Toshiba Expands Super Narrow Bezel LCDs, Acknowledges Times are Tough for HD DVD
After the Jan. 4 bombshell news from Warner that the studio would end support of HD DVD in the spring of 2008, attendees at Toshiba’s January 6 press conference expected to hear some disappointment from the company heads. Opening up the presentation, Toshiba president and CEO Akio Ozaka stuck to the original statement released earlier, saying that they were surprised and disappointed, but reiterated the format’s recent sales successes.
VP of Marketing Jody Sally came on stage next and delivered a clearly emotional speech. She opened by saying that it’s been difficult to read the pundants declaring HD DVD dead. “HD DVD is not dead,” said Sally. “We firmly believe HD DVD is the best format for the consumer,” she continued. In fact Sally pointed out all the format’s advantages over Blu-ray, including Web interactivity, lower replication costs, cheaper players and a larger marketshare in stand-alone players. Ultimately, the company announced no new HD DVD products for 2008, and no one at Toshiba would say if that was a change since the news of Warner’s departure. The HD DVD promotion group canceled its own press event for the same day, so it’s still unclear what Warner’s move means for the format.
The atmosphere was a lot more upbeat for Toshiba’s Scott Ramirez and the company’s LCD TV line. Toshiba introduced 20 new models and five new product series for 2008, all available within the next three months. Among the technology moves, Ramirez stated that all new models will include DynaLight dynamic backlight control, ClearFrame 120Hz processing and that the REGZA-branded products will include the fourth generation of PixelPure 14-bit processing and a Gaming Mode that reduced the video signal lag time. The company is also expanding their thin bezel and super narrow bezel models. The RV530 series will feature a new two-tone bezel the company calls the “Surface Tension” design.