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Wednesday January 7, 2009 2:15 pm

Toshiba to integrate Media Center Extender technology into HDTVs

REGZA media center toshibaHey, it’s time, and that means we are getting slammed with news from all ends. Toshiba, happy to get in on that party, has just announced that they’ll be integrating Media Center Extender technology directly into their REGZA line of HDTVs, and that they are even working on a standalone device that you can integrate into your home theater setup as well to get the same functionality. I guess this is the most we can expect from the company whose HD DVD technology lost out to in a major way. We’ve got the full release for you after the break.


New TV, LCD TV/DVD Combo and Standalone Player Utilize Widget Channel, Developed by Intel® and Yahoo!®, and Microsoft’s Windows Extender for Media Center Platform to Deliver an Exciting Content Solution for the Home

CES, LAS VEGAS – January 7, 2009 – Toshiba America Consumer Products, L.L.C. (“Toshiba”), announced its new audio/video (A/V) devices with Network Player capabilities, which deliver on the promise of digital convergence in the home. Toshiba is launching this initiative across three product categories – REGZA® LCD TVs, LCD TV/DVD Combos and standalone players – in an effort to meet individual consumer needs.

Toshiba’s new A/V devices offer consumers access to a diverse range of rich content over the Internet. With an extensive library of TV shows and movies, music, sports, and information services such as stock prices and weather forecasts at their fingertips, consumers will be provided with greater flexibility to easily customize and enhance their entertainment experience.

“Toshiba took the initiative to bridge the ways consumers normally access Internet content and entertainment media with the introduction of network devices that will bring the Internet experience to consumer electronic products in the home,” said Yoshi Uchiyama, Senior Vice President, Corporate Planning. “According to a recent study conducted by NPD for Toshiba, a large majority of consumers cite simplicity as the essential issue for adoption of Internet content. Therefore, key to Toshiba’s home network strategy is a focus on simplicity – making it simple to 2 connect, simple to operate and simple to access content. The new line of Toshiba AV devices with Network Players will open up an entire new world of content delivery in a way that consumers will like.”

Getting Connected
Toshiba’s A/V devices with network player capabilities use a combination of two core components, including the Widget Channel, developed by Intel and Yahoo! and Microsoft’s
Extender for Windows Media Center.

While consumers may be familiar with widgets from the PC world, TV Widgets, enabled by the Widget Channel framework, now take that simple to use “dashboard” experience and place it into the TV allowing consumers direct access to numerous sources of content simply via their remote control. While some TV Widgets may be pre-installed, consumers now also have the flexibility to customize their experience by adding widgets of their own selection based on their interests or needs. TV Widgets will feature a rich array of content and as more TV Widgets become available, consumers can add them to the Network Players to enhance their assortment.

By integrating Extenders for Windows Media Center in Toshiba’s new A/V products with Network Player capabilities, the devices will act as “hubs” for delivery of content anywhere in the home. Using a home network, Extender for Windows Media Center technology allows users to access a wide range of digital content from Windows Media Center on the PC to their big screen TV. Windows Media Center also delivers an extensive amount of Internet TV and movie content, live and recorded TV with the addition of a TV tuner, plus photos, music, home videos and more.

The combination of the two software platforms in one hardware device will deliver on the promise of the new digital lifestyle.

Toshiba will approach the market by offering several choices from which consumers can select the product that best fits their particular needs.

The Network Player capabilities described above are scheduled to be built into certain models of Toshiba’s REGZA LCD TVs. This will provide consumers with easy access to the rich media experience without the need for an external set top box or device.

As the market leader in the LCD TV/DVD Combo category, Toshiba will also integrate the Network Player capability to offer flexibility and simplicity for consumers whether they choose to use it as a primary TV in the home or in the bedroom, kitchen or children’s room.

Toshiba will also develop a standalone player, which acts as a hub for content delivery into the entertainment space. The new player can deliver content directly from the Internet, content from the PC with Extenders for Windows Media Center or from its built in DVD player with 1080p upconversion. With an SD card slot and USB port for added flexibility, the device allows consumers to access their entertainment content in any room of the house and all at a value that consumers have come to expect.

Toshiba’s A/V devices with Network Player capabilities will feature picture quality enhancement technologies, allowing viewers to enjoy a wide range of content upconverted to near HD quality. The new models are planned to ship in the second half of 2009, and product pricing and availability will be announced later this year.

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