'New, improved' Toshiba unveils Net Player, says it was right to bail out on Blu-ray - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 03-16-2009, 05:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Toshiba unveils Net Player and 2009 LCD TV range, says it was right to bail out on Blu-ray

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Toshiba has finally taken the wraps off its innovative Net Player. Details of the hybrid DVD/streaming device were exclusively revealed by HCC back in January, but this is the first time the unit has been seen in the UK, albeit in prototype form.

The Net Player, which was shown as part of the brand's annual spring DVD and LCD TV product showcase, will sport wi-fi and Ethernet connectivity and be DLNA and Microsoft Windows Media Extender compliant, allowing sound and vision to be streamed from networked PCs and hard drives.

It will also be the first non-TV device to support the Intel Yahoo Widget TV platform. The Net Player will allow any flatscreen TV to deliver widget services to the screen.

It's unclear at present exactly what applications will be made available at launch, but it looks likely the Player will offer access to news and weather snippets, Picasa and Flickr image browsing plus YouTube video streaming.

As with other widget TV devices, the platform runs off an Intel Media Processor C3100 chip.
Fiona Patterson, Toshiba UK's DVD product manager, thinks mainstream consumers will appreciate the new functionality: 'Research shows that 75 per cent of viewers already watch YouTube once a week.'

The unit, which also has an integrated DVD player, is expected to sell for less than £200 when it arrives. We'd like to show you a picture of the Net Player; however Toshiba UK banned all photography. Just imagine a slim-line DVD player and you'll be 90 per cent of the way there.

New, improved Toshiba?

The Net Player, which will officially be launched at this year's IFA expo (which runs 4-9 September in Berlin), is destined to become a philosophical touchstone of sorts for the company.

Explains Andy Bass, Toshiba UK's managing director: we have a new company vision - to deliver the ultimate on-demand experience. A year ago we withdrew from the HD player market; now we're a new, improved Toshiba.'

Bass went on to defend the company's decision to side-step Blu-ray and concentrate on developing online products. We're one of the most patented companies in the world,' said Bass. We're big in storage and semi-conductors, not just electronics. And our strategy to focus on downloads has already paid off. If you look at sales data, it wasn't a Blu-ray Xmas; sales of DVD players and DVD software continue to dwarf sales of BD.'

[...]

As at CES, Toshiba's Cell TV concept was also shown, although more as a technical curiosity than actual product.

[...]

There was no new additions to the brand's XDE DVD line-up in evidence at the product showcase although the E500 player is now being promoted with a free year-long subscription to Love Film, worth approx. £100.


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post #2 of 16 Old 03-16-2009, 06:28 AM
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Net player eh?

Ability to watch online video content on your TV including Youtube and Megaporn? Or any flash based video?
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post #3 of 16 Old 03-16-2009, 06:54 AM
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Humm.
More proof that it's going to take them a long while to scrape all the egg off their face from their failed HDM strategy with HD-DVD. The razors and blades approach works well for razors, but they proved it can't necessarily be applied across the board.

I want my HDM
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post #4 of 16 Old 03-16-2009, 06:54 AM
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Microsoft Web TV v.2.0?
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post #5 of 16 Old 03-16-2009, 07:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xylon View Post

Net player eh?

Ability to watch online video content on your TV including Youtube and Megaporn? Or any flash based video?

Probably. Problem is, for $299 the Panasonic BD60 already does that. And it plays Blu-ray.

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post #6 of 16 Old 03-16-2009, 10:20 AM
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If they can offer Hulu, Netflix and popular internet radio and information content in a Windows Media Center like user interface they may have a winner on their hands.

Better yet, if they can offer some sort of post processing for networked content (i.e. live streaming TV, which is often the best way to access international TV channels) the player would be useful as well.
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post #7 of 16 Old 03-16-2009, 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Grubert View Post

Probably. Problem is, for $299 the Panasonic BD60 already does that. And it plays Blu-ray.

That's why Toshiba needs to do more than YouTube and such and offer services like Hulu or Fancast and of course Netflix.
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post #8 of 16 Old 03-16-2009, 08:52 PM
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So is Toshiba going to wait until BD starts surpassing DVD sales before they stop bullsh*tting around and release something innovative?

It isn't the size of the disk that counts, but how you use it.

Panasonic 46pz85u

4K cinema at 60mbps, coming soon to a kiosk near you.
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post #9 of 16 Old 03-17-2009, 07:24 AM
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Hmmm. So all that HD-DVD business they apparently didn't push on us a while back was a figment of our imagination then? Tosh: "I wasn't here, this never happened..."

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post #10 of 16 Old 03-17-2009, 09:47 AM - Thread Starter
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More on the Net Player at What Hifi:

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The web content will be pre-loaded into the set-top box, which also includes a DVD player, and it will connect via wi-fi or Ethernet to the web. There will be no web browser or direct connection to the web, rather content will be streamed from Toshiba's own servers.

Huh?

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post #11 of 16 Old 03-17-2009, 03:16 PM
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Toshiba's "own servers"

WTF!

It has promise but . . . .

NEXT!
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post #12 of 16 Old 03-17-2009, 08:39 PM
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...subscription or other access fees, maybe?

"For deep bass, the listener is not really listening to the speaker, but rather, is listening to the room as it is being played by the speaker."
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post #13 of 16 Old 03-17-2009, 09:10 PM
 
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Everyone wants to be THE hub for streaming / VOD content. Sounds like that particular feature is a play for that market.

I see much greater value in the BD players that are offering access to sites like Netflix and Hulu.
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post #14 of 16 Old 03-18-2009, 01:29 AM
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What chance does Toshiba have? They are swimming upstream against CE companies that have moved on with Blu-ray and they are too slow and too late to compete with the Sony's, Microsoft's, Apple's, Netflix's and Amazon's.

It is really kind of sad.
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post #15 of 16 Old 03-18-2009, 08:52 AM
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Does this thing support that memory stick kiosk thing Toshiba is trying to get off the ground?

It isn't the size of the disk that counts, but how you use it.

Panasonic 46pz85u

4K cinema at 60mbps, coming soon to a kiosk near you.
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post #16 of 16 Old 03-18-2009, 11:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PSound View Post

Everyone wants to be THE hub for streaming / VOD content. Sounds like that particular feature is a play for that market.

I see much greater value in the BD players that are offering access to sites like Netflix and Hulu.

I agree... I can't imagine most people would want to spend $300 on a machine that 'locks down' all access to a single (metered?) source... unless it is completely free of all access charges, in which case it would then depend upon how attractive (and vast) the choices/selections in entertainment were and how often they would be updated/added to. In the end I think greater access to more entertainment sites, free or cheap, is what will sell these types of players. It will be interesting to find out what Toshiba's business model for this player really is... I'm assuming they are not stupid and have some big carrot they will unveil when the time is right... I'm thinking it should probably involve use of the concept of 'free-stuff' if they expect to seriously compete.

"For deep bass, the listener is not really listening to the speaker, but rather, is listening to the room as it is being played by the speaker."
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