Toshiba creditors have been urging the company to enter bankruptcy, but that isn’t stopping the company from creating new products. The latest offering from the ailing Japanese electronics manufacturer is a TV with Alexa voice control built-in.
In an age where Alexa is coming baked into everything from refrigerators to vacuum cleaners, it’s no surprise that Toshiba is pinning its hopes on the voice assistant for its latest TV. While users won’t be able to bark voice commands directly at the TV, those with an Amazon Echo or Echo Dot will be able to change the channel or adjust the volume using their voice.
Alexa support is coming to an entire range of 4K TVs from Toshiba, with sizes between 43 and 75in available. These TVs are hardly unique in their support, however. Element, Westinghouse, and Sony already offer Alexa-enabled TVs, and they work in much the same way as Toshiba’s sets. Users can also bring Alexa control to just about any TV by pairing it with a Fire TV or Logitech Harmony.
According to Toshiba, Alexa-integration will make watching TV “a more inclusive and social affair.” Whether it will be a selling point for the vast majority of consumers remains to be seen, however.
Outside of the Alexa support, users will also get Ultra HD 4K resolution and a built-in upscaler to make 1080p content look crisper than ever. The smart TV interface also boasts everything users have come to expect from a modern TV, including access to apps from Netflix and YouTube.
Toshiba says that it hopes to begin shipping its Alexa-enabled TVs in Q4 of 2017, although has yet to confirm exactly how much these new sets will cost.