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New Regza HDTVs - Z & Picture Frame X Series

Top of Toshiba’s new TV range is the Z series, which picks up the mantle from the previous flagship WLT68 series. In line with its high-end targeting, the smallest Z series is 37in, with sizes running all the way up to 57in, with 42, 47 and 52in in between.

Like the WLT68, the Z series offers three HDMI 1.3 ports, which will definitely be a bonus for anyone with a decent amount of HD kit. I’m already struggling with HDMI connectivity in my living room, with my Sky HD box, PS3 and HD DVD player all vying for connection – and things will only get worse when the Xbox 360 Elite appears!

As well as the three HDMIs, you also get component video input, an integrated Freeview digital tuner and Toshiba’s Active Vision M100 processing. The latter was first seen on the WLT68 series and creates a 100Hz image by inserting composite frames between each actual frame. The result is a near eradication of the dreaded motion smearing that often affects LCD screens. I’ve got to say that I’m a bit disappointed that Active Vision M100 isn’t also present in the X series, but I guess Toshiba wants to have a clear differentiator for the flagship model.

Like the X series, the Z series has a glossy piano black finish and the same panning stand. Of course the Z series features a 1,920 x 1,080 Full HD panel and will accept 1080p 24, 50 and 60Hz signals. It will be interesting to see how the Active Vision M100 processing copes with a 1080p signal, especially a 1080p 24 input – I’ll find out for sure when I get a review unit, although the Z series is not due to ship to retail until September.

But the TV that really caught my eye was the new Picture Frame LCD X series. The Picture Frame X (PFX)series stands out from all the other models by sporting an ultra-slim bezel, making the screen look larger than it is and endowing the whole TV with a real sense of style.

The PFX sports the same 1,920 x 1,080 Full HD panel as the standard X series, and thus will accept 1080p signals in every format. Unlike the standard X series the PFX is equipped with three HDMI 1.3 ports as well as component video, Active Vision LCD and an integrated Freeview digital tuner. It’s a real shame that Toshiba hasn’t included Active Vision M100 processing in the Picture Frame X series, but it clearly doesn’t want this sleek X line to outshine the Z series.

The Picture Frame X series will be available in 40 and 46in sizes only. This is due to the fact that a special panel is necessary because of the slim bezel, since the PFX still has to be as robust as all the other TVs in Toshiba’s range. The PFX is still in its development stage, which was highlighted by the fact that only an engineering mock up was on show at the event.

Early pricing indications suggest around £1,500 for the 40in and £1,800 for the 46in, which is pretty reasonable if the final product looks anywhere near as good as the mock up. You can be sure that there will be a full review of this one up on TR as soon as I get my paws on a sample.

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