The high-definition era is finally approaching, and Toshiba plans to accompany its HD DVD launch with a bevy of new flatscreens. The high-end 'WL58' LCD range will arrive in September with 42-inch, 37-inch and 32-inch models, all featuring two HDMI inputs. Clearly, Toshiba is banking on you buying into both Sky high definition and HD DVD in the near future, but in the meantime the built-in Freeview recievers should tide you over. No prices have been announced as yet, but you'll be able to buy the 37-inch WL56 model, which has only one HDMI input, for £2,000 -- not bad for a 37-inch high-definition LCD.
Toshiba also let slip that a new version of the RD-XS34 is on the cards for September. The RD-XS34 scored highly for its innovative features and massive 160GB hard drive, but the RD-XS64 looks set to completely blow us away. When pushed, Toshiba admitted that the hard drive is likely to be even bigger, probably 200GB (enough for 90 hours of high-quality recording), and will definitely feature a HDMI output. This should offer excellent picture quality when paired with a compatible display, and you will be able to upscale DVD movies to better fit the resolution of the screen (meaning fewer visual artefacts). If you're not bothered about hard-disk recording, but still want to upscale DVDs for your fancy new flat screen, Toshiba's SD-350E is also going to feature a HDMI output for the very small price of £100.
The Japanese giant is celebrating its 130th anniversary with a new technology called SED. Not yet in mass production, the technology is based on the same principles as CRT, but uses a flat panel. Toshiba promises the screens will actually be thinner than LCD, consume less power, and go as large as 50 inches. The new technology will go on show for the first time at the Consumer Electronics Show in January. -GC