Beyond 1080p: Toshiba talks up Ultra HD

Toshiba goes beyond 1080p
Toshiba goes beyond 1080p

Toshiba appeared re-energised at its IFA press conference today with ambitious Ultra HD plans for the future that will finally put the failure of HD DVD behind it.

Alan Thompson, executive vice president of Toshiba Europe, acknowledged the success of Blu-ray. But he also suggested that technology was already moving beyond optical disc formats.

High resolution internet downloads, high capacity hard drives and flash memory cards being key – the ability to store up to six HD movies on 32GB flash memory cards being just one example.

Beyond 1080p

Toshiba also looks set to move beyond 1080p high definition video, with Thompson saying the company was ready to offer 4,000 x 2,000 pixel (4K) and 8,000 x 4,000 pixel (8K) displays when there was sufficient demand for them.

Wireless HDMI is also set to appear in Toshiba TVs and DVD players from next year.

The only real disappointment in the keynote came with actual products available here and now. Toshiba execs reverted back to talking about upscaling standard definition video – the only strategy left to them thanks to Blu-ray's HD format win.

Better standard def

Toshiba introduced two standard definition enhancement technologies during the keynote – Resolution+ in flat panel TVs and XDE in DVD players – both promise to improve standard def pictures with intelligent colour, contrast and sharpness controls.

Toshiba explained it was making the technologies to satisfy the millions of people who still own standard definition movies on DVD, but who want better pictures with their flat panels.

These piggy-steps will disappoint high def fans clamouring for the next big thing, but with only two per cent of Europeans currently enjoying any kind of HD content at all, Toshiba's short-term SD strategy could be a good one.

You can find out more about the new products Toshiba has launched at IFA 2008 right here on TechRadar and via the links to the right of this news.