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NAB – Dolby/Philips autostereo 3D display (Philip Lelyveld rpt.)

The centerpiece of the Dolby booth at NAB is a large screen autostereo display prototype jointly developed with Philips.  It is the best autostereo display that I have seen to date.  The large 4K screen produces the 3D effect via a lenticular overlay and proprietary software.  According the Dr. Joop Talstra of Philips, the set takes a normal 2-view feed from a Blu-ray or other source and both interpolates and extrapolates in real time to create 28 views spanning the full 180 degrees in front of the screen.  As I moved sideways across stereo pair boundaries the expected distortion was much less than that of other displays I have seen.  They did not demo 2D content, but because the lenticular overly is not removable or neutralizable, it will produce a less-than full HD 2D image.  Content from Hugo, Captain America, and a Red Bull snow skiing video was used for demo material.  High quality Dolby audio reproduction complemented the video.

The Dolby/Philips autostereo technology was also demonstrated on tablet-size and cellphone displays.  One of these smaller displays had an active liquid crystal lenticular overlay, so the lens could be neutralized for displaying 2D content.   The 3D effect was also adjustable on that device.

There is only one large prototype display unit, and it is being shipped back to the lab after NAB.  No shipping dates for any of these units were announced.  I was told to expect the smaller screens to be out on the market first, because they are easier to manufacture.  Also, the liquid crystal active autostereo overlay makes them more useful for general purpose display situations.

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Philip Lelyveld

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