Toshiba's press conference focused almost exclusively on the launch of Cell TV in the US market. We have followed the progress of Cell technology for nearly the past decade, since Toshiba, Sony and IBM began its development. As a reminder, it lies at the heart of the PlayStation 3 system, and Toshiba has always made its intentions clear to launch a range of other consumer devices using the processor technology.
Cell TV will use Cell for various capabilities: to deliver 3D pictures from 2D sources; to upscale video, including video from internet sources; and to support “Autoview”, which sets the TV picture automatically and adjusts for the room’s colour temperature. I did not get the chance to examine the performance of Cell in these tasks – I hope to see detailed demonstrations later this week.
Cell TV will be Toshiba’s flagship model this year. It will also feature a range of connected TV features, including wireless HD (the WirelessHD standard), 802.11n, DLNA, USB movie, Net TV channels and videophone. Yes, like LG and Panasonic, Toshiba is also entering the rapidly emerging big screen videoconferencing space.
The launch of Toshiba’s first Blu-ray player was mentioned more or less in passing, and it will be upgradeable to 3D capability. However, we question Toshiba’s commitment to BD given the company’s belief that “the future of video is online, and discs are in decline”. It seems the bitter legacy of the HD-DVD saga has not been easily forgotten.
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