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Toshiba Cloud TV promises a personal smart TV experience

Toshiba has pitched personalisation at the core of its 2013 smart TV experience, dubbed Cloud TV, with Netflix and Vimeo now on board.

Cloud TV is designed to be more engaging than last year’s underwhelming Toshiba Places, with each viewer setting up a personal avatar to represent them when they’re watching.

The new platform adorns almost every TV in Toshiba’s 2013 range, from the 84in beast that is the Ultra HD 4K Series 9 to the mid-range 32in Series 4 models. 

Toshiba Europe’s Glenn Zanoni said: “Cloud TV is a simple one-stop shop for access to all the content you need in the living room, bolstered by search functionality and personalisation, allowing the user to dictate what they want, when they want.”

Toshiba has focussed on video-based applications for Cloud TV, with Netflix and Vimeo joining BBC iPlayer, Acetrax, and a YouTube app with Leanback smartphone control.

Senior product manager Olivier Van Wynendaele demonstrated the platform for Recombu Digital on video, showing off the new avatars which will be represent each viewer in the home.

The TV’s home page will present these avatars, with recommendations based on what you watch, record, and any preferences you input. 

The avatars can also represent you in social media such as Twitter and Facebook, where they can follow discussions about your favourite TV shows, wrapped around the live picture.

Toshiba bases its recommendations on a wide variety of data, including Rovi’s TV guide, which also powers the TVs’ Freeview HD programme guide, where you can set up recordings to storage connected via USB.

Other smart TV functions include DLNA for connecting to home media sources, and WiDi for streaming from phones and tablets to your TV screen.

Several of Toshiba’s 2013 Blu-ray players also have smart TV functions such as YouTube Leanback, Netflix, BBC iPlayer and Acetrax, but you’ll have to get a TV for the full Cloud TV experience.

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