"If Toshiba can do it, we must do it bigger, and better". That's probably Panasonic's creed, judging by the massive glasses-free 3D plasma set unveiled at IFA recently. With a whopping 103-inch screen estate, this massive PDP (plasma display panel) is almost twice the size of Toshiba's current 55-inch RZ1 contender, powered by similar autostereoscopic technologies.
Panasonic's showpiece is likely to be a prototype at this point in time, though we understand that this gigantic screen is also a 4K2K display. However, it is unclear if the company has plans to mass-produce this model for consumers in the near future. With this exhibit (allegedly the world's largest glasses-free 3D PDP), Panasonic has officially dabbled in all three 3D TV technologies to date - active-shutter, passive, and glasses-free types - each with its own strengths and weaknesses.
Although it isn't dependent of any 3D eyewear, one of the primary issues associated with glasses-free 3D displays are the tight viewing angles which plagues most autostereoscopic models. For these TVs, the stereoscopic effect is achieved via a lenticular filter layered on the TV screen which transmits offset images to the viewer's eyes. Trouble is, viewers are usually limited to a very tight "sweet spot" in order to experience the desired 3D effect.
Preliminary impressions by the folks over at HDTVtest (update: we've confirmed it with our eyes) reveal that this issue is similarly present with Panasonic's 103-inch 3D PDP.
Also on show in the same Panasonic Advanced Technology corner is a 145-inch 8K PDP. This is co-developed with NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation) for the Super Hi-Vision broadcast standard. NHK has began R&D on Super Hi-Vision since 1955, and aims to start Super Hi-Vision broadcasts in 2020. The Super Hi-Vision technology is able to achieve images 16 times the resolution of HDTV and audio realism of 22.2 multichannel sound systems.