Bonita Springs, Fla. — Toshiba used its dealer show here to take the wraps off its first LCD TVs to wear the new REGZA sub-brand denoting high-picture performance.
Twelve models will bear the REGZA trademark, which is short for Real Experience Guaranteed by Amazing Architecture. Toshiba is promoting the sub-brand, which is similar to approaches used with Sharp’s AQUOS and Sony’s BRAVIA sub-brands, in a global advertising and promotional effort. In the United States the campaign will feature a national print ads, literature, point-of-purchase materials and Internet advertising.
The REGZA term is used on all flat-panel LCD models incorporating the company’s proprietary “PixelPure Hi-Bit” 12-bit digital video-processing system and “CineSpeed” fast response time system, which at 8ms or less on many models is said to be 33 percent faster than previous models.
The company will offer REGZA models in five levels, including REGZA, REGZA LCDVD, REGZA XHD, Cinema Series REGZA LCD and Cinema Series REGZA XHD. Top-of the-line REGZA units bear the “XHD” designation to indicate 1,920 by 1,080p resolution capability.
Toshiba’s 2006/07 TV line includes 20 LCD TVs, including the new REGZA models, 13 direct-view CRT TVs, two high-definition plasma TVs and nine DLP rear-projection TVs — including some of the company’s first models to employ Texas Instruments’ new 1,920 by 1,080p Digital Micromirror Device (DMD) chip.
The REGZA series will include screen sizes ranging from 26W inches to 47W inches, and will be positioned under various distribution series including the open TheaterWide and protected step-up Cinema Series, said Scott Ramirez, Toshiba television marketing VP.
The REGZA badge also appears on “LCDVD” — combination LCD TV/DVD products.
All REGZA models offer 176 degree viewing angles, ATSC/QAM digital tuning, jack packs with PC and HDMI inputs, and black and sliver cabinet designs.
REGZA XHD models feature 1,080p full HD resolution and a CableCARD slot, TV Guide On Screen program guide, dual HDMI inputs, “HD Window” picture-out-of-picture function and Toshiba’s “Native Mode 1,080p,” which turns off scaling or over-scanning processes.
Cinema Series REGZA models feature special high-gloss black finish cosmetics with SoundStrip speaker technology for reduced cabinet size, and a ColorMaster color management system which provides hue, saturation and brightness control of six individual colors, and a new six-item home theater remote control.
REGZA HD LCD TVs include the 26W-inch 26HL66 ($1,199.99 suggested retail, available now), the 32w-inch 32HL66 ($1,599.99, available now) and the 37W-inch 37HL66 ($2,199.99, shipping in August).
REGZA LCDVD models include the 26W-inch 26HLV66 ($1,299.99, shipping in June); the 32W-inch 32HLV66 ($1,699.99, shipping in June); and the 37W-inch 37HLV66 ($2,299.99, shipping in July).
A REGZA XHD (1,080p) model, 42HL196, will feature a 42W-inch screen size ($2,999.99, shipping in July).
Cinema Series REGZA models will include the 37LX96 ($2,599.99, shipping in July); the REGZA XHD (1,080p) 42LX196 ($3,299.99, shipping in July); and 47W-inch 47LX196 ($4,499.99, shipping in August).
Other LCD TV highlights in the new line include a specially crafted kitchen unit, called “RealSteel,” that features a 20W-inch high-definition screen and stainless-steel cabinet designed to match stainless-steel kitchen appliances.
New 16:9 20W-inch HD LCD TV units include the RealSteel 20HLK86 ($799.99, shipping in July) and the white 20HL86 ($699.99, July).
Toshiba will also offer a custom series of high-definition LCD TV monitors that omit tuners in the 26W-inch 26HLC56 ($1,099.99, August); the 32W-inch 32HLC56 ($1,399.99, July); and the 37W-inch 37HLC56 ($1,999.99, July).
In plasma TV, Toshiba said it will carry a pair of high-definition models in the 42W-inch and 50W-inch screen sizes. Both incorporate ATSC/QAM digital tuning, dual HDMI inputs, a PC input and new cosmetics. Contrast ratios have been improved to 8,000:1 and 10,000:1, respectively. Both models, the42HP66 and 50HP66, are shipping now at suggested retails of $2,299.99 and $3,299.99, respectively.
In microdisplay rear-projection TV, Toshiba introduced nine models, many of which offer a new cosmetic design in tandem with an advanced light engine and video processing system.
Rear-projection models range in screen sizes from 42W inches to 72W inches.
New 720p models feature Toshiba’s TALEN 5 light engine using the HD5 DLP chip and a Radiance 150-watt lamp.
All rear-projection models measuring 50W inches and larger use the company’s PixelPure Hi-Bit 12-bit digital video processing technology, and offer new compact Scoop Design cabinetry and Toshiba’s “SoundStrip” speaker system.
Top-of-the-line DLP models in the 60W-inch and larger screen sizes employ Toshiba’s XHD 1,080p TALENX light engine with Texas Instruments’ new xHD5 (1,920 by 1,080p) DMD and Toshiba’s Xtreme BLAC aperture control technology to provide, what the company said is twice the pixel resolution and twice the contrast of previous models.
New TheaterWide 720p DLP models include the 42W-inch 42HM66 ($1,699.99, June); the 50W-inch 50HM66 ($2,199.99, now); and the 56W-inch 56HM66 ($2,499.99, now).
The 42W-inch model features a compact cabinet, measuring 39.25 inches wide, smaller than Toshiba’s last 36-inch direct view model, Ramirez said.
New Cinema Series 720p DLP models include the 50W-inch 50HMX96 ($2,499.99, now) and the 56W-inch 56HMX96 ($2,799.99, June).
TheaterWide XHD 1,080p models include the 62HM196 ($3,199.99, June) and the 72W-inch 72HM196 ($4,499.99, July). Cinema Series XHD 1,080p models include the 62W-inch 62MX196 ($3,499.99, July) and the 72W-inch 72MX196 ($4,799.99, August).
Toshiba will continue to offer a broad selection of direct-view TVs in 2006, Ramirez said, including analog direct-view models, despite the fact that they must disappear in 2007 under the Federal Communications Commission’s DTV tuner mandate. Analog models will be offered in 13-inch and 19-inch non-flat screen sizes, and 14-, 20- and 24-inch flat-screen sizes.
In digital direct view, the company will offer four levels, including standard definition (SD) 480i models in the 27- and 32-inch non-flat screen sizes, and the 27- and 32-inch flat-screen screen sizes. The 32-inch flat screen model will feature a new cabinet design.
Also added is a new category of digital widescreen CRT direct view models, including 26W-inch and 30W-inch 16:9 models with SD resolution. In HDTV, the company will continue to offer 26W- and 30W-inch direct-view models.
“We will be No. 1 in the [direct-view CRT] category in 2006,” Ramirez declared.