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Toshiba to detail Cell-based TV in early October

Toshiba will soon unveil its first television based on the Cell processor, the same multimedia chip that sits at the heart of the PlayStation 3 game console.

Toshiba has been showing prototypes of the television with Cell technology for the last couple of years and its unveiling on Oct. 5 will come just before its first public showing at the upcoming Ceatec electronics show. While a launch date has not yet been announced, the timing of the unveiling suggests it will be on sale in Japan before the end of this year.

The Cell chip was developed by Toshiba, IBM and Sony and each chip contains a single Power PC core and eight co-processors. Together the chips make heavy-duty processing of video a breeze.

During previous demonstrations of Cell TV prototypes, Toshiba has put the chip to use providing real-time enhancing of standard definition to a quality closer to that of high definition. It has also been shown streaming multiple chapters from a recorded TV show, similar to the multiscreen menus on some DVDs, to make program navigation easier.

But for all the neat tricks the Cell chip can do with video there's one thing it almost certainly won't do: run PlayStation 3 games. Toshiba has said several times that it has no intention of offering any sort of PlayStation compatibility in a Cell-based TV.

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