This month Toshiba will roll out a new range of LCD TVs and two new HD DVD players with one tipped to be sub $499. This could well force Sony to also launch a sub $500 model Blu-ray player. Both players are expected to run at 24 frames per second.
Toshiba Australia which has recently been on a major recruiting drive to launch its new CE products division is also set to roll out a new range of LCD TVs at time when several vendors including Sony, Sharp and Samsung are struggling to keep up with supply of 1080p HD LCD TVs. This could be a big advantage for Toshiba which took over distribution of the Toshiba product range from Melbourne based distributor Castel.
Last week Toshiba rolled out a firmware update for its HD DVD players, adding network connectivity to download Web-enabled bonus content. It is expected that Toshiba will also announce the availability of several new HD DVD content partners in Australia.
Mark Whiittard in an interview with SHN said that Toshiba will be competitive in the market. “We have been in the notebook market for many years and we have the experience to operate in a tight margin market which is what the flat panel market is becoming,” he said.
Using supplied Ethernet ports on all Toshiba HD DVD players, users will able to download bonus features to internal storage from a movie studio’s server. The functionality will also enable “unlocking” bonus content hidden on some HD DVD discs using a downloadable key. Say Toshiba.
Toshiba has also said that it will add 24ps frame-rate output to all its HD DVD models that will ship in September.
It is expected that Toshiba will have among its LCD TV range a 32″, 42-inch as well as a 46-inch and 52-inch Regza LCD TVs and that they will add a 57-inch Cinema Series LCD TV model in later in the year.
The new LCD models coming to market add Toshiba’s advanced ClearFrame 100 Hz Anti-Blur System for smooth fast action image reproduction as well as a new Toshiba chipset that delivers advanced colour management.
Ramirez said that Toshiba’s flat-panel market share has jumped significantly, according to The NPD Group’s retail tracking service TV data. Market research on TV sales, including combos, showed Toshiba nearly doubled its share in the 32- to 42-inch LCD category in April and May 2007.
“Consumers are responding to the quality and design of Regza, but more importantly, they are proving that Toshiba is a market leader in flat panel TV,” Ramirez said.
According to NPD Research , Toshiba’s share in the 32- to 42-inch screen size grew 90 percent, to 10.8 percent market share, making Toshiba No. 3 in the LCD screen size range, including combos. Toshiba’s 40- to 42-inch LCD market share grew to 12.7 percent in the period, while its 37-inch share grew 13.2 percent.
Recently Toshiba announced the that it has discontinued all rear projection televisions in favour of flat-panel displays.