Toshiba dances around with Android; unveils a TV equipped with Jelly Bean

Japanese TV maker decides that going Google is a good idea

Toshiba recently unveiled their new line of Pro Theatre TVs, featuring an Intelligent Auto View function that monitors the room environment and adjusts the TV's pictures to suit it. The ProTheatre lineup includes their entrant into the 4K UHD wars, the L9300 series. However what really caught our attention was their latest Android-powered TV.

Jelly Bean on the big screen

The L4300 series is Toshiba’s first telly preloaded with Google's Android 4.2 Jelly Bean operating system, giving this particular series some nifty Smart TV functions.

According to Atsushi Murasawa, vice president of Visual Solutions Divisions at Toshiba, Toshiba believes that the popularity of the Android platform on mobile devices in Asia makes it equally suitable for Toshiba's TV segment.

By leveraging on the ease of use and wide variety of applications available on the platform, they believe that consumers will take to the TV quite easily. Despite the fact that Toshiba already has its own SmartTV platform called CloudTV, Murasawa said there is a possibility that they might implement the Android OS into their future TVs, including their flagships.

There are some limitations to the Android OS  for its TVs, mostly around the app ecosystem. According to Toshiba, Google has limited the apps that can be downloaded onto the TV to only free apps due to issues with the payment process for paid apps.

The L4300 comes in 39in and 50in models. Both versions are equipped with 3GB of storage and a unique remote to navigate the Android OS.

4K UHD comes to Toshiba

The Android telly isn’t the only highlight of the new Toshiba ProTheatre lineup. The company also unveiled its entrant into the 4K UHD war.

Available as a 58in or whopping 84in variant, the L9300 series is equipped with Toshiba’s CEVO 4K tech, which upscales any less than 4K UHD content for display. That’s not all, it also comes with a  quad-core CPU, though unlike most of its competitors in the market, it doesn’t seem to have any SmartTV functions.

Considering that almost all the flagship 4K UHD TVs in the market come with some form of Smart TV features, the lack of it could mean a competitive pricing strategy for Toshiba's new 4K UHD series.

The Pro Theatre series from Toshiba are scheduled to ship in the fourth quarter of 2013.