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Toshiba joins 3D TV push with LED, widgets, Wi-Fi

Toshiba has announced its first 3D TV shipping to the US market, the WX800 series, an edge-lit LED-based LCD with built-in Wi-Fi and Yahoo Widgets.

The Toshiba WX800 is the company's first 3D TV. Rusty MacMillan

Until now the only quasi-real Toshiba 3D TV we'd heard about was the ridiculously expensive, "ultrapremium," mainframe-equivalent-in-a-flat-panel Cell TV. Today the company announced that the first 3D model to actually go on sale in the U.S. would be the slightly less ridiculous, but still expensive, WX800 series.

When the WX800 arrives in late September Toshiba will be the sixth TV maker, after Samsung, Panasonic, Mitsubishi, Sony and LG, to allow its 2010 TV viewers the ability to see into the third dimension.

Like those makers Toshiba will require you to buy a pair of its glasses (model FTP-AG01U, $169 list) for each viewer who wants to see the 3D effect--nope, this isn't the company's rumored glasses-free 3D TV.

The WX800 comes in two sizes: the 46-inch 46WX800 ($2,599 list) and the 55-inch 55WX800 ($3,299). Both LCDs sport an edge-lit LED backlight, not our favorite kind, that lacks the dimming found on some competitors. They're superthin at 1.2 inches deep, however, and have a look as sleek as we expect from a modern high-end TV.

Toshiba does attempt to differentiate itself from the pack by including its "3D Resolution+" processing, said to improve 3D picture quality by reducing crosstalk, a common artifact we've seen on other 3D models, in particular LCDs (although our past experiences with 2D Resolution+ have not been life-changing). Unlike the Cell TV, as well as select models from Samsung, Sony, Panasonic and LG, the WX800 does not have 2D-to-3D conversion.

The required glasses cost $169 MSRP per pair. Toshiba

Along with the non-3D VX700 models announced at the same time, they're also Toshiba's first with the Yahoo Widgets platform (in a separate announcement, Yahoo touted content including Pandora, eBay, games, Twitter, and Facebook). Widget-agnostic, they also offer the Vudu Apps platform, and include streaming services from Vudu movies, Blockbuster, Showtime, and Netflix, among others. We also appreciate that both series include built-in wi-fi, as opposed to making you purchase a separate USB dongle. On paper these new Toshibas stack up very well against other Internet-connected TVs, whether or not you want that.

Toshiba's reps say we'll receive a 55WX800 review sample in the next few weeks. In the meantime, vitals are included below.

Toshiba WX800 series features:

  • 3D compatible (glasses not included)
  • edge-lit LED backlit LCD display
  • 3D Resolution + processing
  • Vudu, Netflix and Blockbuster
  • Yahoo Widgets, Vudu Apps
  • built-in Wi-Fi connection
  • Single-layer design, 1.2 inches deep

Toshiba WX800 series models:

  • Toshiba 55WX800: 55-inch, $3,299, available September
  • Toshiba 46WX800: 46-inch, $2,599, available September