Toshiba's Cell-Powered TV Records Or Displays 8 Channels At Once

Toshiba's first TV with the PS3 Cell processor it helped develop has seriously kick-ass specs. For starters: The 55-incher's LED backlighting divides the 240Hz display into 512 individually controlled areas, and has a dynamic contrast ratio of 5,000,000:1.

The Cell processor also provides self-congruency for improved image quality at the edge of the picture, enhanced colour and brightness balance, and a super-high luminance of 1250cd/m². A seven-speaker sound bar is attached underneath the display, and network functionality includes DLNA support and an HD Web browser based on Opera.

The Cell chip is housed in an external box about the site of an older Blu-ray player. That's also where a 3TB hard disk is installed to allow the TV to time-shift up to 26 hours of programs from up to eight channels simultaneously. (1TB of storage is reserved for longer-term recordings). Another neat visual trick: the 55X1 can show eight channels on screen at the same time-and step through each without the delay common with rival HDTVs.

The TV is on show at CEATEC (Japan's version of CES), and will go on sale there in December for about 1 Million Yen (about AU$12,750). Toshiba hopes to sell about 1000 models a month before the 55X1 arrives in the US sometime in 2010.

Toshiba also gave some insight into its future plans for CELL processor-based TVs. It talked about using the chip in a range of concepts, including a 3D TV, and a 4K x 2K HDTV that upconverts 1080p to 3840 x 2160. Holy crap. More Please. [Toshiba via Impress AV Watch (translated)]