On A Lighter Note...
Since every post must include at least a passing reference to HD DVD's plight, here's mine: Toshiba's morning press conference began about 15 minutes late; and, as the press waited eagerly to see how the company would respond to the big Warner Brothers/Blu-ray news, I couldn't help but imagine the poor presenters huddled backstage, chanting "We're not going to cry. We're not going to cry." To their credit, they addressed the issue candidly and immediately, as Shane recapped in an earlier post.
Then came the more-upbeat part of the presentation, brought to us by the always lively Scott Ramirez, the Toshiba TV Group's VP of Marketing. The company's Spring LCD line includes 20 new models that will hit the market between February and May. Embracing the mantra "1080p is the new 720p," Toshiba will offer 1080p at screen sizes as small as 32 inches. The line still includes two less-expensive 720p series. This year's lineup will feature ClearFrame 120 Hz technology in two higher-end REGZA lines, the XV540 and XF550; best of all, they've added the option to engage 5:5 pulldown to keep film sources looking like film sources, for those of us who find 120 Hz's super-smooth motion a bit distracting.
Toshiba also hinted at some exciting technologies that will appear in their Fall line: a new SD2HD upconversion process to improve the quality of standard-def signals, the incorporation of wireless HDMI, and the release of LED-backlit LCD HDTVs that will sport 1152 LEDS in 96 zones, which seems to be a much higher number of zones than what Samsung is currently offering. We'll be anxious to check those out.