Toshiba shows off first TV based on Cell chip

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Toshiba is hoping to take the television market to a whole new level later this year with the introduction of a 55-inch model based on the powerful Cell multimedia processor. The new Cell Regza 55X1 uses a variant of the chip found in the PlayStation 3 and some high-end computer servers from IBM, enabling "ultra-high-speed processing and recording, enhanced navigation and seamless network interactivity."

The Cell chip is housed in a separate box that also serves as a DVR with 3TB of total storage. It also enables the Regza 55X1 to show up to eight channels on-screen at once, time-shift these channels simultaneously for 26 hours, and boot up a web browser based on Opera.

As far as technical specs go, the 55-inch set itself has a LED block array divided into 512 local dimming zones that contribute to a 5,000,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio and 1,250cd/m2 brightness. It refreshes at up to 240Hz and has a seven-speaker sound bar at the bottom.

Toshiba will start selling the Regza 55X1 this December in Japan for no less than a million Yen -- or about $11,200 when it arrives in the U.S. early next year. Ultimately, the company wants to produce less pricey Cell-based models for the mainstream, and is reportedly considering selling the platform to other TV makers.

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