Toshiba Puts UHD Front and Center in 2014 TV Lineup
Today's announcements include seven new TV series and two 4K displays.
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Toshiba has just announced its new 2014 TV lineup during a press conference at this year's International CES. The company's intention to continue providing high-quality, low-cost TVs yields two UHD (4K) series and five LED LCDs.
UHD TV is here to stay.
Toshiba's flagship for 2014 is the L9400, available in 58-, 65-, and 84-inch iterations. This UHD TV utilizes a 240 Hz refresh rate and Toshiba's new Cinema Quality (CQ) 4K Quad/Dual upscaling engine to process sub-UHD content.
It is also one of only two Toshiba series using the company's new "Radiance" full array LED panel—the other being the L7400. The L9400 is HDMI 2.0–compatible, and features Toshiba's Cloud TV smart platform.
The other Toshiba UHD is the L8400 series, a more affordable option available in 50- and 58-inch screen sizes. Like the L9400, the L8400 is equipped with Toshiba's CQ 4K upscaling engine and smart TV platform. It does not, however, make use of the Radiance panel design. The L8400 is capped at a 120 Hz refresh rate, as well.
Both UHD TVs are H.265 HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding) and HDCP 2.2 compliant.
...but most of these TVs are regular old 1080p sets.
The L7400 series is Toshiba's flagship Full-HD LCD for this year, and is available in 47- and 55-inch iterations. 2014's flagship brings 1080p resolution, a sub-UHD version of the company's CQ engine, the Cloud TV smart platform, and the new Radiance panel design.
One step down, the L5400 is another CQ-equipped, smart, 1080p LCD series. It is available in 58- and 65-inch varieties, and differs from the L7400 primarily in that it doesn't include the Radiance panel, which uses a full-array LED backlight. The L7400 and L5400 both feature 240 Hz panels.
The L3400 and L2400 are similar mid-tier LCDs; both are available in 40- and 50-inch varieties, with the L2400 including a 32-inch version as well. Both series use 120 Hz panels and gun-metal design, but the L3400 has the advantage of being equipped with Toshiba's CQ engine and smart platform.
Finally, the L1400 entry-level series is available in 32-inch (720p), 40-inch (1080p) and 50-inch (1080p) sizes. It strives for affordability by utilizing a 60 Hz panel and a glossy black plastic design.
The Radiance Panel is a stab at TV supremacy.
The Radiance panel design incorporates a suite of panel "abilities" utilized by Toshiba's L9400 UHD and L7400 LCD televisions. They include:
- 4K/1080p Full Resolution (L9400/L7400)
- SuperBright LED
- Super Wide Color Gamut/Wide Color Gamut (L9400/L7400)
- Quantum Black Local Dimming
The SuperBright panel boosts the overall light output by increasing the color filter size of the sub-pixel map. Crucially, it does so in a way that doesn't appear to favor or over-emphasize any single RGB sub-pixel over another.
Meanwhile, Toshiba's Quantum Black Local Dimming makes use of the full-array LEDs, turning off entire swaths of LEDs when black is called for. Utilized properly, the Quantum Black ability could make for very impressive contrast performance from the L9400 and L7400 series.
While not unique to Toshiba, the wide color gamut features enhance and saturate the L9400 and L7400's color presentation, resulting in more lifelike color than is traditionally found in HDTVs.
Toshiba wants to make your TV more like a smartphone.
The L9400, L8400, and L7400 series TVs are all equipped with what Toshiba calls "smart TV with Cloud Portal," an improvement upon last year's Cloud TV Platform. Among traditional uses like a web browser and apps, the Cloud Portal introduces new communication and mobile features like personal (instant) messaging, photo sharing, streaming news, and a calendar that can be accessed and updated remotely.