Toshiba Cell TV

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Toshiba Cell TV

After losing the HD DVD / Blu-ray format war Toshiba hasn’t had a lot of new stuff to talk about.  They still make some nice LCD TVs, but when you see other manufacturers coming out with interesting new Blu-ray players, camcorders, digital cameras, etc. Toshiba is running the risk of becoming marginalized with their limited product line.  They still make great TVs and laptops, but so do a lot of other manufacturers.  They have great engineering capabilities and the public would be well served if they put them to good use expanding their offerings to include new components.  One upcoming product is the Cell TV, which is not a new TV but an enhancement of existing technology.

The Cell TV uses the Cell processor found in the PlayStation 3.  The Cell is like a miniature supercomputer, and when incorporated into the Cell TV it can record six high-def channels at once and processes 1080p to what is called 4K… four times 1080p resolution, for what is supposed to be the last word in image quality.  It is likely to cost between $5,000 and $10,000.  During the Toshiba press conference we were encouraged to stop by the Toshiba booth and check it out. 

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I did just that and like the Mitsubishi LaserVue, this TV failed to impress me.  It didn’t look outright bad as the LaserVue did, in fact it looked good… but it certainly didn’t look incredible.  If I passed it on the show floor, I would have just thought it was another nice TV among hundreds around CES.  In fact, I saw a lot of less expensive TVs that I thought looked better, and it didn’t look dramatically better than any of Toshiba’s other fine LCD TVs.  They do make a very good one… I bought a 42″ model for my mom last year, and she loves it.  I shopped for weeks before deciding on the Toshiba, too.

Recording six HD streams would be nice, but in terms of image quality the Cell TV doesn’t look exceptional or live up to the hype.

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