While most of the tech world was transfixed on Cupertino today for the iPhone 6/Apple Watch live event, Toshiba hoped to turn a few eyes with its 2014 4K/UHD TV lineup, announcing availability and pricing for its latest two models, the L8400, and the L9400.
Hoping to usurp some market share from the big boys of the industry like Samsung, LG, and Sony, Toshiba’s 2014 models come with all the latest 4K/UHD specs, as well as the company’s 3rd-generation 4K processor, and a few other new toys.
L8400 Series 58-inch screen ($2,500)
At the entry-level of its 4K/UHD line, the small-but-affordable L8400 offers some promising features for its price point. At the forefront is support for the now-standard HDMI 2.0 input, allowing for 4K content at up to 60fps (frames per second), as well as the HEVC codec to allow for 4K streaming.
Internally, the L8400 has a beefed up Quad+Dual Core processor, with what Toshiba calls “5 Point Image Enhancement” for high quality UHD imaging. That display offers a boatload of image processing features like Dynamic Detail Enhancement, Color Restoration, 4K/UHD upscaling, and Motion Interpolation, as well.
That last feature is telling, as the L8400 boasts only a 60Hz native panel. That means motion reproduction may be a bit suspect, unless users want to engage the ClearScan 120Hz processing, and potentially with it, the dreaded “soap opera effect.” Other notable features include DTS’s premium audio suite, along with Toshiba’s Labyrinth Speaker System which hosts a “folded sound channel” that promises increased bass and volume levels over standard flat panels.
As for Toshiba’s smart hub, Smart TV with Cloud Portal, it appears to still be a bit behind the times. The system offers basic apps like Netflix, Youtube, and Vudu, Personal Messaging, and connection to select smart phones, but no full app list is disclosed, and both Hulu and Amazon Instant Video are conspicuously missing. One thing we do know is that users won’t be able to stream 4K content via Netflix (or Amazon) anytime soon, though the TV may be able to add compatibility in a future firmware update.
L9400 Cinema Series 65-inch TV ($4,000)
As the flagship of Toshiba’s new line, the L9400 Cinema offers all of the basics that come with its smaller sibling, while taking things up a notch in a few key areas.
The marquee upgrade for the L9400 is its Radiance 4K Full Array LED Panel. As one might guess by the title, the panel offers full array LED backlighting, which promises “Virtually Twice the Brightness” (though twice of what is not known), as well as Toshiba’s Quantum Black local dimming for deep contrast, and a “Super Wide Color Gamut” for more accurate, richer colors.
We’re hoping that $4,000 price point buys a 120Hz refresh rate for the L9400’s panel, which is standard for upper-tier TVs, but the refresh rate is not listed in the release. We’ve reached out to Toshiba, and will update this article when we receive a response. We do know the panel offers ClearScan 240Hz motion processing, double that of its sibling, and an encouraging hint that the panel at use is 120Hz.
The top dog also offers a sleeker frame and bezel to spruce up your living room whether the screen is on or off. The rest of the feature set matches up exactly with the L8400.
Both the L8400 Series and the L9400 Cinema Series TVs are available for purchase starting today.