to offer the world's first Full HD passive 3D HDTVs in 2011. This means that consumers will no longer need to shell out $130 to $200 for a pair of active-shutter glasses, but rather use a pair similar to ones offered in theaters that cost just a buck.

According to Greer, the RealD system uses a patented electro-optical "ZScreen" technology that’s inserted into the front of a flat panel. This system rapidly changes the light from clockwise circular polarization to counterclockwise, and then back again.

The RealD glasses have circular polarized passive lenses that simulate shutters. The left image will go to the left eye while blacking out the right image from the right eye--the right image will go to the right eye while blocking the left image from the left eye. Like current 3D HDTVs, the images are displayed sequentially on the flat panel.

The benefits of using RealD's ZScreen technology include lighter, cheaper glasses that don't require recharging or replacing batteries. Additionally, the 3D effect won't be lost when someone walks between the 3D HDTV and the glasses, as ZScreen doesn't use an infra-red sync emitter.

Greer said that RealD's passive 3D solution won't replace the current active-shutter offering, but will be sold alongside the older 3D tech for at least the next four to five years. Products are expected to hit the market in Spring 2011, however the first licensed RealD HDTV manufacturers to bring passive 3D HDTVs to the market--either Sony, JVC, Samsung, Toshiba or Panasonic--has yet to be determined.

Greer plans to showcase the new technology during CES 2011 in January.

In the theater, RealD's portfolio includes The Last Airbender, Clash of the Titans, Alice in Wonderland, Resident Evil: Afterlife 3D and more.

Kevin started taking PCs apart in the 90s when Quake was on the way and his PC lacked the required components. Since then, he’s loved all things PC-related and cool gadgets ranging from the New Nintendo 3DS to Android tablets. He is currently a contributor at Digital Trends, writing about everything from computers to how-to content on Windows and Macs to reviews of the latest laptops from HP, Dell, Lenovo, and more. 

  • Trizomik
    I'd like to see some benches from Tom's!
    This could be a nice "add-on"
  • adaman2576
    This might be the reason 3d might actually catch on and not just be a fad. There was no way those shutter glasses were going to be adopted by the general public.
  • bpeglow
    This is what I've been wanting. Active shutter glasses suck. I would actually consider buying a 3DTV if it's circular polarization. Let's hope they go through Panasonic.
  • g00fysmiley
    more interesting as cheaper implementation but i'm curious the effective viewing radious if i'm too far off center would it distort the picture? i guess we'll have to wait to see reviews to know
  • hellwig
    g00fysmileymore interesting as cheaper implementation but i'm curious the effective viewing radious if i'm too far off center would it distort the picture? i guess we'll have to wait to see reviews to knowAre you referring to 3D-TV's in general? Because they all have a sweet-spot (even the current offerings).

    My wife and I didn't buy our first HDTV until this past winter, and we still don't own any Blu-Ray devices (and I know we aren't the only ones slow to adopt). We haven't bought Blu-Ray because its not worth a price-premium (our up-converting DVD player does a nice job with our CDs). My point is, I really don't see 3D catching on. Especially not after so many people have finally jumped on the HD bandwagon...

    "What, you mean my 46-inch HD LED TV I bought 6 months ago has to be replaced with a model twice as expensive, same as my Blu Ray player, AND I have to wear 2-pound glasses on my head that cost me $100 a pop, just to watch the dozen or so movies released in 3D blu ray so far? No thanks!"
  • dman3k
    I'm sorry, Tom's. But how DARE you place Piranha 3D in the "and more" category?!?
  • BulkZerker
    3D should only be called news when included with manly names... like Duke.
  • g00fysmiley
    yea the reason i was wondering is obviously in theatres you can see a 3d movie in a larger vertical "sweet spot" than most shutter glasses so i'm curious if the horisontal range will be better than current shutter technology as well adn if so by how much
  • cracklint
    whether with passive or active shutter glasses, 3d sucks! After getting used to 120hz motion correction or plasma, going back to 60hz induces migraines. everything I have seen looks like board cut-outs placed infront of a 2d background. I would watch an elementary school musical if I wanted to watch something that fake and unrealistic. I have seen avatar, how to train your dragon, and re: afterlife and would gladly have payed more to see it in regular 2d. I'll will not pay to see another 3d movie or pay a premium just to have it at home. Its amost like stepping back from 1080 to low quality vhs. I can't believe people are investing in this crap.
  • tsnorquist
    I agree with Crack, I'm not a fan of the 3d. I'd much rather have a 80" to 100" 120hz 2d screen with ultra high resolution.

    Save the 3d for Drive Ins' with the old school Red & Green paper glasses =)