Cell In Situ

There were two products announced that incorporate the Cell chip. The first was the new ZF range of TVs, which sport the Resolution+ Picture Enhancement Technology. The ZF range will be the pinnacle of Toshiba’s new TV range and will feature 5:5 pulldown 1080p 24Hz processing, 100Hz processing and four HDMI ports. But it’s the Resolution+ processing that takes pride of place, which should, in theory at least, produce superior picture quality from SD sources. And with Toshiba claiming that 99 per cent of content viewed on HDTVs is SD, the need for the best possible picture processing is clear.

The second product to use the Cell chip is Toshiba’s new XD-E500 upscaling DVD player. This is the first device to use the XDE algorithm and Toshiba claims that this player produces “near” HD quality images, and will suit consumers who already have a large collection of DVDs. I actually have a sample of the XD-E500 in the office, so I will be evaluating the quality as soon as I’m back from IFA, but ultimately, an interpolated image is never going to be as clear and sharp as a 1:1 mapped high definition image.

Just to add a bit more confusion to Toshiba’s message, is the announcement that I reported on last week from the Intel Developer Forum. Intel’s new CE 3100 chip will be doing much the same job as the Cell chip in consumer devices such as TVs. That in itself isn’t unusual, but considering that Intel showed a quote from Hisatsuga Nonaka - Corporate Senior Executive Vice President Toshiba - stating that Toshiba is looking forward to working with Intel, I can’t help but wonder how Cell and CE 3100 are going to coexist. When asked about CE 3100, Toshiba claimed that there were no plans to use anything other than Cell for the foreseeable future.



August 29, 2008, 1:03 am

It's unfortunate that Toshiba can't come in with a &#163100 full 2.0 spec Blu-Ray player and steal significant PS3 sales away from Sony. I want to get a Blu-Ray player and would something half the price of the PS3 with all the features in an instant. If they also slipped out some region free firmware for it as well they would sell SOOO many of them it's silly.

Such a player could have been built on the platform of HD players they already had (HD DVD and Blu-Ray used the same codecs after all).. so it's a shame they haven't the balls to hand Sony their asses by doing something Sony can't, or won't, do and on using their own format no less.

Currently it does seem like Toshiba is sulking in the corner.


August 29, 2008, 2:58 pm

It's not as easy as Toshiba just making Blu-ray players, they will need to become part of the BDA, which Sony is a main body in, and will be coming in last with probably little to no say as to how they are able to market, manufacturer and release their own product. Remember, there is a reason every new profile update came out on the PS3 first.

Toshiba have no need to waste more time and money on this generation of HD player as they can concentrate on the next phase, which is currently in development, and can continue to concentrate their efforts on their flash based storage products which will hopefully be a successful proposition to counteract the optical format in the near future.

comments powered by Disqus