CES 2009: Toshiba Goes Feature Crazy

Toshiba has really pushed the boat out with its new Regza range of TVs.

The next new feature is something that I’ve been badgering Toshiba about for some time, DivX support. The new top-end Regzas will feature a USB port so that digital content can be streamed directly from an external hard disk or memory key. The TVs will support MPEG 1 and 2, as well as DivX and Xvid, which means that you won’t need a media adapter hooked up to the TV. For good measure, some Regzas will also feature an SD card slot, so that you can whip your memory card out of your digital camera, slap it in the TV and take a look at your handy work instantly.

Certain models will also feature 240Hz processing, which of course would equate to 200Hz in the UK. If 120Hz was the buzz word last year, it’s clear that it’s 240Hz this year. That said, Toshiba was also honest enough to say that its 240Hz system doesn’t produce three composite frames on top of the original source, and instead it blinks the backlight, creating a BFI (black frame insertion) effect. It’s hard to say how this system will work until I have a look at a TV using it, and that’s assuming that Toshiba launches 200Hz TVs in the UK later this year. But considering that both Sony and Samsung launched 200Hz sets in Europe last year, I fully expect this feature to hit UK models in the next few months.

Finally, the top-end Regza SV670 will be the first Toshiba TV to feature LED backlighting with local dimming, which Toshiba has dubbed FocaLight. Not only does LED backlighting allow for an improved colour gamut, but more importantly, coupled with local dimming it can also greatly enhance black level response. Judging by what I’ve seen from other LCD TVs with local dimming LED backlighting, the SV670 should be something of a stunner – let’s hope it makes its way to the UK.

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