Another link, meanwhile, takes you to further streaming apps for Euronews, iConcerts, France 24, KnowHow Movies, TV5 Monde, Innovation TV and Movie Fone. But actually its purpose is rather vague. In the top third or so of a central column, meanwhile, is the up-front interface for the new MediaGuide Replay feature, while the rest of the central column features a Twitter window complete, mercifully, with bad language filter showing tweets concerned with the three most popular programmes currently being broadcast. Before getting into what the 2014 Cloud TV system has to offer, we need to point out that Toshiba has introduced a split level Cloud TV approach this year, which finds cheaper TVs carrying whats pretty much last years engine and features, while high-end models from the 7453DB series up feature the new faster, more feature-rich system.SEE ALSO: LG Smart TV System 2014The Personal character, meanwhile, ought really to feature a photo of you.
Scrolling left again along the top nav bar brings you to a new Games hub. Except, of course, that Toshibas service is completely free, and fully integrated into your TV rather than requiring any monthly subscription payments or external set top boxes. Left again on the nav bar from the Games hub gets you to the Other categories section.The Home hub MediaGuide Replay window shows photo graphics and names of the four most imminent auto recordings the system is set to record.
The most interesting hub is the Home screen.SEE ALSO: Samsung Smart TV System 2014On the right third or so of the TV and Video menu and most of the other Hubs too, actually is a series of icons under the heading Tools. For this new feature is actually at the heart of the latest Cloud TV engine. SEE ALSO: Sony Smart TV 2014The last Cloud TV feature to mention is the appearance along the bottom of all the hubs of a series of further links: a location-based weather update, a search tool to help you find desired content, a help facility, a settings box for changing online and account details, and finally a MediaGuide button that shows you what youre watching now and the next programme scheduled to be recorded by MGR.
This features a window on the left showing a reduced version of the broadcast programme that was playing when you hit the Smart button, with a small window beneath showing a cycling list of recommended programmes. These enable connection with a WIDI-compatible PC; access to the internet via a built-in browser, playback of any photos, videos and music files you might have stored on USB drive or networked PC; and access to your TV recordings library. Click on the window and you go through to the full MGR screen where you can find a full list of Next Recordings along the top, plus lists of recordings already made this week and last week running along in separate rows below. Moving left along the navigation icons at the top of the screen shifts you from the Home hub to the TV & Video hub, devoted to apps that deliver streamed movies and TV shows.
As with most smart TVs these days, the latest Cloud TV system can be used in conjunction with a Toshiba remote control app for your Android or Apple tablet or phone though the functionality available via this app is rather limited versus what you get with the latest TV apps from Sony, Panasonic and Samsung.Impressively, if you opt to see more details on an MGR-listed show or any show in the TVs colourful EPG come to that the TV doesnt just give you a synopsis of the programme or film; it also uses Gracenote to show links to relevant cast and crew information. Four of these characters represent a key genre kids, movies, sport, and entertainment and if you click on them you get a list of recommended content from that particular genre culled from the upcoming TV listings.We cant move away from the Home hub without going back to look more at the MediaGuide Replay window.
In fact, you can even set a series link for a show so that the TV automatically records all episodes in a series. This wasnt available on the 2013 Cloud TVs we tested, though it was scheduled to be added at some point. We guess Toshiba could argue this window helps remind you of whats on offer. Its an attractive and simple interface that really anyone should be able to use.
And although inevitably we didnt get to spend months with the feature and thus give it time to build a really accurate profile of our viewing habits, even in the course of a few days it seemed to be reasonably perceptive in its analysis.SEE ALSO: Philips 2014 Smart TV SystemWith its recommendation engine and auto recording functionality MGR draws obvious comparisons with the TiVo system currently offered by Virgin Medias cable TV service. In fact, the current app feels like it hasnt been updated from last year to accommodate this years new smart features.The idea behind it is, essentially, to give you the option of replacing your normal TV schedule with a constantly updated selection of TV shows derived from your viewing history and automatically recorded to a connected USB hard drive.
Plus it just looks a bit more current-gen. For its here that you can find recommendations based on an assessment of your viewing history. Select a film from an actors back catalogue, and you can then access cast and crew info on that movie or TV show too! There is one significant shortcoming of the MGR system, though: theres only one tuner.Toshiba 2014 Cloud TV: Design and FeaturesAlthough its appearance hasnt changed radically from that of last years system, the latest Cloud TV interface is definitely prettier.
The right side continues the advert-plus-tools layout, the central section is just another large video advert with yet another static advert underneath, while the left third carries a selection of links to Featured Apps which at the time of writing showed Netflix, YouTube, BBC iPlayer, Blinkbox, BBC Sport, BBC News, NRJ, and muzu. Panasonic, LG and Sony all let you set up your own personalised app priority lists and layouts, and not being able to do something similar on the latest Cloud TV platform feels like a major missing link in Toshibas obvious desire to personalise the smart experience. Its resolution seems higher, which makes the layout look cleaner and leaves it able to handle more information more comfortably.SEE ALSO: Panasonic Smart Viera 2014 SystemGiven the features potential to become your main source of viewing content its great, too, that you can directly access the MGR menu without having to go through the main Cloud Hub via the profile button on the remote.
If you select one of the programmes listed on the MGR interface you get more details on the show, as well as options to find the programme in the TVs EPG grid; keep the recording permanently otherwise it will be auto deleted after a couple of weeks; or cancel the recording if it doesnt appeal to you. So Cloud TV cant record one of its scheduled programmes while you continue to watch a different programme on another channel.Cloud TVs main interface is made up of five separate hub screens accessed via a horizontal row of icons along the top of the screen.Cloud TV also, of course, lets you set your own manual recordings by selecting upcoming shows from the EPG.
The highlight apps directly linkable to from this hub at the time of writing are Netflix, BBC Sport, CineTrailer, Viewster, TG4, Vimeo, Phunkt Mens lifestyle channel, the BBC iPlayer, BlinkBox, BBC News and YouTube. Were also told Woomi is coming soon. But to be fair two of the links provided smartgames.The last hub is represented by a head and shoulders icon, making you expect it to be a particularly personalised hub.
Unfortunately, at the time of writing Toshiba hasnt got enough games content on its servers to fill all 12 available windows with game links! Two are just left blank.tv, NRJ, BBC News, Live Sport TV, Aupeo, Euronews, LifeShow photo storage app, and the Event Wall app for turning your TV into a tweet wall shudder.Theres a large window in the middle of the apps showing adverts for some of the video streaming platforms available.Toshibas affable if rather basic Cloud TV system from 2013 showed the brand was moving in the right Smart direction.
On the right are five boxes showing the cartoon faces of your recommendation buddies.What is the Toshiba Cloud TV platformToshiba Cloud TV is the name Toshiba gives to its smart TV system that’s available on select models in its range. Though personally wed rather get rid of the ad window and replace it with a few more direct app links.
But this year its taken a real leap forward thanks to the addition of the Media Guide Replay feature.tv and funspot do link to services carrying far more than just one game each. Given the apparently personal nature of this menu its a pity that a the apps highlighted dont seem to have anything to do with your own usage patterns, and b theres no facility for manually choosing which apps are highlighted in this hub.tv.
This follows the same layout as the previous two hubs, with direct links on the left to at the time of writing BBC Sport, AccuWeather, iConcerts, Muzu. This can include full colour photos of many of the people highlighted, and lets you look through their back catalogue of work as well as access photo galleries where available. A link to further other category apps brings you to TechCrunch, On, meteonews, Deezer, France 24 and ebay apps. Finally thank you for reading!