CES 2013: Dual Play TVs

by: Dan -
When we visited both Sony and LG, each company was prominently displaying their dual-play TV capabilities.  The technology essentially lets two gamers (or viewers depending on content) view a single 3D TV and see two different images by using different polarity 3D glasses.  Although both companies were using the word “first” on their demos in their respective booths, the technology has been around for some time and we have seen it as prototypes the last few years from both companies.  If you view the screen without the 3D glasses, there is a "ghosting" of the two images that appear on top of each other.

The Sony version is called SimulView and was being shown off on an 84” 4K (3,840 x 2,160) television.  We were treated to a little Gran Turismo 5 racing action for the demo and depending on which glasses you chose (left or right eye) it does truly work.  In addition, PS3 titles such MLB: The Show and Battlefield 3 that support 3D will also work in SimulView.

Sony SimulView of Gran Turismo 5

LG’s technology didn’t appear to have an official name, but was released on their Smart TVs using Mini Motor Racing.  The game was originally released on to Android and iOS, but did not have the dual play option that LG showed off.  To play this particular game, we used the LG Magic Remote, but going forward the technology can be used with any type of controller, as it is independent to the TV and glasses.

LG Dual View Smart TV demo of Mini Motor Racing

One thing to keep in mind is that neither Sony nor LG was using active shutter glasses to showcase their technology.  Sony plans to ship to SimulView glasses along with four traditional glasses in their 4K TVs that support the tech.  Additional glasses can be purchased for $299.99 ro $99.99, or you can have any optical company order a pair for you to get something a bit more comfortable.  LG is compatible with any third party passive 3D glasses, so that means you just need to track down a comfy style and get one in polarity for both the right and left eye.

As for the tech itself, it is a cool concept, and if 3D survives to the point where it is just another option available in all TVs I can see where this could possibly take hold.  However, like any technology it is always about cost and content, and at this point, it seems like we may be a few years out for dual Play TVs to make much of a foothold.

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