Toshiba Planning to Show Cell-Powered TV Next Month


Japanese electronics giant Toshiba has announced it’s planning the first public showing of its long-gestating high-definition television with an embedded Cell processor at next month’s Ceatec trade show in Japan on October 5. Toshiba has been quietly demonstrating prototypes of televisions with Cell technology since at least 2007, but has not made any concrete moves to bring the units to market. A public showing at Ceatec suggests the company is preparing to enter at least the Japanese market in the short term, although no pricing and availability information has been released.

The Cell processor is the same technology that drives Sony’s PlayStation 3 console; however, instead of offering a gaming capability, Toshiba is using the chip’s computational power to drive DVR functions and provide real-time upscaling of standard-definition content—plus the capability to upscale high-definition content to 4,000 by 2,000-pixel resolution. Previous demonstrations have shown the system playing multiple excerpts from recorded TV programming so users can more easily recognize what they want to watch; the hard-drive based system could also record up to six high-definition channels simultaneously. Toshiba has repeatedly stated it does not plan any tie-ins with Sony’s PlayStation products.