CES 2009: Toshiba unleashes Cell TVs

  Unknown to many, Toshiba played a major role in co-developing the Cell Broadband Processing chip with Sony and IBM. This little piece of silicon magic happens to be the brains behind Sony’s PlayStation3 and forms the basis of IBM’s next-generation of Roadrunner super computers. The Cell processor featuring eight accessible Synergistic Processing Elements (SPEs) that can all be tasked to run individual program workloads that run in parallel. While Toshiba has hinted at using Cell technology in sets before, they have announced that they will demonstrate working prototype TVs featuring Cell processors.

News was sparse in their press release but here’s the info:

-Prototype Cell TVs
The high performance of the Cell platform brings superb picture quality and networking
interactivity to TVs. Demonstrations at CES will include real-time super resolution
imaging, using a 56-inch, 4k x 2k pixel panel to display images that the Cell platform
upconverts from 1920x1080p to 3840x2160p, and also upconverting of content such as
Internet video to high picture quality by application of “Resolution+” technology in
combination with newly developed noise reduction technology. In addition, a 55-inch
backlit LED panel controlled by the Cell platform will be showcased and demonstrate
high-speed control of all picture parameters, including an innovative local dimming
function. Visitors can also see how the Cell TV goes beyond breathtaking image quality
to deliver extremely fast and easy operation of networking functions.

They said that the massive processing horsepower will produce the clearest picture ever seen, with incredible control over local dimming. And in the time that a current flagship Regza set could analyze an image, the Cell could have done it multiple times ensuring that jaggies are totally eliminated. Additionally, it will offer advanced recording capabilities, such as simultaneously recording up to six HD channels.--John Sciacca