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C is for contrast: Toshiba's new Regza LCD TV range

Toshiba is keeping our excitement levels high with some new additions to the Regza range -- the new C series offers greatly improved contrast ratios

As Crave hurtles towards CeBIT 2007, Europe's biggest tech trade show, we're starting to get excited about what we might see there. No doubt there will be huge televisions, and fingers crossed, some exciting new technology.

To feed our hunger, Toshiba has dropped us a tasty morsel of information on its upcoming Regza C series, which we guess will replace its successful WLT66 models. The new models will be in four sizes: 26, 32, 37 and 42-inch. All of them are 720p screens, with 1,366x768-pixel resolutions, which is fine, but we would have liked 1080p on the 37 and 42-inch screens.

The screens' most significant boast is greatly improved contrast ratios, most impressive of which is the 37-inch, which boasts a whopping 5,000:1 ratio. The 42 and 32-inch screens both have a 4,000:1 ratio and the 26-inch offers a slightly lower 3,500:1. By contrast the 32WLT66 offered a comparatively bland 1,200:1.

Our general excitement has been somewhat tempered by the news that the screens will only have two HDMI inputs. We'll easily fill two up with our high-definition TV service and our HD DVD player. What happens when the PlayStation 3 arrives? We'll have to crawl around behind the TV and do some unplugging and stuff. Very disappointing.

Back in the land of the positive, the TVs all have built-in Freeview receivers, WXGA support for your PC, SRS WOW for making your eardrums tingle with happiness and the usual range of picture enhancements and noise-reduction wizardry.

We've been impressed with the performance of previous Regzas, so we'll be waiting with bated breath for these to arrive. When they do we'll sort out a review. -IM