Tucked away in the Sound and Vision department of Harrods is a 42in LCD television set. As a not-for-sale display model, it draws only the occasional glance from the tourists and Christmas shoppers packing the store. Despite its unexceptional looks, though, this item of hardware may offer the answer to that great unsolved problem of technology: three-dimensional television.
The LG True 3-D television is one of a new generation of screens that can create a 3-D image without the viewer having to wear irritating colour-filtering goggles. And unlike previous prototype 3-D televisions, which have been small and have provided only modest picture quality (because a lot of detail is lost in the process of adding apparent depth to 2-D images), it can be manufactured in conventional television sizes to provide pictures of impressive clarity.
Philips is also getting in on the 3-D act. Last week the Dutch company showcased a 56in Quad Full-HD screen, which it claims has a resolution four times higher than that of a conventional Full HD television. "Even allowing for the reduction in quality as a result of adding the 3-D effects, this screen still delivers footage in high definition," said Bjorn Teuwsen of Philips 3D Solutions. Impressively, this would make it the first television screen to be both 3-D and HD.