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Toshiba lets out Cell TV titbits

Set to be shouted about in H2

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CES Toshiba today re-iterated its plan to introduce tellies based on the Cell processor later this year, pronouncing the PlayStation 3 technology "the future of television".

It didn't provide all the details, alas, but Toshiba did reveal rather more than it has before about the top-of-the-range TVs that will use Cell and ship under the Regza brand.

Interestingly, it'll be a two-unit offering comprising a skinny panel with all the internals in a separate set-top box. The panel with have a resolution of 3820 x 2160 - four times that of a standard full HD set.

Handling the 1080p upscaling will be the Cell in the set-top box. Like Toshiba's current Resolution+ upscaling tech - itself derived from Cell components - Cell will apply some clever algorithms that will yield a '4k by 2k' picture that doesn't look upscaled - "no artefacts" - Toshiba claimed.

Resolution+ can do this too, but Cell can do it in a third of the time, giving it headroom to also cast up a 3D animated UI on the panel and to handle the DVR-style recording of six HD TV channels simultaneously.

The set-top box will also be able to stream said recordings across a local network to other screens - more than one at once, too - and has SD card, USB, DNLA and internet TV support. Phew.

Back to the panel, and it'll have an array of LED backlights behind it instead of edge-mounted illumination, the better to run the backlight in harmony with the picture being shown on the panel.

When will all this telly goodness arrive? In the past, Toshiba has pointed to a late 2009 release, but at CES the company simply said the Cell-based TVs will be "marketed in 2009", which isn't necessarily the same thing as selling it. We shall see. ®

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