CES NEWS: Toshiba previews five new LCD families and promises to transform SD viewing on HD sets

In a press conference dominated by the future (or not) of HD DVD, Toshiba gamely pushed on with news of its new LCD line up: “five new series, four new cosmetic designs, three dimensions of picture quality and two new gaming features.”

And that’s just the Spring 2008 selection- there’ll be more fresh models in the Autumn, including sets using Toshiba’s new Cell Broadband Engine (Cell/B.E), a multicore processor claimed to offer “real time super-resolution that transforms SD images into HD”.

But back to the models shipping into shops from next month. Here are the five new ranges:

AV500 – entry-level HD Ready sets available in 19-, 22-, 26-, 32-, 37- and 42in screen sizes. All are finished in gloss black, with the 19in set also available in gloss-white. All also feature digital tuners plus PC as well as HDMI inputs – making them a good PC monitor/TV combo. UK pricing and availability has yet to be announced, but with the 19in models having a list price of $429 and a March launch date, expect the range to be in UK shops soon afterwards, priced from around £299.

Regza CV510 – the first new flatscreens to feature the Regza name are a pair of ‘step-up’ HD Ready sets in 32- and 37in sizes. Both are due in the US in March, priced $899 and $1099 respectively. Features include Toshiba’s PixelPure 4G picture processing, ThinLine Bezel design, 3 HDMI inputs and a new Gaming Mode- designed for faster game controller response.

Regza RV530 – Full HD sets aimed at home cinema enthusiasts, boasting no fewer than four HDMI sockets, a high-res PC input (ideal for PC gamers) and a black-level boosting Dynalight dynamic backlight plus a 15,000:1 contrast ratio. Rolling out during February and March, the range includes 32- ($1099), 37- ($1299), 42- ($1499), 46- ($1999) and 52in ($2699) models.

Regza XV540 – 42-, 46- and 52in Full HD models with 100Hz refresh rate, aimed at “sport and action” lovers. Includes 24fps support and four HDMI 1.3 sockets and ColorBurst colour-optimisation technology. The three sets will be in shops from March, priced from $1699.

Cinema Series Regza XF550 – ultra-slimline, ‘Picture Frame’ models – new 46- and 52in models in addition to the existing 40in design. Available February, priced from $1999.

We would bring you pictures of the classy-looking new LCDs, but in an ironic format twist, Toshiba’s press pack came on a mini-CD unreadable by most laptops. Oh dear….