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Toshiba shelves 3D, pushes Cell TV

Posted: 09 Jan 2009 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:3D TV? Toshiba Cell TV? consumer electronics? flat panel TV?

Diverging from the path that most consumer electronics vendors are taking, Toshiba Corp. appears to be eschewing 3D TV.

"Not this year," said Scott Ramirez, VP of marketing at Toshiba America Consumer Products.

The Japanese company is instead banking on a family of high-end, feature-rich flat panel TVs called Regza, and "Cell TV."

Toshiba is trotting out Cell TV again to the Consumer Electronics Show, while trickling out a few more details on Cell TV's configuration, price and launch date.

Cell TV, powered by the Cell processor chip, originally developed for Sony's PlayStation 3 game console, will be first launched in Japan later this year, followed by a U.S. launch early in Q1 10, according to Ramirez.

Cell TV won't be a standalone TV, according to Toshiba. It's configured as a combination of a STB "an HD server" and a 4k x 2k pixel panel, a high-end panel featuring four times the pixel density of today's 2k x 1k HDTV display.

In the demonstration, the company will show that the Cell platform up-converts video from 1920pixel x 1080p to 3840p x 2160p on a 56-inch 4k x 2k panel, while also up-converting Internet video content to high picture quality.

Next-gen TV
The two-unit Cell TV combo system will be priced between $5,000 and $10,000, said Ramirez, "depending on the storage size in its server unit, and other advanced features such as wireless HD network capabilities."

Asked why the price range is so huge that the information is almost meaningless, Ramirez admitted, "I am being intentionally vague here."

Declaring that "this is the future of TV," Ramirez said that Cell TV offers "the most advanced video processing, reproducing very clean, no artifact pictures, a local LED dimming feature for its display panel, and six simultaneous HD image recording capabilities."

If installed with terabyte hard disk storage, Cell TV is capable of recording six HD channels "for everyone in your family during your one-week vacation," he added.

60GHz wireless HD plan
Toshiba, however, is less forthright with its plan for Wireless HD.

Although the Japanese company last fall at CEATEC in Japan showed off Wireless HD connectivity using 60GHz transmission (based on SiBeam's silicon), Ramirez would not confirm if 60Gz Wireless HD is indeed Cell TV's wireless choice.

Ramirez said, "Cell TV needs to deal with multiple HD streams. Our question is, 'can any wireless technology simultaneously handlesay, even fourHD streams at 1080P?'" He confirmed that Toshiba is yet to make the company's wireless decision.

Asked if Toshiba has plans to add any wireless connectivity feature to the Regza line of flat panel displays, Ramirez said: "No. Not this year. Cell TV is the only one where we are talking about adding wireless."

- Junko Yoshida
EE Times





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