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Toshiba TVs to boost YouTube quality

Toshiba TVs to boost YouTube quality

The next generation of Toshiba DVD players and TVs is set to include technology designed to improve the image quality of YouTube content.

Future televisions and DVD players from Toshiba may come with a surprising addition: technology to upscale and otherwise improve the quality of YouTube videos.

According to an article over on Pocket Lint, the news has come direct from head of Toshiba's UK division Andy Bass. Speaking to a group of journalists last week, Bass claimed to have seen “new technology that will improve YouTube videos from playback on a TV when I was [visiting Toshiba headquarters] in Japan.

The surprising move comes as the company attempts to update its product line-up in order to better compete in 2009: Bass admits that some of its previous products have been “old fashioned” and pledges that “in 2009 you will see a [...] stronger line-up from us.

So far, the company hasn't released any details of what exactly the technology entails: while simple features like upscaling the streamed video from its relatively low resolution right up to 1080p are to be expected, the announcement would appear to indicate something a bit more special. Anything that can improve the quality of some of YouTube's heavily compressed streaming videos – especially if it can do the same for the often lacklustre audio – is to be applauded.

This isn't the first time YouTube has seen itself making the transition off the computer and into the living room: at the start of this year electronics giant LG launched an Internet-connected DVD player which featured integrated YouTube support. Likewise, both Sony's PS3 and Nintendo's Wii feature in-built web browsers capable of playing back YouTube content, although at a reduced quality owing to outdated versions of the Adobe Flash Player on both devices.

Can you imagine a need for YouTube in your living room, or is Toshiba barking up the wrong tree as it desperately attempts to differentiate itself from competitors in a shrinking marketplace? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

18 Comments

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perplekks45 16th March 2009, 13:24 Quote
Well, I think 720p on YT looks okay but the source files are so much better. It'll be very hard to upscale videos to 1080p properly after YT's codec raped them.
Yemerich 16th March 2009, 13:24 Quote
Well... I love youtube.com... thats for sure :D
Hamish 16th March 2009, 13:41 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by perplekks45
Well, I think 720p on YT looks okay but the source files are so much better. It'll be very hard to upscale videos to 1080p properly after YT's codec raped them.
there is no 720p on youtube, the 'HD' videos on youtube are like 850x500 or something
ashchap 16th March 2009, 13:43 Quote
This reminds me of sci-fi films & TV shows.

"Enhance!"
perplekks45 16th March 2009, 13:59 Quote
The source files definitely are 720p:

http://img301.imageshack.us/img301/264/720p.jpg
Er-El 16th March 2009, 14:03 Quote
Don't like the direction Toshiba seem to be going with their TVs, what with the Cell processor TVs and now this. I think that all TVs should be like this one, which has no integrated tuner or anything as such. 'How' I want to put content on my television should be up to me, and the only thing a TV should have to be worried about is displaying that content as best as possible.

With things like Cell processor being used in TVs, I would prefer it if things like that were rather done externally in the box that's hooked up to the TV.
wharrad 16th March 2009, 20:04 Quote
I've yet to work out how upscaling improves quality...

If the information's not there in the first place, how does the tv know what the original recording is missing? Does it randomly add split ends to hairs or freckles on faces?

I agree that you can use different scalers, maybe blur out some compression 'boxes' and whatever, but that can't truely improve the quality. Surely if something's filmed at 480i, even if you play it at 1080p it's still the same rubbishy picture, just bigger?
Hamish 16th March 2009, 22:22 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by perplekks45
The source files definitely are 720p:

[IM G]http://img301.imageshack.us/img301/264/720p.jpg[/I MG]

why do they stream a 1280x720 video into a 850x500 flash player :)
thats retarded :p
Slyr7.62 17th March 2009, 00:33 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by wharrad
Surely if something's filmed at 480i, even if you play it at 1080p it's still the same rubbishy picture, just bigger?
Agreed and I thought the same thing. Honestly, unless IQ is improved somehow, it's even worse when upscaled for a bigger screen(resolution, actually). Like watching a low-res documentary online. With 800x600 res, hit fullscreen and it's not too bad, but use 1280x960 res then hit full screen, and it's crap. That's an example.
naokaji 17th March 2009, 00:43 Quote
In other words:

Toshiba is about to launch a product that will make it even easier to hit the limit where throttling kicks in:D
docodine 17th March 2009, 02:33 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slyr7.62
Quote:
Originally Posted by wharrad
Surely if something's filmed at 480i, even if you play it at 1080p it's still the same rubbishy picture, just bigger?
Agreed and I thought the same thing. Honestly, unless IQ is improved somehow, it's even worse when upscaled for a bigger screen(resolution, actually). Like watching a low-res documentary online. With 800x600 res, hit fullscreen and it's not too bad, but use 1280x960 res then hit full screen, and it's crap. That's an example.

I've been trying to convince someone I know that his 'upscaling' 1080p DVD player is no better than my $25 DVD player, he maintains that his is HD.. :-0

Upscaling can't really improve the quality, maybe it uses a better algorithm to stretch than your media player would, but who knows.
Major 17th March 2009, 02:36 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by docodine

Upscaling can't really improve the quality, maybe it uses a better algorithm to stretch than your media player would, but who knows.

Well, the only upscaling I have tried is on my Rambo 4 DVD on the PS3, and the difference was huge.
notatoad 17th March 2009, 03:20 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hamish
why do they stream a 1280x720 video into a 850x500 flash player :)
thats retarded :p

because they have a fullscreen button.
bubsterboo 17th March 2009, 06:32 Quote
And the down scaling makes it look sharp. And hides all the bitrate starved artifacts.
Xir 17th March 2009, 14:47 Quote
Ther is definitely a visible difference between a cheap upscaling device (as is usually built into every HD- and HD-ready TV) and a premium upscaling device as in some blu-ray/DVD-players or digital-receivers.

IF toshiba can generally improve the quality of the buit-in upscaling device, I suppose this is a good thing.

99% of the TV-content in my country is still PAL...makes most HD/HD-ready TV's look like crap.

...so good upscaling is a must.
perplekks45 17th March 2009, 16:15 Quote
There were a lot of rumours about 720p being the most likely format to be used in Europe wheareas the US would have 1080p as standard format.
Except for gaming what other use do we have for 1080p? Are all new BD movies 1080p by now?
Xir 17th March 2009, 19:01 Quote
Both are sold here
720 as "HD-Ready"
1080 as "Full-HD"

TV-is still sending in PAL 99% of the time, some movies are in 720, there's a few digital chanels in full-HD.
Pay-TV is partially available in both formats though.

So when you're NOT watching a movie or a special interest channel, you're watching something upscaled.
perplekks45 18th March 2009, 11:01 Quote
I know, I am German. :)

It's not too different here in the UK though. Except for some shows [football is where I notice it the most] there is no HD, at least not for us people without Sky+HD...
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