IFA 2008: Toshiba Press Conference

Toshiba's address to the press at IFA was something of a mixed message - Riyad tries to figure it out.

The Toshiba press conference was kicked off by Alan Thompson – Executive Vice President Europe – who gave an overview of the company’s present and future strategy. Interestingly, the first words out of Thompson’s mouth were that there will be no Toshiba branded Blu-ray products hitting the market. Of course I can understand Toshiba’s reluctance to adopt a format that it was battling against, but I can’t help feeling that the company will be well and truly cutting off its nose to spite its face if that stance carries on too long. The lack of Blu-ray support doesn’t just affect AV products either, since Toshiba also confirmed that there would be no Blu-ray equipped notebooks, which leaves the Qosmio line in a difficult position, when facing entertainment notebooks from the likes of Sony and Acer.

The message that Thompson did have for the congregated press can only be described as confused at best. On the one hand, Thompson was keen to talk about Toshiba’s new upscaling technology, and how it brought “near” high definition quality to the masses, but he also suggested that consumers are demanding higher and higher resolutions from their TVs, citing a transition to 4k and even 8k screens.

Personally I don’t agree at all, and feel that consumers aren’t demanding ever higher TV resolutions. Instead I think that consumers would be far happier buying into a standard that isn’t going to be superseded in a couple of years. Add to that, with Toshiba pushing the idea of upscaling SD content, that job will be far harder on a 4k screen!

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