Other than when I pass Wagamama with an empty stomach I don't often envy the Japanese. Except, of course, when it comes to technology...
The latest in a long line of nah-na-na-na-nah products headed to the Far East this week are two stunning new HD LCDs from Toshiba. Adding to its well received REGZA brand the company has unleashed two huge new panels with integrated high definition recorders.
The 'H3300' series comes in 46in and 56in sizes, sport 1080p native resolutions, true cinema 24fps playback, the usual dual HDMIs and a highly usual eSATA expansion port for a 300GB slot loading disk capable of recording SD and HD content. DVI and D-Sub make up the other connectivity options but we know little else since the press release is in Japanese and I'd stand more chance trying to translate Teletubby.
Since I can read numbers however I immediately see one significant draw back to these sets: at 128 x 39 x 84.7cm and 113.2 x 35.2 x 76.3cm respectively the 52H3300 and 46H3300 pay a heavy price in chub. The dimensions are likely to include the stand, but just look at that side shot and I'd suggest a wall mount is out of the question.
Still, if you've got your flat screen TV sat in a corner – as most people (pointlessly) continue to do – it will make little difference to these fatties, not that we have anything against portly products when they are specifically portable. So when these new sets inevitably turn up in Europe later this year we'll greet them with a smile and an embrace... an arm wrenching, leg bending, back snapping embrace.