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