Toshiba Shows Prototype TV Running on PS3 Cell Chip

PC World asks what happens when you take the powerful Cell microprocessor, the chip that sits at the heart of the PlayStation 3 games console, and put it to use inside a television? Toshiba is demonstrated just such a TV at this week's International Consumer Electronics Show and the results are impressive.

The first and perhaps most relevant benefit of putting the Cell inside a television is the ability to handle real-time upscaling of standard definition TV to high-def. With a Cell-powered TV you'd be able to enjoy regular channels in higher quality much closer to that of HD, said Hiroaki Komaki, a specialist at Toshiba's core technology center in Tokyo.

The upscaling doesn't stop there. The same feature can be used to zoom in on an area of an HDTV picture, enlarge that single area, and then improve it's image quality. Imagine zooming in on a home movie of a sports event and getting closer to the action.

The Cell also makes it possible to easily navigate a number of video channels simultaneously. In a demo at CES, the chip was streaming 48 chapters from a standard-definition video file in real-time, with each appearing as a video thumbnail on the screen. Clicking on one of the clips would bring it up on the lower half of the screen, with 16 chapters still running in the upper half. Another push on the button would move it to full screen.

If the video streams were HD, it would be able to process six in real-time and display them on the screen, said Komaki.

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3992d ago Replies(16)
Cyrus3653992d ago

The technology is impressive, upscaling reagular TV in real time to near HD Levels, that's crazy.

athlon7703992d ago

we are getting closer and closer to the sci-fi sceens where the person touches a point on the display and it automatically zooms in around that real time...that is the power that will be known as the cell baby!

xsteinbachx3992d ago

Ibm, and toshiba joined up on development.

Genuine3992d ago

The Cell was engineered by Sony, IBM, and Toshiba.

Relcom3992d ago (Edited 3992d ago )

Sony help fund it but IBM developed it and produced.

Sony taking credit is like saying PS3's Call of Duty 4 inspired all shooters from here on out.

Just sayin give credit where credit is due. IBM made a great chip i enjoy everyday i play my PS3.

Cyrus3653992d ago

IBM, Sony and Toshiba all worked on it.

IBM saw it potential, with it's ability to do alot of calculations lighting quick for servers (Blade Servers).

Sony obviously saw it's potential for it's PS3 uses, and had planned to use it on other consumers devices, but then sold their plant to Toshiba.

Toshiba, saw it potential for consumers device, like this above.

BrianC62343992d ago

"Sony help fund it but IBM developed it and produced."

You're 1000% wrong. Obviously you know nothing about the Cell. All three companies had engineers get together and work on the Cell. In fact, that made it complicated because they didn't all speak the same language. It was a huge project that got some of the best engineers from all three companies together. That's why the Cell is so powerful.

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CrashSharc3992d ago

if the PS3 already has this so called "ceell", then could we PS3 owners possibly see this functionality through firmware updates??? huh??? IPTV??? ANSWER ME!

jaja14343992d ago

Sadly no, a simple firmware update will do nothing to improve your TV viewing. For that to work the PS3 would somehow have to over ride the TV and blah blah blah.

I suppose that it's possible if you hacked the TV and then got a PS3 update but that seems very unlikely.

CrashSharc3992d ago

no I totally get you. But remember in Leipzig when they showed off the Play TV thing. well you hook your ps3 up to your tv service using the separately sold attachment right? so could the ps3 manipulate the video feed similar to how this tv does BEFORE sending the signal to your actual tv? I'm just saying that it would be cool if they implement similar features into Play tv... no?

jaja14343992d ago (Edited 3992d ago )

Perhaps as long as the cable input went into the PS3 first via a port on the PS3 itself or another attachment. You would also need some sort

software(non-firmware related despite what a lot of people think a firmware update does not solve everything) through either a disc or online. And then maybe, but I don't know the details of how they got it to work with the TV in the first place so their might be some extra hardware involved that is not know.

rofldings3992d ago (Edited 3992d ago )

jaja1434, that's what PlayTV is, a way to hook up your cable/dish/ant inputs straight to the PS3. If Sony released the same upscaling software Toshiba has, it would work just nicely. Too bad it has no NA release date, so I'm screwed for now. :)

Here's a clip video clip demonstrating it:

Ju3992d ago

The only thing the only thing the PS3 needs to do the same is a video-in module, like a tuner or any other kind of input device (a tuner basically decodes that signal and creates an input stream - simply speaking). PlayTV anyone ? The only problem maybe is, that in case of PlayTV is, however, it "streams" the video channel over USB (limited bandwidth for e.g. 48 HD feeds) and it can only receive HD channels. An analog tuner would do for me. DVR and Upscaler (!!!!) for standard TV. Yeah, baby.

Makes me wonder, why Sony has nothing comparable. They have have Bravias with XMBs, AFAIK. A downscaled PS3 in one of their TVs could be cool (incl. Ethernet/Wireless, but without HD/BD, but 10G+ solid state disk. Like a full PS3 which can play PSN games but has no HD/BD and does this other TV/Video related things).

And the other thing I was wondering since the PS3 release. Why didn't they add a tuner on the board? Imagine a video/component in and an antenna plug on the back. These chips usually cost by weight, so cheap, I guess.

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