It’s the next natural step in 3D television, glasses free viewing, but at £7,000 a set, is it worth whipping off the specs for the Toshiba 55ZL2, or should we be putting up with looking a little bit silly for a cheaper price?
How 3D TV free glasses works
And how exactly does a glasses free 3D set work anyway?
Well, once the television has been set up, and the screen has detected an incoming 3D signal, you have to press the ‘tracking’ button on the remote control.
There is a very small camera that is situated in the base of the set and it detects up to nine faces watching the set. What this then does is to direct the 3D images towards each individual viewer’s left and right eye.
The effect is much more relaxing and subtle than wearing glasses for a length of time, and there is also no drop in brightness that you typically get when wearing 3D glasses.
The Toshiba 55ZL2 Features
But for seven grand, what else do you get for your money? Quite a lot as it happens. The Toshiba 55ZL2 is a 55-inch full high definition LCD TV, using a Quad full HD resolution display of 3840 x 2160, which is four times the 1920 x 1080 resolution of a typical Full HD TV.
There are built-in features such as Freeview HD, Wi-Fi, and Smart TV including BBC iPlayer, YouTube, Facebook, and other apps, plus you get four HDMI ports, one SCART, 1 PC input, two USB slots and DLNA compatibility.
The quality of the 2D images is outstanding and the colours and definition really have to be seen to be believed. As such, it makes this one of the best TV’s for gaming enthusiasts. Details in images remain crisp and defined, and even if you sit close to the screen, the patterns are steady and stable and solidly rendered.
Pop in a DVD or a Blu-ray disc and the Toshiba 55ZL2 impresses again. The contrast between colours is obvious and the sound quality is second to none and the LED back-lit LCD screen provides an excellent black tone depth in terms of edge definition and depth of field.
So are there any faults with the Toshiba 55ZL2? Unfortunately yes. And it is with the glasses free feature. For the technology to work efficiently you have to sit completely still, so that the integrated camera can expertly pinpoint where your face is.
Move a fraction away and the picture loses focus and definition and the 3D effect is lost for a moment.
To correct this you have to press the tracking button on your remote to ‘reset’ the camera, something a fidgety person may be doing a lot of.
And of course there is the price. For £7,000 we want something that is near perfect and not a device where you have to sit completely still throughout a film or programme.
We can see this is going to be more than a niggle, I mean, you can’t even turn to your viewing partner and discuss important aspects of what you are watching.
All in all, we think a little more time in development before releasing this product would have been the best way forward. But it is a good place to start.