CES 2009: Toshiba stick to what they do best – improvements to LCDs for the Toshiba Regza range

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toshiba-New-regza.jpgNo one was expecting any particularly big shakes form Toshiba at CES 2009 and the fact that their main announcement was a set off TV’s with the same name prefixed by “New” doesn’t help to impress. To be fair to the self proclaimed leaders in innovation, their New Regza LCD TVs may not be record breakers but they do smack of very high quality indeed, and after all, isn’t watching TV all about the picture at the end of the day?

The latest additions are the REGZA XV645 Series, the REGZA ZV650 Series and the REGZA SV670 Series. Each of the three ranges have been given Deep Lagoon design which sounds more pretentious than it deserves. It’s an ethos that leaves the finsh of the panels as smooth as possible with the speakers hidden and the TVs flat without needless achievements of being the thinnest, fastest, shortest, biggest etc.

The top of the range SV670s will also feature the Infinity Flush front – a single sheet of anti-reflective glass which covers the screen and stretches over the whole set.

The XV645 series comes in 40″, 46″ and 52″ screen sizes and will be available from May. They feature the fifth generation PixelPure 14 bit video processing technology and Resolution + to upscale SD transmissions to an effective 720p.

They’ll run at a healthy 120Hz refresh rate to cut down on blur to an excellent level and feature AutoView – an automatic light sensing to optimise the brightness of the screen whatever the ambient illumination happens to be. It comes with three HDMI slots and a high res PC input.

One rung up sits the three ZV650s available in 42″, 47″ and 52″ sizes form April. These use a backlight scanning technology they call Clear Scan 240 which boosts the natural 120Hz rate to something claimed to be effective to 240Hz. Purists will argue, Tosh will argue back but what they’re offering is the clearest picture they can muster and I’d be suprised if it didn’t deliver at least to 80% of the claims.

Dolby Volume is the other godsend tacked on which brings peace to all arguments over loud gun shots and infuriating commercial breaks. Worth its weight in gold. At the back there’s four HDMI ports, an SD card slot but, best of all, a USB port.

Top of the range are the 46″ and 55″ SV670 sets which have FocaLight LED backlighting with more localised dimming to fine tune the LCD experience. It’s a more complete LED matrix to improve contrast and reduce light spill areas where possibly, so often the curse LCDs. They’ll be out from May and, like the Z650 series, will of course be full HD.

More from CES 2009 when you press this word.

Daniel Sung