CE Week 2013: Toshiba takes a flying leap into 4K Ultra HD with 3 models coming this summer


Check out our review of the Toshiba L9300U series of 4K TVs.

With more than 33 4K Ultra HD TVs scheduled for release in 2013, it would seem industry support for the new format is set in stone. Marketing blurbs promise an experience akin to “looking through an open window,” (isn’t that what they said about HD when it launched?). But, hype aside, it’s clear that 4K Ultra HD TVs have the potential to inject some much needed life into sagging flat-panel sales, and Toshiba is ready to bet the farm on it.

Not only will Toshiba be shipping three 4K Ultra HD TVs by the end of the summer, but a Blu-ray player/media streamer with 4K upscaling as well. Toshiba reps refused to divulge any pricing on the new products but expect to see 55-inch, 65-inch, and 84-inch L9300U 4K Ultra HD TVs at select retailers before Labor Day.

One thing that Toshiba has learned from its experience with 3D HDTV is that customers need to see differences between various formats before they’ll be convinced it makes sense to pull the trigger. Scott Ramirez, Toshiba”s VP of Marketing and Development, explained during the Ultra HD Summit held at CE Week that Toshiba was going to “educate consumers in regard to the differences between 4K, upscaled 1080p, and standard HD content” with the aid of interactive endcaps at major retailers.

Ramirez explained that the endcaps would feature either the 55-inch or 65-inch 4K Ultra HD TVs, a Toshiba sound bar, and the forthcoming BDX6400 Symbio Media Box and Blu-ray player playing native 4K content (via content stored on an SD card), 1080p content upscaled to 4K, and standard HD so that consumers could easily see the benefits of the new technology.

Toshiba feels that with large flat-panels sales in North America poised to tick upward by the beginning of 2015, this is the perfect opportunity to educate rather than thrust 4K Ultra HD down consumers throats with no content available and what is likely to be a high asking price for first-generation products.

“3D has never really met the high expectations set for it, and while we think consumers are going to immediately appreciate the ability to watch full HD 3D with passive glasses on an 4K Ultra HD TV, it’s unlikely to be the reason why consumers are going to invest in the new technology,” explained Ramirez.

Toshiba4KBD“We’re extremely proud of the upscaling performance of our L9300U series and that is ultimately why consumers will upgrade to the new format, even with all of the questions regarding content, standards, and the future of HDMI 2.0.”

A show floor is no place to make definitive comments about the picture quality of any HDTV, but the 65-inch Toshiba L9300U we viewed was extremely impressive. And while we’re confident 4K Ultra HD’s wider color gamut  is going to be an important benefit of the technology – perhaps even more important than the increase in resolution – with no content or standards yet in place, we still think consumers are best served waiting until the industry has ironed out some of the obvious wrinkles before spending between $6,000-$20,000 on a TV.

Home Theater

Budget TVs are finally worth buying, and you can thank Roku

Not all that long ago, budget TVs were only worth looking at if, well, you were on a budget. Thanks to Roku, not only are budget TVs now a viable option for anyone, but they might even be a better buy than more expensive TVs.

The best budget-friendly GoPro alternatives that won’t leave you broke

Cold weather is here, and a good action camera is the perfect way to record all your adventures. You don't need to shell out the big bucks for a GoPro: Check out these great GoPro alternatives, including some 4K cameras, that won’t leave…
Home Theater

How to crack the code and find the best TV resolution for your needs

720p? 1080p? 4K UHD? What does it all mean? Choosing the best resolution for your TV can be tough, but fear not: We’ll break down the dirty details and help you figure out the right resolution for you.

Time for a new TV? Grab the 55-inch Samsung curved 4K smart TV for $598

Shopping for a new TV and want to upgrade to 4K? Consider going curved: Samsung makes some of the best UHD TVs on the market today, including its unique curved lineup. Now, you can score the 55-inch Samsung curved 4K smart TV for just $598…
Home Theater

From game consoles to 4K UHD spinners, these are the best Blu-ray players

Streaming may be popular, but the disc isn't dead yet! To get the very best picture and sound quality from your system, you need to be watching Blu-ray or 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray discs. Here are the best Blu-ray players you can buy right now.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Amazon Prime right now (October 2018)

Prime Video provides subscribers with access to a host of fantastic films, but sorting through the catalog can be an undertaking. Luckily, we've done the work for you. Here are the best movies on Amazon Prime Video right now.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: A.I.-powered cat toys, wallets, food containers

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Movies & TV

Best new shows and movies to stream: ‘Apostle,’ ‘Daredevil’ season 3, and more

Need something to watch this weekend? Check out our list of the best new shows and movies to stream right now. On the list this week: Apostle, Daredevil season 3, Making A Murderer season 2, and more.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Home Theater

Google offers a week of free credit after YouTube TV outage, but not for long

Earlier this month, YouTube TV went down for users all around the world, and to make up for it, Google is offering affected users a week of free service. But if you want to grab the credit, you need to act quickly.
Home Theater

Six sensational subwoofers that will shake any room on any budget

Whether you're a film buff or a music junkie, sometimes you just need to go lower. Luckily, we've put together a guide to the best subwoofers, so you can feel your favorite movies instead of just hearing them.
Movies & TV

‘Iron Fist,’ ‘Luke Cage’ cancellations by Netflix spark serious questions

The cancellation of Marvel's Iron Fist and Luke Cage solo series on Netflix has sparked no shortage of questions, rumors regarding new team-up projects, and concerns about the future of the remaining series in the two companies'…
Home Theater

'Pacific Rim Uprising,' season 2 of 'Room 104' arrive on HBO in November

Whether you're a cable lifer or a staunch cord cutter, there's never been a better time to get down with premium TV. Follow us to find out what's new on HBO each month. November 2018 brings Pacific Rim Uprising and season 2 of Room 104.
Home Theater

Need to get rid of an unused Netflix profile? Just follow these simple steps

Need to delete an unwanted profile from your Netflix account? It's easy to do, no matter what kind of equipment you've got. Check out our handy how-to guide for step-by-step instructions.