As with the prototype model shown last year, Cell TV will be a two box system, with the “media hub” coupled with the latest generation of Regza LED backlit screens. Highlighting the “bigger is better” mentality of the US market, Cell TV will launch in 55in and 65in flavours in the USA, while Europe will get 46in and 55in varieties. To be fair, taking into account the average living room size in the UK compared to the US, this strategy makes sense.
The new Regza LED backlit screens will also be pushing the game on, utilising Toshiba’s new KIRA2 panel technology. With 512 areas of local dimming, this new panel offers a dynamic contrast ratio of 9,000,000:1, which should provide truly deep blacks coupled with vibrant and vivid colours. Toshiba has also bumped the brightness level up to 1000cd/m2, although I’ve never found brightness to be a real problem in LCD technology.
The Cell box itself has a lot going for it on top of that Cell chip. There’s a 1TB hard disk inside, which can be used for recording TV, playing it back or streaming it to other devices around your house. Toshiba’s plan is for the Cell TV box to be your media hub, so that you copy your home videos, music and photos to the device, and then access them from anywhere, or view them on the Toshiba HD panel.
The Cell box employs a form of wireless HDMI, so there’s no cable running from it to your TV, while it also sports 802.11b, g and n, so you can get onto your home network, or onto the Internet without having to worry about cables.
Rounding things off nicely is a built-in Blu-ray player, making Cell TV a true high definition hub. Of course it wasn’t so long ago that Toshiba wouldn’t even utter the word Blu-ray, but it’s good to see that the company is no longer cutting off its proverbial nose, and is now offering the public the technology they need.
The one thing left to mention is price, but unfortunately Toshiba failed to mention it. The only comment made on pricing was – “The price is, let's say, a very high price”. I have to commend Toshiba on its honesty, and I’m not altogether surprised that Cell TV will probably cost an arm, a leg and a couple of major organs at launch. The question is whether it will be worth that hefty cost, and that’s something I intend to find out as soon as possible.