[CEATEC Preview] Toshiba to Release Upconverting LCD TVs

Sep 22, 2008
Shinya Saeki, Nikkei Electronics
New LCD TVs in Toshiba's Regza series feature the "Super Resolution Technology." (ZH7000)
New LCD TVs in Toshiba's Regza series feature the "Super Resolution Technology." (ZH7000)
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A 1,440 × 1,080-pixel image (left) and the same image enhanced to full HD (1,920 × 1,080 pixels) by the super resolution process (right)
A 1,440 × 1,080-pixel image (left) and the same image enhanced to full HD (1,920 × 1,080 pixels) by the super resolution process (right)
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The "Meta Brain Premium," an image processing circuit equipped with an LSI dedicated to the super resolution process
The "Meta Brain Premium," an image processing circuit equipped with an LSI dedicated to the super resolution process
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The flow of the super resolution process
The flow of the super resolution process
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Toshiba Corp adopted the "Super Resolution Technology," a technology to enhance the image qualities of DVDs (740 × 480 pixels) and Japanese terrestrial digital broadcasting (1,440 × 1,080 pixels) to full HD (1,920 × 1,080 pixels), for its new Regza series LCD TVs.

"As a company claiming that the high image quality differentiates its products from other companies', we employed the Super Resolution Technology for flat-screen TVs for the first time in the world," Masaaki Oosumi, manager of the TV division of Toshiba's Digital Media Network Company.

Sales will begin late in October 2008 in Japan. There is no suggested retail price.

The Super Resolution Technology will be mounted in three models, (1) the "ZH7000," a high-end model with a built-in HDD, (2) the "Z7000," which does not come with a built-in HDD and (3) "FH7000," which has features in its design.

They feature the "Meta Brain Premium," an image processing circuit equipped with Toshiba's newly-developed LSI dedicated to the super resolution process. The process flows as follows.

First, input video signals are analyzed and classified into three categories, "texture part," which looks like spectators' seats in a stadium, "edge part," such as lines and borderlines, and "flat part." After increasing the pixel count by scaling the input images, only the texture part is treated with the super resolution process to create sharp images.

At this point, the scaled images are temporarily down-converted to find the difference between those images and the original images. If there is any difference in, for example, chroma data, that part is compensated again to improve the image quality.

The Super Resolution Technology was also employed for a TV mounted with the "Cell Broadband Engine" microprocessor. However, in the Cell-equipped TV, the difference detection and image compensation are repeated several times. In the new TVs, those processes occur only once, Toshiba said.

All models support HDD recording

The ZH7000 will be available in 52, 46 and 42 inches; the Z7000 in 46, 42 and 37 inches; and the FH7000 in 46 and 40 inches. Their pixel count is 1,920 × 1,080. The 52-, 46- and 40-inch models come with VA LCD panels. The 42- and 37-inch models are equipped with IPS LCD panels.

The ZH7000 and Z7000 can record terrestrial digital broadcasting on an HDD connected via USB or Ethernet. The FH7000 can be expanded with an off-the-shelf SATA HD. In addition, the ZH7000 and the FH7000 have replaceable built-in 300-Gbyte HDDs.

Furthermore, the new TVs feature "Omakase mode," which automatically controls image quality in accordance with watching environment and content, and "Omakase Donpisya High Image Quality Pro" function, which automatically adjusts the image processing by the Super Resolution Technology.

Med-price models announced at same time

Toshiba also announced the "H7000" and "C7000" as mid-price models of the Regza series. Sales will begin late in October 2008. There is no suggested retail price.

Each of the H7000 and the C7000 will come in 42, 37 and 32 inches. Their pixel counts are 1,920 × 1,080 for 42- and 37- inch models and 1,366 × 768 (WXGA) for 32-inch models. The H7000 has a 300-Gbyte built-in HDD and can be expanded with an off-the-shelf SATA HD.

The 42-inch and 37-inch models and the 32-inch models are equipped with IPS LCD panels and VA LCD panels, respectively.

Toshiba will exhibit the new LCD TVs featuring the Super Resolution Technology at CEATEC JAPAN 2008, which will take place from Sept 30 to Oct 4 at Makuhari Messe in Chiba Prefecture, Japan.