While we saw a lot of smart and connected TVs at CES earlier this year, Toshiba seemed to be focusing on its glasses-free TVs. Yesterday however, the company unveiled its line-up for 2011 including Toshiba Places.
Toshiba Places is the company's smart platform, giving users access to video, music, social media, news and games via different apps. The service offers a single sign-on feature which will mean once you have set up the system you'll only have to sign in once to access all the content. Places will be available on a range of products including TVs, PCs and tablets - having been optimised for each device. Initially it will only be available in certain countries in Europe, though Toshiba has said it will be rolling out the service to more countries and products in the coming months.
Getting on to the TVs, the flagship model from Toshiba this year will be the 55ZL1 which will be the first TV to come with the CEVO-engine and with 512 zones of local dimming among the 3,072 LEDs. The seven-core CEVO CPU promises to deliver film studio picture quality and enhanced 3D features. The 55ZL1 also incorporates facial recognition technology which will allow it to tailor what is on screen depending on who is watching. It features active shutter technology 3D technology and the 55in model will be shipping in Europe this May.
Next up is the VL863 series which features polarisation filter technology for 3D reproduction, meaning no more heavy active shutter glasses, instead using glasses like those typically found in cinemas. Toshiba will even ship these models with four free pairs of glasses. The VL863 series will come in 42in and 47in models and will be available in the second quarter of 2011. The UL863 series does away with 3D technology but keeps facial recognition, access to Toshiba Places and also includes built-in Wi-Fi. The UL863 series will come in sizes ranging from 32in to 46in and will be available in the summer.
Finally the SL833 series is the budget offering, doing away with the built-in Wi-Fi but holding onto facial recognition and Toshiba Places access. The SL833 series will be available again in sizes ranging from 32in to 46in and will ship next month. Toshiba has not announced the prices for these models yet but we'll keep you up to date once we know.