LAS VEGAS (AP) -- Toshiba Corp. is planning to use the Cell processor, the brain of Sony Corp.'s PlayStation 3 game console, to create an ultra-powerful TV set-top box that can record up to six high-definition channels at once and improve the look of any video.
The box and a separate flat-panel LCD TV will be sold as a package this year in Japan for between $5,000 and $10,000, said Scott Ramirez, vice president of marketing for Toshiba America Consumer Products. It may come later to the U.S., he told press gathered Wednesday at the International Consumer Electronics Show.
Toshiba has been experimenting with several different ways to expand the use of the zippy Cell processor, which was jointly developed by Toshiba, Sony and IBM Corp. Toshiba has demonstrated laptops and TVs with Cell processors, but the PlayStation remains the main use for the chip.
The Cell TV box will accept video content from cable, memory chips and other sources, raise their apparent resolution, then send the video signal wirelessly to the TV, Ramirez said.
"You're going to have the cleanest picture you've ever seen," Ramirez said.
The box will also be able to record content to a hard drive, like a digital video recorder. It would thus combine the functions of several different set-top boxes, but it's unclear how it would work with cable or satellite hookups, particularly when it comes to recording several channels at once.