Toshiba stages comeback with aggressive new line of upgraded televisions

Time was, Toshiba was one of the kings of television, sitting right alongside Sony in the cool-kid aisles at all the best electronics stores. But in more recent years, competition from South Korea has pushed in on its territory, and it has taken a while for the company to sort out a strategy that would put it squarely back in the game. But if the updates Toshiba has instituted for 2014 are any indication, the company is poised to take back a sizable chunk of the market it once dominated. This year, the company is bringing faster, more cutting-edge technology that it has developed in-house, utilizing fewer “off the shelf” parts for a new line of of televisions that feels much more like the Toshiba we once knew. Not only that, but prices promise to be competitive as well. 

Headlining the company’s television line is its Ultra HD collection, with 50, 58, 65 and 84-inch models, set to come available sometime this summer. Toshiba’s L9400U series comprises the 58 and 65-inch screen sizes, and includes the company’s own “Radiance 4K Full Array” LED panels and “Quantum Black” local dimming technology for visibly improved brightness and black levels. The panels are driven with an updated image processing chip, which employs resolution restoration for lower-resolution content, motion interpolation, detail enhancement, color processing and and noise reduction. The sets are particularly notable for being DirecTV ready. It isn’t clear how exactly the feature works, but Toshiba tells Digital Trends that a set-top box and separate remote will not be necessary to enjoy all the benefits available with DirecTV’s Genie HD DVR. Likely, recorded content will be stored in the cloud. 

The 84-inch beast in Toshiba’s line is the sole model in the company’s L9450U series, and includes all of the company’s goodies, save the Radiance 4K panel, which is replaced with the company’s best local dimming LED panel. 

For those looking to make a more conservative jump in 4K from 1080p televisions, Toshiba offers its more affordable L8400U series, which doesn’t feature local dimming or full-array backlighting, but still offers a pretty impressive picture. The series includes 50 and 58-inch models. 

Common to all of the above is Toshiba’s improved Smart TV with Cloud Portal, which is significantly faster and more visually compelling than last year’s version. Navigating the interface is far less sluggish than we experienced with last year’s models, and new 3D animations give the layout a more modern, engaging look. The TV’s feature voice control, though we didn’t get a chance to test-drive the feature, and Toshiba has also upgraded its built-in audio systems by using the space within the televisions’ cabinets for a labyrinth porting system designed to improve bass response and create a fuller sound. 

Finally, the company’s 1080p HD lineup is topped by its L7400U series, which includes the same full-array, locally-dimmed backlighting found in the company’s 4K line. Sizes include 47 and 55-inches, and the series will be DirecTV ready and armed with Smart TV features.  

Product Review

The all-new 3 Series proves BMW can still build a compelling sport sedan

Seat time in the entry-level BMW 330i ($41,425) and M340i xDrive ($54,995) will test the German automaker’s commitment to driving dynamics, powertrain refinement, and cutting edge technology.
Home Theater

Confused about LED vs. LCD TVs? Here's everything you need to know

Our LED vs. LCD TV buying guide explains why these two common types of displays are fundamentally connected, how they differ, what to look for in buying an LED TV, and what's on the horizon for TVs.

Choosing one of these smart TVs under $300 will make you look like a genius

Buying a good cheap smart TV is easier than ever. To help you out, we've sniffed out a half dozen of the best models out there with prices starting at just $130. We've even thrown in a couple 4K smart TVs, with these UHD models still…
Home Theater

Looking for the best 4K Ultra HD TVs you can buy? Here are five great options

If it's time to upgrade your old 1080p to a new 4K model but you don't know what to look for, fear not, as we're here with a list of the best 4K Ultra HD TVs to help make your buying process as easy as possible.
Home Theater

Block the outside world, tune into your own with the best in-ear headphones

Over-the-ear headphones offer top-flight sound, but they're not so easy to take along with you. If you're looking to upgrade your portable sound, check out our favorite in-ear headphones -- there's a model for every user and every budget.
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.
Home Theater

Streaming services blast past networks for the most scripted TV shows in 2018

For the first time in history, streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon, produced more original scripted series than broadcast or cable channels, setting a new record for the number of TV shows on the air.
Movies & TV

Celebrate the 25th anniversary of ‘The X-Files’ with the show’s 10 best episodes

The X-Files premiered 25 years ago, so here are the 10 best episodes of the award-winning sci-fi series. From alien-abduction drama to hilarious satires, these are the best episodes from all 11 seasons of the hit series.
Movies & TV

Can't get enough lightsaber action? Here's how to get your Star Wars fix online

Few of us want to deal with DVDs or Blu-ray discs anymore. Unfortunately, the Star Wars movies are few and far between when it comes to streaming. If you want to watch Star Wars online, check out our guide on where to find the films online.
Home Theater

Netflix vs. Hulu vs. Amazon Prime: Battle of the streaming giants

Trying to figure out which subscription streaming service to use while sticking to a frugal entertainment budget? Check out our updated comparison of the big three: Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, and Hulu.
Home Theater

How to master your equalizer settings for the perfect sound

You may know what an EQ is, but do you know how to adjust equalizer settings for the best possible sound? We go through the basics of the modern EQ and lay out some guidelines for how to achieve tip-top sound from your system.
Home Theater

What is Terrarium TV? Here’s everything you need to know

Terrarium TV offered a way to watch movies & TV for free, but now after a troubled existence, the app's developer has shut it down, and offered an ominous message to users on his way out.
Home Theater

The best Dolby Atmos movies for your home theater sound as good as they look

If you've got your hands on some sweet Dolby Atmos gear, the next step is to find films that take advantage of it. These are our picks in every genre for the best Dolby Atmos movies currently available on Blu-ray and streaming services.
Movies & TV

Do you have questions about Hulu? We’ve got answers

Not sure which Hulu subscription is right for you? We're here to help. This is your complete guide to Hulu and Hulu with Live TV, including content offerings for each service, pricing, internet requirements, and more.