Toshiba exec: TVs still relevant despite smartphones

By Karen Flores,

Posted at Sep 02 2013 08:41 PM | Updated as of Sep 05 2013 01:39 AM

Toshiba exec: TVs still relevant despite smartphones 1Toshiba's Shigenori Tokumitsu (right) during the regional launch of the country's newest TV lineup.-- Photo by Karen Flores,

SINGAPORE – A top executive of the Japanese electronics giant Toshiba believes that the television is still relevant amid the prevalence of smartphones, tablets and laptop computers.

While these gadgets let users watch videos, nothing beats the ability of a large-screen television to give an immersive viewing experience at home, said Shigenori Tokumitsu, president of Toshiba’s Digital Products and Services Company.

“We asked ourselves. What is the core value of TV? What to people expect from TV? If you just want to watch content or check information, you don’t need TV. A smartphone or tablet is enough for that. Then, why do people still need TV?” Tokumitsu said.

“TV brings us excitement – the larger the screen, the greater the excitement. We humans embrace excitement. Of course, today, you can watch movies everywhere – even on the small screen on your smartphone. However, when you are watching TV at home, you can get immersed in movies on a large screen, away from the real world. That is the entertainment power of TV,” he added.

Tokumitsu made the statement during the recently held Toshiba regional media conference in Singapore, where the company unveiled four “professional theater quality” televisions to respond to the demands of the Asian market.

He noted how more Asian customers are shifting to large-size TVs similar to other regions, adding that 30% of the Asian market now prefers bigger screens compared to only 16% in 2010.

“Toshiba’s TV business is moving to a new phase in Asia and Middle East. We will strengthen our lineup with large screen sizes to meet an increase in demand,” he said.

The idea, Tokumitsu said, is to focus on screen size and image quality. While Toshiba’s newest offerings have Internet access and a slew of Android apps, their selling point is the ability to deliver movie theater quality into the living room.

“Toshiba always tries to make TV closer to the environment of a real movie theater,” he said, adding, “We bestow the name Pro Theater on this lineup because we believe it represents our ambition best, that is to deliver the maximum excitement and satisfaction for both viewers and visual professionals.”

With the new products, Toshiba is expecting to corner more than 20% of market share in unit terms in the region by the end of fiscal year 2013. The company has plenty of work to do in the Philippines, where Toshiba is more known for its computers instead of televisions.

“In the Philippines, our market share is only one digit,” Tokumitsu admitted. “First, we’d like to increase the market share at [a] two-digit [figure]. In order to do that, we’ll introduce not only the Pro Theater TVs, but also cost-competent products.”

The TVs

The four televisions launched during the Toshiba regional press conference include the L9300 series, the L4300 series, the L3300 series and the L2300 series. These are set to be available in the market within the month.

The L9300 series features four times the resolution of today’s 1080p full high-definition (HD) TVs as it is powered by Toshiba’s CEVO 4K and a quad-core CPU.

The L4300 series, on the other hand, is Toshiba’s first line of TVs with the Android operating system, letting users access apps and browse content. It also supports videos from YouTube.

The L3300 series features Toshiba’s image processing capabilities, letting viewers control image brightness and enhance resolution and image texture.

Meanwhile, the L2300 places emphasis on screen size.

Ronald So, assistant general manager of Toshiba’s Digital Products and Services Company, gives more insights on the company’s new TV lineup in the video below.