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LCD TV Makes Technical and Market Advances

Jan 7, 2008 12:00 PM

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As the 2008 International Consumer Electronics Show opens this week in Las Vegas, the digital TV landscape is shifting by the hour, with LCD continuing its drive toward market dominance across most screen sizes.

Fujitsu, one of the early suppliers of plasma TV, disclosed last week that it is exiting the plasma TV market due to declining profitability in the plasma segment. That announcement came a few weeks after Sony said it was abandoning its 3LCD and SXRD rear-projection TVs in favor of a tighter focus on LCD TV.

Meanwhile, the LCD TV category isn’t resting on its laurels. The liquid crystal world is taking advantage of the bundling options made possible by digital technology to introduce advanced feature sets that leap beyond the standard TV fare. JVC, for one, is unveiling at CES the P Series of LCD TVs, which include an iPod dock for music playback.

Sharp, meanwhile, is launching the Special Edition SE94 Aquos LCD-TV series offering Internet connectivity. Available in 65in., 52in., and 46in. screen sizes, the SE94 series packs networking capability, which gives broadband-linked users access to the Sharp Aquos Net service. Users can tap into customized Web-based content including weather and stock quotes—while watching TV—and can receive realtime customer support via Aquos Live. The customer service tool enables Sharp customer support agents to connect to the TV and remotely optimize picture quality.

Despite Sony’s exodus from the rear-projection business, the category will be alive and kicking in the Mitsubishi booth. The company is sticking firm with plans to introduce its much-hyped Laser TV, a DLP-based rear-projection technology that uses precise lasers to produce new levels of color and sharpness that are said to exceed those of current plasma and LCD panels.

While Toshiba announced last month that it would delay production of OLED TVs panels due to high production costs, Samsung is planning to show a 31in. prototype at its booth at CES. Measuring 4.3mm thick, the display is said to consume less than half the energy required to power an equivalent LCD TV.

Sony will have its 11in. OLED, first shown at the company line show last spring, on display at CES as well.

In addition to next-gen products, expect to see more 1080p TVs, 120Hz technology, and TVs with 24p inputs at CES 2008. And look for flat to get even flatter. LG and Sharp are among those manufacturers touting reduced overall display depth and thinner bezels.

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