Toshiba’s Cell TV: The 30-Second Review

toshiba_zx900_series_cell_tv-540x369

Sweet, it’s just what the world needed: An HDTV that uses the powerful Cell chip, currently used to power the PlayStation 3. OK, so may not seem like a match made in heaven (and you still can’t play Uncharted 2 without owning a separate console – bummer), there nonetheless remains plenty of promise in Toshiba’s new Cell TV series of premium sets.

All but guaranteed to ship with a price to match, these models, available in two lines – the Genensis Design (55″ and 65″ units) and Illusion Design (46″, 55″ and 65″ models offered) families – threaten to make both primetime and movie time more enjoyable. Thank 1080p upscaling of movie and television content; the ability to display images in 3D (including 2D content that’s converted over); and a built-in 1TB hard drive and wireless 802.11n networking for retrieval of networked or online content. The sets even promise to polish up those videos you shot for your blog, adding pixels and contrast to get them to semi-watchable quality, finally giving viewers the ability to tell skaters apart from the trees they’re so often recorded crashing into. Mind you, 480hz refresh rates don’t hurt either, promising smooth motion in nearly any mode, making it all the more enjoyable to watch balls fly in your favorite sporting event (provided it’s not professional quilting).

But while the specs are certainly impressive, what really piques our interest is the convenience these HDTVs will ostensibly place at your fingertips. While connected home theater components have offered many of these same features (content upscaling, streaming media, USB media support, Internet video playback, etc.), few have provided such an all-in-one solution. From a built-in Blu-ray player to automatic set calibration that actually senses the room’s color temperature and adjusts your TV accordingly, there seems to be a vast and compelling suite of features here to satisfy all comers.

What we really want to know though is how well it’ll all work in practice, whether we’re looking at feature overkill and just how much it’ll cost to enjoy this kind of luxury and convenience? Because realistically, you’re staring at way more power than the average TV viewer is apt to use in the course of a single set’s lifetime, let alone on a day to day basis. Will it be worth the asking price? Are these features implemented in such a way as to be practically accessible by less tech-savvy consumers? Do you even need to consider shelling out for a set that crams so much crap into a single screen? These questions remain to be answered, preferably while kicking back, opening a cold one and watching a 3D home conversion of Avatar, and not just at your friend who owns the palatial estate’s place.

Home Theater

Vizio is still rocking the Black Friday spirit with these TV and soundbar deals

If you missed out on all the great TV deals this past Black Friday and Cyber Monday, don't worry, Vizio has you covered. The company has some great discounts on its most popular 4K TVs and sounbar systems. But don't delay -- some of these…
Home Theater

Kill your cable and switch to streaming with our painless guide

If you're going to quit cable or satellite for a streaming TV solution, you're going to want to get it right the first time. We've outlined exactly how to get started, step by step. Follow our lead, and you'll never look back.
Home Theater

Looking for the best 4K Ultra HD TVs you can buy? Here are five great options

If it's time to upgrade your old 1080p to a new 4K model but you don't know what to look for, fear not, as we're here with a list of the best 4K Ultra HD TVs to help make your buying process as easy as possible.
Home Theater

New TV? Here's where to go to watch the best 4K content available

Searching for content for your new 4K UHD TV? Look no further. We have every major source of the best 4K content, along with the cost, hardware requirements, and features that make each service worth a look.
Movies & TV

Our first look at 'The Punisher' season 2 hints at January 2019 premiere

The Punisher is getting a second season on Netflix, with Jon Bernthal returning to play Marvel Comics' gun-toting antihero, Frank Castle. Here's everything we know about season 2 of The Punisher so far.
Home Theater

Common AirPods problems, and how to fix them

Apple’s AirPods are among the best fully wireless earbuds we’ve seen, but they’re not perfect. If you’re having trouble, take a look at our guide to the most common problems and what you can do to fix them.
Product Review

Step aside, Sonos: Riva's Concert is the best smart speaker you can buy

The Riva Concert series speaker is a fantastic, small-profile smart speaker with Alexa integration, truly excellent sound, and great looks, making it the perfect addition to your kitchen, living room, or bedroom.
Home Theater

Anker’s micro projectors get an equally small price in time for the holidays

Looking for a great deal on a tiny video projector? Anker has some tiny prices on three of their smallest devices. With features like Android 7.1 and designs as small as a can of soda, these projectors make the perfect travel companions.
Music

Spotify is the best streaming service, but its competitors aren’t far behind

It can be hard to decide which music streaming service is for you, so we've picked out the individual strengths of the most popular services, aiming to make your decision a little easier.
Home Theater

‘Star Trek: Discovery’ season 2 gets a new, Spock-heavy trailer

CBS has released a new trailer for Star Trek: Discovery season 2, which premieres January 17 on CBS All Access. The new trailer features series newcomers Spock and Christopher Pike prominently.
Home Theater

From soundbars to headphones, here are the best audio deals this holiday season

Whether you're looking for a great new pair of headphones or a fantastic new soundbar to bolster the sound of your brand-new television, these are the best audio deals to be found this holiday season.
Home Theater

Radiohead, The Cure, and more to join Rock Hall of Fame. Listen to their hits

Radiohead, The Cure, Janet Jackson, Stevie Nicks, and more have been selected to join the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2019. Here are our favorite songs from the four artists' hit-filled careers.
Deals

LG’s most affordable OLED TVs now come with $170 to $260 in gift cards

Trusted electronics retailer ABT is offering LG's most affordable OLED TV, the B8 series with $170 and $260 gift cards for the 55- and 65-inch models, respectively. While the OLED TVs don't often go on sale gift cards like this are…
Home Theater

Google Chromecast returns to Amazon just in time for the holiday shopping crunch

It's been a chilly few years between Google and Amazon, but things may be improving. You can now buy two versions of Google's Chromecast on Amazon, something that hasn't be possible since 2015.