Toshiba used its April 6 Spring Trade Show to emphasize its commitment to LCD TVs (up to 47 inches) and gave a tantalizing taste of the power of HD DVD.
The company, under its new Regza TV sub-brand (apparently it’s an old German word – or a word for an old German), will sell several step-up ranges, which it hopes will increase its LCD TV market share from a current level of around 4%.
The most intriguing of the upcoming models will usher 100Hz picture processing back onto the TV feature agenda. While 100hz was once a by word for smearing and image artefacts in the age of the CRT, Toshiba’s Ian Rea says the new implementation for LCD dramatically improves motion on 720p source material. The company was unable to demo the technology, as the models are not quite ready for preview.
The new 100Hz WLT68 series screens will come in 32, 37 and 42 inch sizes. Representing the top of Toshiba’s range, they will also sport three HDMI inputs, two Scarts and a component input. They have a panel resolution of 1366 x 768, and will be available in the autumn.
Also of interest are the company’s 66 series TVs. Two screens, the 47WLT66 (priced at around £3,500, and pictured above) and the 42WLT66 (£2000), will offer 1920 X 1080 resolution, two HDMI inputs, two Scarts and component video when they arrive in the Summer. Despite the resolution of the panels, they can’t take a native 1080p signal, although the company downplays the significance of this, as the first Toshiba HD DVD player can only output a 1080i signal via HDMI (the back of the Toshiba HD-AX1 HD DVD player also previewed at the show, is pictured below).
32 and 37 inch screens are also available in the WLT66 range, but they have a lower screen resolution of 1366 x 768. Both the 66 and 68 series models have integrated digital Freeview tuners.
When asked about the possible ETA of SED screens in the UK, Rea said that limited quantities should be available late 2007. “When we introduce them, it will be a simultaneous global launch. However mass production won’t begin until 2008.”
Other Freeview enabled products coming soon from the brand include a DVD Recorder, the D-R360 (pictured below), which comes with a seven day EPG, and is compatible with -R/RW, RAM and +R/RW; and a portable DVD player with nine inch screen and onboard TV tuner.