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52-inch Glasses-Free 3D HDTV Hits Japan

Impress Watch reports that Dimenco, a four-man splinter group of former Philips employees, has been working on refining its glasses-free 3D technology based on a lenticular lens. The tech was first demonstrated last fall and estimated to arrive in the consumer market possibly by early 2013. Now the first product based on Dimenco's tech has finally arrived, and as previously predicted, it's not for consumers, but rather launched for the business sector.

According to Nissho Electronics of Japan, the 56-inch LCD panel features "2D + depth" and is capable of converting 2D images into 3D ones in real time. The 3D TV will also crank out full 1080p imagery in 3D without forcing users to wear annoying glasses. The lenticular tech itself consists of 15 sweet spots across a 120-degree arc, but unlike the parallax barrier tech used in the Nintendo 3DS, viewers aren't plagued with the annoying vertical stripes.

As for other non-3D specs, the new HDTV includes a 2,000:1 contrast ratio, 8-ms response time, 700 nits of brightness, and a 60 Hz refresh rate.

Hands-on impressions published last fall didn't seem all that enthusiastic, calling the 3D tech merely ok. "It doesn't have that in-your-face pop of the current generation of 3D televisions that require 3D glasses," Engadget reported last year while checking out a 56-inch prototype. "The effect is more subtle (or maybe the content was). Our biggest problem was with the sharpness of the display."

Nissho Electronics is now selling the 52-inch LCD 3D TVs to businesses for ¥1.7 million ($20,820). There's a good chance we'll see the display rear its head at Computex 2011 in the next few weeks, although as previously stated, don't expect to see it arrive in the North American consumer market until sometime in 2013.