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Toshiba aims to ‘boost standard definition TV’

Only 1% of TV is watched in high definition

Toshiba Regza ZV

Toshiba Regza ZV

There are around 42 million high definition TVs across Europe, but only 1% of the programmes that are watched are viewed in high definition, according to a report by Toshiba.

Toshiba has just released a new range of Regza ZV LCD TVs with upscaling technology, which the company claims will make a standard definition image look better on a high definition TV.

Toshiba claims that the processors on these new models use algorithms to look closely at the existing standard definition picture and then add extra detail. The TV’s processor also adds intermediate images between frames to increase the image refresh rate.

Upscale standard TV pictures

In past tests similar upscaling technology on DVD players has received poor results in Which? tests. The resulting effects of this technology have, in some cases, worsened the picture quality.

Which? Principal researcher, Michael Briggs, said: ‘The difference between a standard definition picture and a high definition picture is huge. If a consumer watches an upscaled standard definition image and believes that the results are similar to true HD, then they are unlikely to upgrade their TVs to an HD model. However, when a consumer watches true high definition pictures, it is difficult to not be impressed.’

Many consumers still believe that owning an HDTV will allow you to watch HD material, but simply owning an HDTV is only half of the process, as the material watched also needs to be HD. Current options for watching HD material require either a Blu-ray disc player or a subscription to a digital service provider such as Sky or Virgin Media, or a FreeSat receiver. High definition channels will also become available on Freeview next year.

LCD and plasma TV reviews

Which? has an in-depth guide to Freesat, and also has reviews of over 30 Freeview and Freesat set-top-boxes.

For more information about high definition and standard definition TV, read our TV advice guide. Which? also currently has more than 180 LCD and plasma TVs on test, with accompanying reports containing a wealth of information.

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