Toshiba TVs Get Smarter For 2012

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LAS VEGAS —

Looking to maintain momentum from a year that saw a 43 percent unit sales growth to almost 9 percent U.S. market share in LED LCD TV sales, Toshiba unveiled at International CES 2012 a TV lineup targeting what marketing VP Scott Ramirez called “the mass premium” market.

Models this year have been designed to present “a family look” in cosmetic styling, deliver strong picture and sound quality, and offer consumers good value in both performance and price, he said.

The 2012 cosmetic is called the Aero Design. It stresses a minimalist bezel look, thin depth, a wing bottom accent and pedestal stand.

This year the company added its first two 50-inch LED LCD TV models for more placement options.

In 3D, Toshiba is dropping its active-shutter 3D models and going with all passive- glasses 3D displays and Trivector 2D-to-3D conversion. It is also enhancing the flexibility of its smart-TV functionality in a wider mix of sets.

To appeal to American audiences, Toshiba added a dynamic mode that accentuates “the pop” of the picture with more pronounced color saturation and vibrancy, Ramirez said.

Heading the model class is the L7200 Cinema series, featuring FullHD 1080p models with 47- and 55-inch screen sizes, 240Hz ClearScan refresh rates, 3D capability and 2D up-conversion, and LED edge-lighting with local-dimming technology.

The heart of the system is powered by Toshiba’s CQ dual-core processor-based video engine, which is said to increase image brightness.

The smart-TV system uses Toshiba’s ePortal IPTV platform with open web browsing, an improved and simplified Rovidesigned MediaGuide, and support for Android tablet and smartphone control apps.

A Toshiba TV and tablet will control all the components in a home-theater system through the use of IR codes built into the TV and IR blasters.

At the same time, tablet/ TV website sharing will enable sending the URL of a current tablet web page to the web browser in the Toshiba TV via Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi connectivity is built into the set, and a Wi-Fi QWERTY keyboard is provided for data input.

Internal sound is supported with a two-way ported speaker system and Audyssey Premium Suite sound enhancement.

The 6200 Series also includes FullHD 1080p models with 47- and 55-inch screen sizes with a similar feature package but steps down to a 120Hz ClearScan refresh rate and LED edge lighting.

The L4200 series includes 19-, 24- and 32-inch models with 720p HD (the 24-inch model is 1080p) resolution, LED edge lighting, two-way ported speakers with Audyssey Premium Suite dynamic volume enhancement, and a new thin-bezel Aero design.

Ramirez said Toshiba has added this year the L2200 Direct LED series to serve as a bridge between CCFL and edge-lit LED TVs.

The Direct LED system uses direct-array LED backlighting (without local dimming) to produce more uniformly bright images than edge-lit systems. The series includes a 50-inch 1080p screen size with two-way ported speakers and Audyssey Premium Suite Sound.

“This will allow us to bring LED to more consumers at more aggressive price points,” he said.

The V4210 series features a 24-inch FullHD 1080p model with LED lighting and a built-in DVD player.

The E220 series features a 40-inch FullHD 1080p screen size with auto-brightness control.

The 120 series has a 32-inch 720p HD screen.

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