Toshiba gives up selling TVs in the U.S

Under a licensing agreement, Compal will make Toshiba-brand sets for the American market

Published: January 30, 2015 12:00 PM

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Toshiba is the latest company to exit the highly competitive U.S. TV market.
Photo: Toshiba

Citing intense price competition in the U.S. TV market, Toshiba says it will stop selling TVs in this country and will instead license the Toshiba TV brand to Compal, a Taiwan-based electronics company. The announcement comes as no surprise: Just prior to CES, we questioned whether the company would make this move when we learned the company wouldn't show new TVs at CES.

Toshiba's LED-backlit LCD TVs have typically done well in Consumer Reports' TV tests, with most delivering very good or excellent picture quality. However, sound quality tended to be among the worst, which dragged down the sets' overall scores. Toshiba TVs are generally well priced for their features and picture quality, and they often provide great value.

Toshiba is the latest in an ever-growing list of consumer-electronics manufacturers that have found selling TVs in the U.S a tough proposition. Funai now controls the Philips and Magnavox brands, and On Corporation makes RCA-brand TVs. Despite its Kuro plsma sets being considered by many considered to be the best TVs available, Pioneer exited the TV business entirely in 2009, and Mitsubishi did the same in late 2011 as demand for rear-projection TVs disappeared.

We'll be testing some of the new Toshiba-brand TVs when they become available in March. At press time, it wasn't clear how parts and service for previously purchased Toshiba sets would be handled, but we will provide that information as it becomes available. 

—James K. Willcox

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