Sony television to integrate Cell processor, offer "PC-like"

Televisions featuring Sony's Cell networked processor will be on the market by 2006, according to Sony CEO Nobuyuki Idei, who suggested that the next-generation TVs could offer functionality similar to a personal computer. The Cell processor, which will also be used in the PlayStation 3 and in a range of other consumer electronics devices, would make the television into a "smart TV," capable of performing a range of tasks normally associated with home computers rather than TVs.

Although Idei did not elaborate on the functionality of the Cell TV, the system would be broadband enabled and could provide the ability to browse the Internet, watch streaming content over broadband networks, send and receive messages and control other Cell-based devices, among others. Trial production of the Cell processor is already underway, with full-scale production due to start in early 2005. The first product to use the Cell technology will be a high-end workstation for digital content creation, which will be built by IBM in partnership with Sony and will ship at the end of this year.

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