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Toshiba introduces industry's first BS digital Hi-Vision TVs and tuner compatible with all BS digital broadcasting signals

13 June, 2000

Simple screen operation supports multichannel, interactive services

Tokyo--Toshiba Corporation today announced that it will roll-out two digital televisions and a digital tuner capable of receiving high-definition broadcasts from broadcast satellite (BS) digital broadcasting systems. The first of the new BS digital Hi-Vision televisions in the Digital FACE series will be available on August 10, and will be followed by a second model and the BS digital Hi-Vision tuner on September 1, in the Japanese market only. All three products are compatible with all BS digital broadcasting and can faithfully reproduce the 1125i (1080i), 750p (720p) signal format transmissions used for digital Hi-Vision broadcasting*1. They also support simple on-screen operation.

The new products are suitable for all BS digital broadcasting--television broadcasts with high picture and sound quality, high quality radio broadcasts accompanied by still images, and data broadcasting supporting such e-commerce, including retail shopping and banking. Fully fledged BS digital broadcasting services will be start in Japan this coming December.

All three products are designed for ease of use. In today's age of multiple channels, that includes various program search systems. Among them are Toshiba's Electric Program Guide (EPG), program selection on the automatic scroll screen, and category search allowing viewers to select from movies, sport or other categories.

The televisions also achieve the industry-first of incorporating a SmartMediaTM slot, allowing simple reproduction of images captured on a digital still camera. They are also equipped with an i.LINK*2 terminal supporting easy connection with a digital recording device, allowing construction of an audiovisual digital network with a television at its center.

Adoption of broadband image circuitry assures degradation-free reproduction of high-definition digital broadcasts. Sound quality matches image quality, thanks to digital surround circuitry and a resonant dedicated bass speaker that shapes surround sound with depth and presence without any need of connection to external speakers. However, if viewers want to attach an external sound system, optical digital output terminals, installed as standard, support 5.1 channel digital surround sound via AAC compatible AV amplifier and speaker systems.

The BS digital tuner is equipped with D4 output terminals, and a television with a D4 input terminal can reproduce the signal format on the TV screen faithfully. As the tuner contains the image format converter, all televisions equipped with D input terminals, component image input terminals*3, S image input terminals or video input terminals can be connected to it to receive BS digital broadcasts.

Outline of new products

Background to commercialization and targets

Fully fledged BS digital broadcasting of various services--digital Hi-Vision television broadcasting greatly superior to conventional analog terrestrial television broadcasting in terms of picture and sound quality, audio broadcasting and data broadcasting--will start in December 2000. The industry is anticipating a strong take-up rate, with10 million households expected to have BS digital broadcasting equipment within 1000 days of the launch of these services.

The start of BS digital broadcasts will introduce nationwide multichannel broadcasting alongside analog terrestrial television broadcasting. And because BS digital broadcasting will support such interactive services as catalog shopping and bank transactions via a telephone link, the television is expected to fulfill a pivotal new role as an information terminal.

*1 The BS digital tuner is equipped with D4 output terminals and a television also must be equipped with a D4 input terminal for faithful reproduction of the signal format on the TV screen.
*2 i. LINK is a registered trademark of Sony Corporation.
*3 AD terminal cable is required for component image conversion.

Information in the press releases, including product prices and specifications, content of services and contact information, is current on the date of the press announcement,but is subject to change without prior notice.

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