Never one to turn down an opportunity, we checked out the new Toshiba Regza VL 3D TV here at Toshiba World 2011 in Rome this week. It’s the firm’s first 3D telly to use passive technology, rather than active shutter display tech, which could mean it hits at a significantly lower pricetag. Will it be worth it when the time comes? Read on for photos and our thoughts.
While Toshiba’s (likely very expensive) CEVO engine tellies will be holding the fort for 3D on the high end later this year, the company’s also trying to bring 3D down market with the use of a cheaper passive, polarised 3D display. Toshiba was showing off one model in the line, the Toshiba Regza 42VL863, at the show, and we got up and close to have a look.
While we sadly can’t replicate the effect through use of a camera for your eyes, take it from us that the effect certainly gave the same impression of depth as other passive 3D TVs we’ve clapped eyes on, such as LG’s models.
More importantly, images didn’t seem to suffer from lack of brightness, the usual problem with 3D TV viewing. Toshiba says its Intelligent 3D technology makes sure it’s bright enough whatever you’re viewing, and since this process is entirely automated, that seems like a smart move to us.
What’s the catch? The nature of passive tech – two images are displayed at the same time, and filtered out by the lens of each eye – means that you don’t get the impression of full HD 3D video as you can with active TVs. Certainly, the test video on loop appeared rough around the edges, but that might not be a concern if you plan to watch a lot of fast moving sport – passive 3D doesn’t suffer from the crosstalk and ghosting effect active 3D TVs do.
And of course, the ability to use easily replaceable specs (You get four in the box and they cost pennies – they’re the same RealD ones you’ve likely used in the cinema) that by their very design will never malfunction, will doubtless prove very appealing to many families – if 3D does at all, of course.
As you might expect for a mid-range model, the design itself was nothing to right home about: it’s black, and just thin enough to house the usual prerequisite of four HDMI ports, two USB ports, a Freeview HD tuner and Ethernet connection (Wi-Fi requires a dongle). It will be one of the first models in the UK to offer Toshiba Places however, and separate from Toshiba’s internet portal, it’ll connect to YouTube for all your OMG cat needs.
The Toshiba Regza VL 3D TV line will be out in June: click the pic and have a peek at one model here in our gallery right now though to see what to expect.
Out TBC | £TBC | Toshiba