[CEATEC] Cell Processor Realizes New Search Function for Regza TV

Oct 14, 2009
Tomohisa Takei, Nikkei Electronics
The Cell Regza features the "Roaming Navi" search function
The Cell Regza features the "Roaming Navi" search function
[Click to enlarge image]
The screen of the Roaming Navi, which displays a TV program selected by the user in the center and similar programs sorted by title, genre, characters and keyword in the order of similarity.
The screen of the Roaming Navi, which displays a TV program selected by the user in the center and similar programs sorted by title, genre, characters and keyword in the order of similarity.
[Click to enlarge image]
The plus-shaped button of the remote is pressed to select "title." It displays programs that are similar in title and whose broadcast time is close to the current time.
The plus-shaped button of the remote is pressed to select "title." It displays programs that are similar in title and whose broadcast time is close to the current time.
[Click to enlarge image]

The Cell Regza LCD TV, which Toshiba Corp announced Oct 5, 2009, features a program searching function, "Roaming Navi," that automatically sorts recorded TV programs by similarity.

When the user selects a TV program, the Roaming Navi displays thumbnails for similar TV programs sorted by title, genre, characters and keyword. Those TV programs are searched among (1) programs of eight digital terrestrial channels automatically recorded by the Cell Regza in about the past 26 hours, (2) up to 1 Tbyte of programs that the user chose and recorded and (3) programs that are listed in a program guide and scheduled to be aired within one week.

The Roaming Navi shows the TV program selected by the user in the center of the screen, and programs that are similar in title, characters, keyword and genre (from top, clockwise) are respectively laid out. EPG (electronic programming guide) data for digital TV broadcasts is used for the search function.

The degree of similarity is digitized based on program name, genre, characters, program content and date and hour of program. The higher the score, the closer the thumbnail of the program is to the center of the screen, Toshiba said.

It is also possible to show programs similar to the one that the user picked up from the programs laid out by the Roaming Navi.

"We could realize the Roaming Navi thanks to the Cell Broadband Engine," Toshiba said.

The Cell Broadband Engine is a microprocessor that Toshiba developed with Sony Group and IBM Corp. Assuming that each TV channel broadcasts one program in every 30 minutes, the number of programs broadcast by eight channels and automatically recorded for 26 hours is 416. And the numbers of the programs to be broadcast within a week and those picked up by the user are added to it.

To quickly evaluate an enormous amount of information on TV programs from various points of view and display the results using thumbnails, the processing power of the processors mounted in existing HDD recorders is not enough, Toshiba said.