It's IFA time, which means lots of announcements about gadgets great and small. Stuff you can't afford, stuff that'll never be released to consumers, and a few things that might actually pique your interest. Toshiba is Berlin to show off a bunch of new stuff, including these TVs. One of them has Alexa in it, which might be useful. The rest are expensive or concepts, but are nice to dream about none the less.
Full disclosure: Flights to Berlin and accommodation were paid for by the PR company representing Toshiba.
It seems like Alexa is everywhere these days, and now Amazon's virtual assistant has made her way into Toshiba's new line of TVs. It's not the first time an Alexa-powered TV has been released, but it is one more step towards the death of hunting for the remote in between the sofa cushions.
You'll need an Echo or Echo Dot, but Toshiba is promising that it will let you control the TV with nothing more than the sound of your voice. That includes turning the TV on and off, changing channels and inputs, playback control, and volume adjustment. Not only does that mean no searching for the remote (or swapping the batteries), but also any fights over who gets to control the TV.
Although giving everyone the option of controlling the TV with voice commands, as this promises to do, is bound to cause more than a few arguments.
The 43-inch Alexa-powered TVs will cost €399 ( £368), and will launch in Q4 2017. It'll be available with 4K resolution and upscaling capabilities to enhance lower resolution content to near 4K quality.
HDR Big-Screen Sensation
How big is your TV? A 32-inch screen used to be considered big, but in recent years we've seen TV screens grow astronomically fast. While it won't be the biggest TV on the market, Toshiba is releasing a 75-inch 'super screen sensation' designed to make watching TV more like being at the cinema. Not just that, but it also had HDR which, coupled with the size of the screen, is designed to offer a more life-like picture.
That's HDR10 and Dolby Vision for those of you who (quite rightly) want to make sure all your HDR content is compatible. Toshiba is also doing what it can to future proof the model, by supporting Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG). That means the TV will be able to reproduce intended HDR imagery without needing help from a third-party source of device (like a UHD Blu-ray player or Netflix).
No word on pricing or availability just yet.
Bezel Free TV
Bezels are evil and dangerous, clearly, why else would the tech industry be working so tirelessly to kill them off? Toshiba is at it as well, with the introduction of a borderless TV that ditches the visible frame entirely. It's only a concept, so isn't likely to be released to consumers anytime soon, nor is it the first time this has been attempted, but it's lovely to see none-the-less.
It's made using a special moulding technique, the details of which haven't been revealed. The final part of the process then uses a special sheet of laminate film, eliminating the line between the screen and the bezel and creating the appearance of a completely border-free display.
The TV is 4K resolution, with HDR10 and Dolby Vision support built in. Like the 75-inch Big-screen sensation, the bezel free display also had HLG built in - for whatever that's worth.
Wall Art TV Concept
If a bezel free TV doesn't impress you, maybe this wafer-thin
mint TV will cause you to perk up a bit. The 65-inch screen is actually card-thin and designed to hang seamlessly against the wall. All the hardware is concealed behind the TV, that makes the TV look like it's actually part of the wall - and ensures there are no pesky distractions when you're trying to immerse yourself in a film or TV programme.
It's OLED too, so there's no backlight taking up space. That also means better colour accuracy, which is always helpful.
As with the other TVs Toshiba has announced, this concept is a 4K TV with HDR10 and Dolby Vision, plus HLG built-in. Sadly, given that this is a concept, you're not going to get your hands on one anytime soon. Still it's nice to look at, and maybe this is what the future of TV has in store.
OLED HDR Series
Finally Toshiba announced the release of two new TVs, one sporting a 55-inch display and another measuring 65-inches. They're both part of the OLED HDR series, designed for clarity, detail, and brought colourful displays.
As the name suggests both skip the backlight in favour of individually powered OLEDs, letting each pixel regulate its own light and colour. As with all OLED displays, that means you can get a true black colour because the relevant LEDs switch themselves off. None of that bright black that's actually more like very dark blue.
As with the other TVs mentioned above, both offer HDR10 and Dolby Vision support, as well as HLG compatability for better HDR future-proofing.
Pricing for the 65-inch TV hasn't been announced, but the 55-inch TV will cost €1,699 ( £1,568) when it's available in Q4 of this year.