CES: Samsung OLED TV Gets Quadruple Vision

Television Allows Viewers to Watch Two Separate 3D Programs Simultaneously

Las Vegas -- Samsung Electronics is showing off an organic light-emitting diode (OLED) HDTV here at the 2013 International CES that transmits four images simultaneously -- allowing two different viewers to watch two separate 3D videos.

The 75-inch “Multi-View” television also can let as many as four viewers watch four separate 2D images.

The feature works using active-shutter 3D glasses. The OLED TV displays 240 frames per second (two 3D images with left/right eye or four 2D images), and uses a Bluetooth-based signaling protocol to communicate with each pair of glasses.

Sony Electronics is demonstrating a similar feature, dubbed SimulView, available on its currently shipping 84-inch XBR-84X900 4K Ultra HD TV that works with select 3D games for the PlayStation3. With SimulView, which uses passive glasses, each player has his or her own full-screen view of the action.

In Samsung's implementation, tiny "shutters" in the battery-operated glasses open and close to let through only the left- and right-eye images destined for the correct viewer -- without the glasses, you can see both 3D videos overlapping on the TV. The set displays regular 2D HD without requiring glasses, but the headgear is needed to view two or more 2D streams simultaneously.

The Multi-View glasses include earbuds to deliver the accompanying audio stream for the separate videos, which also is delivered via Bluetooth wireless.

According to Samsung, the Multi-View feature is only possible with OLED technology. OLED provides a response time of approximately 0.001 milliseconds, compared with 2 ms for conventional LCD displays.

The Multi-View TV is slated to ship in the second half of 2013. Samsung has not announced pricing for the unit.

To date, 3D content has been relatively scarce. In the U.S., only two linear 3D networks are available: ESPN 3D and 3net, from Discovery Communications, Sony and IMAX.

Netflix has introduced some 3D titles via its Internet streaming service, but that content is available only to subscribers who have an Internet service provider that participates in its Open Connect content distribution network. Cablevision Systems announced a deal with Netflix this week to participate in the private CDN.

A Samsung rep said the multiple-viewer features of the HDTV works with Blu-ray Disc or set-top inputs, but not with broadband-connected sources such as Netflix.

Also at CES, Samsung unveiled a Curved OLED TV, which the CE maker said provides depth to the content displayed for a “more life-like viewing experience” as well as a panoramic effect not possible with conventional flat-panel TVs.