Toshiba TVs to boost YouTube quality

March 16, 2009 // 11:14 a.m.

Tags: #lcd #lg #playstation-3 #ps3 #streaming-video #toshiba #upscale #upscaler #wii #youtube

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.

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