Itâ€™s that time of year again where all the big consumer electronics companies announce their new lines and models. As usual I attended Toshibaâ€™s annual product showcase, which this year moved from the lovely Down Hall to the equally lovely Hanbury Manor hotel.
Top of the list of Toshibaâ€™s new offerings are its new lines of high definition televisions, with significant emphasis on Full HD 1,920 x 1,080 offerings. But kicking things off is the new C series, which is aimed at the budget conscious consumer who wants to take their first step into the world of high definition.
The C series is available in 26, 32, 37 and 42in sizes and a native panel reslolution of 1,366 x 768 - all models sport the HD Ready badge. The 26in model only sports a single HDMI, but the others all have two. As well as the HDMI ports, you also get a component video input for analogue HD sources, Toshibaâ€™s Active Vision LCD and a built-in Freeview digital tuner.
The first thing that you notice about the C series is that despite being the entry level option in Toshibaâ€™s range, it still looks pretty damn good. In fact itâ€™s a massive improvement over the outgoing WLT66 range from last year. The all black finish definitely helps, as does the crescent shaped stand, which was first seen on the WLT68 series â€“ the stand also allows the TV to be easily panned from side to side.
Thereâ€™s no doubt that the C series will look attractive on the shop floor, with estimated pricing of Â£699 for the 32in, Â£899 for the 37in and a truly impressive Â£999 for the 42in! Iâ€™ve got the 42in C series in the office right now, so expect a full review very soon.
Next up is the X series, which ships in 32, 37 and 42in sizes. The X series represents the step up to serious high definition with a 1,920 x 1,080 Full HD panel and the ability to accept 1080p signals at 24, 50 and 60Hz. With more devices starting to output 1080p, this is an important and necessary step for Toshiba and pretty much every other TV manufacturer right now.
All the models feature two HDMIs, component video, integrated Freeview digital tuner and Active Vision LCD. Toshiba has also finished the X series in a glossy â€œpianoâ€ black, clearly differentiating it from the cheaper C series. The same crescent shaped stand is employed, allowing for smooth panning. Itâ€™s also worth noting that the X series will feature HDMI 1.3, so thereâ€™s support for Deep Colour, assuming you have a compatible source device and software.
The X series looks like a good option for a consumer looking for their second HDTV, who is keen to step up to a 1080p environment. With Toshibaâ€™s newly announced HD-EP10 HD DVD player outputting 1080p at an affordable price, itâ€™s clear that consumers can have a 1080p home cinema setup without breaking the bank. Talking of cost, early indications are that the 37in will ship at Â£999 with the 42in coming in at a very reasonable Â£1,199.