Toshiba has upped the ante in TV technology by unveiling its flagship model, the Cell Regza 55X1. This new 55-inch LED unit has the TV junkie in mind with many features not seen before, including the ability to record up to eight channels at once, a 3TB hard drive (record and store up to 26 hours of HD programs), a powerful processing chip identical to the one found in the PS3, a dynamic contrast ratio of 5,000,000:1, 240Hz scanning, a display divided into 512 distinct areas (each with individually-controlled lighting and luminance that deliver an industry high 1250cd/m2 - 2.5 times higher than typical TVs, and a seven-speaker sound bar. All for a lazy ¥1 million (US$11,500 approx).
And if that doesn't whet your appetite - wait, there's more. Toshiba says a self-congruency process improves image quality at the edge of the picture. At the heart of the Regza is the Cell platform, which achieves an arithmetic processing capability approximately 143 times that of current top shelf Regza TV.
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The company says its Cell Broadband Engine is specially developed for demanding multimedia applications and, with Toshiba's advanced image-processing algorithms, the Cell platform achieves these impressive viewing enhancements. This includes improved color and brightness balance for greater picture color and definition, LED backlight control system, luminance to 1250cd/m2, and the dynamic contrast ratio 5,000,000:1.
The Cell microprocessor was developed as a three-way venture among Sony, Toshiba and IBM for reportedly $US400 million. It first appeared in the PS3 but has since been used in IBM servers.
Never miss a moment
Of the 3TB on-board storage, 2TB are set aside for time-shifting - it's possible to record up to 26 hours (total) of programming simultaneously across eight digital terrestrial broadcasts. A "time shift" key on the remote makes it easy to watch previously recorded programs.
Toshiba believes its improved "roaming navigation" lets viewers easily sort through all the information they may have captured. Searches can be conducted on recorded, current and future programs simply by inserting an identifier -- the title, person's name, genre or related keywords.
Good looks, too
The Cell Regza comprises a slim monitor and a stylish tuner that also integrates the hard disk drive. Both have a smoked aluminum finish, as does the remote.
Toshiba's ClearScan 240 helps deliver blur-free fast moving images, by combining the 120Hz scan rate of ClearScan 240 with its new backlight scanning technology, Toshiba now achieves 240Hz scanning that makes action scenes crisper than ever. The new double backlight scanning function divides the display into 16, against eight for current Regza models.
Cell Regza has real-time color temperature analysis that can identify daylight, evening sunlight, interior lighting and darkness to achieve optimum picture quality by automatic fine tuning of multiple control settings: 1024 steps in color temperature, a 128 scale dynamic gamma range, 100 brightness settings, 32 settings each for color saturation, color sharpness, and adjustment of super resolution, plus control of the LED backlighting.
"Roaming Navigator" uses a visual display for faster navigation. A thumbnail of the program chosen by the viewer is centered in the display while other programs are shown circling this, either nearer or further, depending on relevancy. Searches can be based on program title, a character or actor's name, genre or keyword. Relevancy-based searches deliver what you are looking for, and much more.
"Multi Thumbnail" displays recorded programs as a multi-display of 40 time-divided thumbnails, making it very easy to select and go to a particular scene.
Toshiba admits that split screen is nothing new, but no other manufacturer is offering an eight-window multi-display.
A browser supporting full HD, based on the Opera browser and co-developed with Opera Software, provides full support viewing YouTube contents at near HD level quality. In addition, Cell Regza supports broadband, DLNA and JPEG images.
The TV has a newly-developed audio system and multi-amplifier system that delivers sound via a seven-speaker sound bar that Toshiba says far surpasses that of current TV sound systems.
Power consumption is controlled by maintaining optimum image brightness, however, the TV automatically goes into stand-by mode if no command is received from the remote controller for approximately three hours.
The Cell Regza 55X1 will be available in the Japanese market from the beginning of December and shipped elsewhere in the new year.
For additional information, head to Toshiba.