Toshiba's New Ultra HD TV Running Android Launches in Asia
Toshiba’s New Ultra HD TV Running Android Launches in AsiaToshiba will soon be selling its Ultra HD L9450 range in Singapore and the rest of Asia starting at the end of the month. The 4K TV can run Android 4.4.4 (though not upgradable to the Android 5.0), and comes in 50-, 65- and 84-inch sizes.
Features wise, it comes loaded with Toshiba's Cevo 4K image processing engine, an intelligent scene optimiser that automatically adjusts the display to suit the scene as well as a feature called active movie and resolution plus (AMR) 3100 that reduces motion blur in a scene for clearer action sequences.
The 50- and 65-inch panels also come with a wide colour gamut panel that has 14 percent more colours compared with the 2013 model. All three models will come with digital video broadcasting support (DVB-T2) for watching free-to-air HD channels in Singapore and other countries that use this standard.
Unlike other smart TVs that run webOS or their own proprietary OSes (such as Samsung's Smart TV), Toshiba's L94 TVs are certified to run Android -- in this case, 4.4.4 KitKat. There's support for up to eight user accounts, allowing each member of the family to have their own apps such as Facebook without having to log in and out each time.
You can also side-load apps or install your own app markets and you'll need to do so, as the Google Play store loaded on the TV is limited to free apps only. Toshiba says this is because Google has helped filter apps that don't work well on the TV (as these apps require swipe gestures that you can't really do with the Toshiba pointer remote). You can also download paid apps that you've already bought on your Google account, according to Toshiba's rep.
Navigation on Android mode can be a tad clunky, as mentioned, you'll have to use a nub to move the pointer to highlight or click apps. If you need to enter Web address, you'll be better off attaching a wireless keyboard and mouse instead (which you can do).
The L94 TVs will cost S$2,299 ($1,838), S$4,999 ($3,998) and S$17,999 ($14,395) for the 50-, 65- and 84-inch model.
If that's too expensive, the L54 full HD models are full HD only but share similar features and should be cheaper. These TVs come in 40-, 47- and 55-inch sizes, and will cost S$899 ($719), $1,099 ($878) and $1,899 ($1,518) respectively.
Lastly, we're also checking with Toshiba on availability in Australia and Europe. A Toshiba spokesperson told CNET at the Asia launch that there are no plans for the US market for now, though this may change.