More Details on Toshiba’s Upcoming U Series of 4K TVs

by on September 9, 2014

by Stephan Jukic – September 9th, 2014

The Toshiba corporation, already an innovator in designing 4K laptops, has picked the IFA 2014 electronics show in Berlin, which just wrapped up today, to showcase its new series of 4K Ultra HD TVs.

These sets, which are still in their prototype stage, will be released on the European and North American markets at some point in 2015 and will feature a host of interesting specs that are expected to have some serious quality behind them.

Toshiba is no stranger to 4K technology. The company has already released a number of new high end laptops that all have 4K display resolution and are aimed at professionals and gamers. However, the land of large flat screen TVs is a slightly less developed territory for the electronics manufacturer.

While there are still some large information gaps in what exactly the new Ultra HD TV sets will come with, some crucial components will definitely be present. For one thing, their line of TVs will definitely come with HEVC built into them, and this means the ability to decode and play 4K content streams from the major online providers of Ultra HD movies and TV shows that are running today.

Most importantly, with HEVC, the Toshiba TVs could give their owners’ access to Netflix streaming and the new 4K content streams from Amazon Prime, which are coming to select brands of TVs as of early October. Though even with the HEVC decoding technology in place, it’s still unknown if Toshiba will have a working agreement with either Netflix or Amazon for access to their content like some other TV makers have been doing.

Currently, the ultimate generation of 4K TVs that the company is already selling, the 58L9363B, lacks the ability to decode HEVC and this absence is a major competitive deficiency in a market where the best 4K content is streamed via the video compression codec.

More concrete Details about the new U series that were unveiled at IFA include the fact that the TVs will be built around the base technology of Toshiba’s existing L74 series of TVs. What this means is a new backlight design that delivers an excellent 75% luminance boost over typical LCD TVs and also gives out a 14% wider color gamut.

Furthermore, there will definitely be HDMI 2.0 ports and HDCP 2.2 compatibility built into the TVs. The HDMI 2.0 addition means much smoother viewing of 4K video that’s being connected via HDMI from other devices such as media players and cameras while the HDCP compatibility will ensure access to copy protected content from third party sources.

Toshiba to have HDMI 2.0

Toshiba’s New TVs will feature new 4K ready Connectivity options

The new U series TVs will also come with the company’s proprietary CEVO Picture engine and will include the MediaGuide Replay feature, which is a Smart TV interfaced that allows remote control of your TV via compatible smartphones or tablets and which also intelligently examines a users previous viewing history for the sake of making relevant suggestions for new programming.

Finally, based on preliminary viewings of the U series in action at IFA, the colors on the screen look absolutely great and show some excellent saturation while keeping a nice natural tone. However, the black levels were a bit variable and some of the U models showed them better than others.

Overall however, the IFA presentation of the U series was in many ways incomplete, details on planned specs were highly sketchy and the products shown were still incomplete in many ways, thus not offering a full picture of what Toshiba is going to be giving us in 2015 when the new models go on sale.

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