End of an era: Toshiba will shutter U.S. TV division [Update]

Toshiba TVs CES 2014
A few weeks back, Toshiba announced the brand would not be bringing any new TV models to the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, a seminal event that marks the debut of the latest TV lineups for many major TV manufacturers. The news sparked fears that Toshiba would be exiting the U.S. TV market completely, and this week those fears were confirmed.

As was reported by Reuters, Toshiba announced Thursday a complete shutdown of TV sales and production in North America, with other global markets likely to follow. The company will license the Toshiba brand to Taiwan’s Compal Electronics in the U.S. and elsewhere. In other words, the Toshiba name won’t be going away in the U.S., but for all intents and purposes, Toshiba televisions in North America will soon cease to exist. Toshiba will continue to produce TVs in its native Japan.

The decision comes after a period of increased pressure on the brand from growing global competition, forcing extremely aggressive pricing that became too much for Toshiba to bear. The company was reportedly unable to respond to the marketplace, despite an attempt to lower costs and efforts to get into the lucrative market of large-scale flat screen sales.

“We will quit operating TV businesses ourselves overseas,” Executive Vice President Keizo Maeda said in a statement Thursday.

Toshiba TVs CES 2014

While the news isn’t a shocking revelation considering the ground Toshiba has lost in the marketplace lately, it’s a big hit to a company that once reigned as a leading manufacturer in large rear projection TVs, and large-scale CRT TVs. As Twice noted in early January, the company’s slow response to the evolution of digital flat panel LCD TVs, as well as a loss of retail might with Best Buy and other appliance chains, allowed competitors to eclipse the company in sales.

With the rise of the Korean giants LG and Samsung, increased pressure from mid-tier competitors like Vizio, and a better footing in the U.S. market for Chinese manufacturers such as Hisense and TCL, Toshiba has had trouble keeping pace in the new age of HDTVs. In fact, the company’s meager 3.7 percent market share of total North American TV revenue in 2012 slid all the way to 1.7 percent in 2014, according to research site DisplaySearch. In comparison, Vizio moved from 11.1 percent to 16 percent in that same period.

While the company will live on abroad in name, this week we witness the end of an era for an iconic name in the industry.

Mobile

Rekindled yet again, Nokia’s next-gen phones offer more than just nostalgia

HMD Global, a startup that designs and builds Nokia Android smartphones, wants to put the Nokia brand name back “where it belongs.” It helps that it’s made up of ex-Nokia employees. We go behind the scenes to see how HMD formed.
Home Theater

QLED and OLED may have similar names, but they're totally different technologies

The names may look almost identical, but OLED and QLED are two entirely different beasts. In our QLED vs. OLED battle, we dissect the differences between these dueling TV technologies, and help determine which might be best for you.
Home Theater

The seven best TVs you can buy right now, from budget to big screen

Looking for a new television? In an oversaturated market, buying power is at an all-time high, but you'll need to cut through the rough to find a diamond. We're here to help with our picks for the best TVs of 2019.
Home Theater

Say goodbye to the box: The future of home theater has no use for receivers

One of the most intriguing new trends to come out of CES 2019 this year comes from a technology that has been around for years. WiSA, now in new LG TVs, has the potential to cut the wires and change the home theater landscape forever.
Home Theater

Still listening on tinny TV speakers? Try one of our favorite soundbars

You no longer have to sacrifice sound for size when selecting home audio equipment. Check out our picks for the best soundbars, whether you're looking for budget options, pure power, smarts, or tons of features.
Computing

Don't spend hundreds on Pro Tools or Logic. Try one of these free alternatives

Believe it or not, Pro Tools isn't the only digital audio workstation worth your time. Check out our picks for the best free recording software, whether you're looking for a lightweight app or a full-blown audio workstation.
Home Theater

Leave the charger behind: Wireless headphones will get epic battery life in 2019

From wireless in-ears to noise-canceling over-ears, virtually every headphone manufacturer has seriously improved wireless headphone battery capacity, making fears about charging up for long listening sessions a thing of the past.
Emerging Tech

CES 2019 recap: All the trends, products, and gadgets you missed

CES 2019 didn’t just give us a taste of the future, it offered a five-course meal. From 8K and Micro LED televisions to smart toilets, the show delivered with all the amazing gadgetry you could ask for. Here’s a look at all the big…
Home Theater

Roku adds automatic sign-out mode, for those with regular houseguests

Being able to use a Roku device while staying at a hotel or Airbnb is awesome. What is less awesome is leaving yourself signed in after you leave. With a new automatic sign-out feature, Roku is making it easier to relax.
Home Theater

Wireless headphones are finally awesome, and these are our favorites

With sleek form factors, prime audio quality, and the freedom of untethered listening, there has never been a better time to pick up a pair of wireless headphones. These are the best ones currently available.
Home Theater

These awesome A/V receivers will swarm you with surround sound at any budget

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to shopping for a receiver, so we assembled our favorites for 2018, at multiple price points and all loaded with features, from Dolby Atmos to 4K HDR, and much more.
Apple

Apple may be developing a new iPod Touch to woo younger users

Apple may be developing its first new iPod touch model since 2015 as it aims to capture younger users who are not yet ready for their own smartphone, and expand its overall listening base in the future.
Home Theater

Cord-cutting has grown by 48 percent in 8 years, according to Nielsen

People are continuing to ditch cable but not all cord-cutters are the same. In fact, there are two distinct groups within the cord-cutting universe, with a very small, yet growing third group that's worth paying attention to.
Home Theater

All of the TVs getting Apple’s AirPlay 2 in 2019

This year, Apple made it clear it was done keeping its AirPlay wireless streaming technology to itself. With an open API, the way is clear for a plethora of third-party devices, including this growing list of TVs.