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Toshiba follows in Nintendo's footsteps in placing a warning on 3D products

Toshiba is issuing a warning for its glasses-free 3D television about the potential harmful effects of 3D images on young children's eyes as part of an electronics industry consortium's recommendations.

Toshiba's warning closely follows Nintendo's same warning, which increased concerns regarding the possible negative effects of 3D images on children's eyesight. Toshiba made mention of the warning in a press release for its presentation at the Consumer Electronics Show, which runs this week from January 6-9.  

After releasing 12-inch and 20-inch versions of the glasses-free 3D television in December, the Japanese company plans to present 56-inch and 65-inch prototypes of its glasses-free 3D television at the Consumer Electronics Show. In the press release for this demonstration, Toshiba said, "due to the possibility of impact on vision development, viewers of 3D video images should be aged 6 or older."

Toshiba made the decision to place the warning on its products due to an electronics industry group's recommendations for 3D technology. Yuji Motomura, chief specialist in Toshiba's TV marketing department, has not released the industry group's name, but said the company has provided research about eyesight health in regards to 3D technology. The recommendation is based on whether glasses are used or not for the 3D experience.  

Despite the new warning, Motomura believes Toshiba will not see any negative consequences regarding the sales of the glasses-free 3D television. In fact, the company plans to launch a glasses-free 3D model that is over 40 inches in the fiscal year to March 2012. Specifics on what date, size or price have not been set yet, but Toshiba did note that it would offer a screen capable of displaying 2D images at "a resolution four times the quality of today's high-definition televisions." 

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RE: Great
By Solandri on 1/5/2011 4:36:09 PM , Rating: 3
Remember how long it took for high definition to be standardized? I remember a dreary day in 1987 (yes, 1987) where I was watching 20/20 and they were talking about high definition television. They also said it would be standardized by 1989 and be in everyone's home by 1991.

HDTV back then was primarily being developed in Japan as an analog system. The bandwidth requirements were enormous, so it stagnated. HDTV didn't take off until the 1990s, when computers (digital signal processors, kinda like your 3D video card) became powerful and cheap enough to reconstruct a streaming HDTV image in real time from a compressed digital source. Kinda obvious in retrospect, but at the time very few people expected DSPs to develop so quickly.

The U.S. pioneered digital HDTV, and the Japanese admitted that all the analog HDTV research they'd done was pretty much wasted. But it still didn't take off until the FCC forced the analog to digital switchover to free up bandwidth in the airwaves. That got delayed year after year after year before finally happening a few years ago.

In short, there were a lot of pieces of the puzzle which had to come together before HDTV could become ubiquitous. 3DTV doesn't have anywhere near as many hurdles because it's just a digital signal transmitted just like HDTV signals, it's just encoded a bit differently. In fact you could probably do 3D broadcasts right now with very little change in equipment, it's just that there's almost no market for it. (Which is not to say that I think there *will* be a market for 3DTV. I don't see it happening until we get free-motion 3D, not limited to just one viewpoint. And doing that is going to require a bigger jump in bandwidth than going from analog SDTV to analog HDTV.)

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