Affordable 65-inch OLED and UHD screens lead Toshiba’s TV return, but HDR is AWOL

posted on Friday, 2nd June 2017 by Steve May

4K  OLED  UHD 

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The Toshiba TV brand is returning to the UK with a range of screens that run the gamut from entry level bedroom sets to affordable UHD and OLED. The line-up was revealed at an exclusive London launch yesterday. The brand returns under license from Toshiba Visual Solutions Corporation Toshiba Corporation and European marketing giant Vestel.

The flagship of the range is the X97, a slick-looking 65-inch OLED TV, with an extremely narrow bezel. Demonstrations of the set showcased all the familiar OLED attributes, including deep blacks and vibrant contrast. Toshiba claims the screen covers 99 per cent of the DCI-P3 colour space. However, the X97 doesn’t support HDR. 

Motion clarity is said to be aided by a MEMC (motion estimation/motion compensation) feature, which reduces motion blur. The stand is brushed aluminium.

The 65-inch X97 is expected to retail for around £4,000. David Flintoft, sales and marketing director, hinted to Inside CI that a 55-inch OLED would join the range before Christmas.

U77 55-inch Wide Colour Gamut  Life 1

Pan-European Head of Toshiba TVs and Managing Director of Vestel UK, Matthew Lang, told Inside CI, that this was more than simply a ‘badge deal’. Toshiba design and engineering knowhow goes into the screen, he says. “This collaboration started over a decade ago. Vestel has been working with Toshiba in the manufacturing of its TVs for over a decade. There’s a very good understanding between the two companies. That technological and design input will continue through the brand licensing agreement.”

Toshiba will offer two UHD LCD TV lines. The U77 Series (pictured above), available in 55-inch and 49-inch screen sizes, are wide colour gamut models,  able to display 99 per cent of the DCI-P3 colour space. Both TVs come with DTS TruSurround HD, and have brushed aluminium stands.  Prices are expected to start at £600.

The U67 series (pictured below) is Toshiba’s entry point for 2160p. Screen sizes include 65-,55-,49- and  43-inches. Prices for the U67 will start at £450 

Like the X97, neither LED LCD 4K lines offer HDR support. The company told Inside CI that it would bring HDR 4K TVs to market in 2018.

U67 UHD Front Crop

All the sets unveiled utilise a stripped back smart portal, which provides Netflix 4K and YouTube, although Amazon Video is not included at launch.  A ScreenShare feature allows users to cast content from Android devices.  Four HDMI inputs are provided on each model.

“We have an excellent opportunity to revitaise the mid-segment of the TV market,” comments Lang. “There’s a fantastic opportunity for retailers and consumers. We bring together Toshiba, with all its technological and engineering excellence, with the manufacturing and supply chain excellence of Vestel. There is a very big distinction between us and the brands operating in the mid-sector.”

Steve May

Inside CI Editor Steve May is a freelance technology journalist, who also writes for T3, TechRadar, Home Cinema Choice and ERT (amongst others).

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