TVs used to be dumb. All they could do was show a picture. If you wanted to accomplish anything else, like play a DVD, record a show, or connect wirelessly to the Internet you'd have to connect a series of separate set-top boxes. Last year we saw Internet services in many TV sets and a couple had wireless connectivity.
This fall, however, Toshiba will take it to a whole new level when it starts selling its ZX900 CELL LED-backlit LCD TVs in 55- and 65-inch model. Each offers a plethora of futuristic capabilities all built into the set (if you include its set-top box):
- Full HD 3D capability, including the ability to transform standard 2D material into 3D
- Built-in wireless HDMI connectivity – no dongle kit needed
- Built-in Wi-Fi connectivity
- Net TV Internet content
- Integrated 1 terabyte (TB) DVR
- Built-in Blu-ray player
- Videophone, via a built-in webcam and microphone
Powering all these futuristic wonders is the Toshiba-IBM-developed CELL microprocessor, the same engine juicing the Sony PlayStation 3. According to Toshiba, the CELL center provides 143 times the processing power of other TVs, which also enhances all the images displayed on its screen, even analog video.
Many specifics, such as what the built-in DVR will and won't record, what Web channels will be offered, and who will supply the videophone capability have yet to be announced. But were impressed already by what we've heard.