Celling Toshiba

Toshiba's big announcement concerned the incoporation of the advanced Cell processor into selected models of its new, 2010 Cell series of HDTVs. The Cell was developed by Toshiba but is best known up to now as the brains in Sony's PlayStation3.

According to Toshiba, the CELL processor offers 143 times the processing power of ordinary HDTVs. This provides for a huge complement of new and advanced features. Primary among them is 3DS capability. The new Toshiba Cell 3D HDTVs will produce 3D using sequential frames for full 1080p resolution at each eye, using shutter glasses. And while it will accept 3D from the upcoming Blu-ray 3D discs played on a 3D Blu-ray player, Toshiba also claims that the Cell processor can also convert all 2D content to 3D using Toshiba's TriVector processing. How well it does this will be a subject for future reviews!

The Cell series also incorporates ClearScan 480Hz capability, new video processing power to enhance (we shall see) all sorts of program material, including the Internet TV and videophone features that the sets also incorporate.

For its flagship ZX900 series, available in 55" and 65" sizes, the Cell processor combines with Toshiba's KIRAC2 local dimming LED display technology, offering 512 individually dimmable zones (5X that of earlier local dimmers, according to Toshiba).

The Cell TVs will also include a high-end home entertainment server with 1TB of hard drive storage, a BD player, and 802.11n Wi-Fi capability.

Toshiba also announced four Blu-ray players, the BDX2500 ($200, spring), BDX2700 ($250, spring) and the BDX3000. The BDX3000 (available this summer, price TBD) will feature Blu-ray 3D capability.

While the press event did take pains to bring up Toshiba's enviro-credentials (as do most manufacturers in these tree-hugging days), it said nothing about ultra slim design in its HDTVs. Refreshing.