EXCLUSIVE: Toshiba Australia will launch its new ultra premium LED Cell TV in Australia, with the company set to talk to specialist dealers about its unique TV system, which can instantly upscale 2D content to 3D and record up to eight programs at once.In an exclusive interview with SmartHouse, Toshiba Managing Director Mr Mark Whittard, who is currently in Japan meeting with senior TV executives of the Japanese company, said that the Cell TV was an important product in Toshiba’s TV line-up in Australia as it demonstrated the extent of Toshiba’s TV knowledge and capability in the display market.
He also said that Toshiba was close to delivering a 3D TV that did not need 3D glasses.
Incorporating the same Cell processor that is found in the new Sony Slim PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360, the new Cell TV is 10 times faster than an Intel Core 2 Duo processor. The Cell TV model set to be launched in Australia could have a 3TB hard drive and 802.11n built-in wireless, enabling it to serve media files like video, music, and pictures to other devices on a home network. It will also allow up to eight TV programs to be recorded at once.
The Australian version of the Cell TV could also include a built in 3D Blu-ray player. It will also upscale 2D DVDs to 3D by taking the existing image and processing it within a range of factors to reproduce the image in 3D.
In the US model, there’s also an integrated BD player that eliminates the need to connect an external BD unit, and can rip unprotected files from BD and DVD discs (like home videos) to the hard drive. The TV can also stream content from PCs in the home via DLNA.
Mr Whittard said, “I am currently in Japan meeting with our TV to determine what our new TV line-up will be. We will definitely bring in the Cell TV. We are planning to expand our TV line up and I am confident that we can increase our market share to 6 per cent.
“We are currently in fifth position and I am confident that we can hold this position while increasing our market share. Running into Xmas, we were extremely cautious over stock, particularly with our combo models. Our strategy has been proven to be right as retailers are currently sitting on a lot of our competitors stock as the market for combo TV models slowed over the December January period.”
A GFK executive told ChannelNews that this slowdown was caused by consumers stepping up their TV purchase due to heavy discounting over the peak buying period.
Earlier in the week, Hisense executives told ChannelNews that they were looking to overtake Toshiba in the Australian market.
Mr Whittard said, “We are not concerned about Hisense. They have a lot of stock in the channel and this has got to sell out before they get new models into stores. We, on the other hand, have new models coming and we are going to ramp up our offering to retailers.”
Pricing has not been announced but it could be up to $9900.