Crave TV: Thin is in for TV makers

Everyone is obsessed with being skinny these days, and that's even true of TV manufacturers, who are trying every trick in the book to get their screen depths down to ever more diminutive sizes

It seems almost incredible, but TV manufacturers think the current crop of TVs are too fat for us. They're obsessed with making LCD and plasma screens much smaller.

Although you may not think your current TV is especially lardy, it's inevitable that LCD and plasma technology will become more and more svelte as time goes on. But there are also new technologies that are going to be terribly skinny from day one. OLED, for example, can fit into a case that's significantly shallower than either LCD or plasma. And while large-screen OLEDs are quite a way off, the technology has got everyone excited.

We went to see Samsung's tiny OLED prototypes, and were amazed -- it's beaten Sony and built a 31-inch OLED prototype, and it looks amazing. Samsung also has a 25mm-thick LCD TV, which we would expect to come out in the next couple of years, although officials wouldn't be drawn on any formal date.

Meanwhile, on the plasma front, Pioneer and Panasonic both had prototypes that show off how thin it's possible to make plasmas. Pioneer had an ultra-thin Kuro, which was drawing huge crowds, and Panasonic had super-light, ultra-thin plasmas too.

But the company that deserves most credit is Hitachi, because it has a final production model that is on sale this year, and is only 37mm thick. It's a really cool looking TV, and it proves we don't have long to wait for this technology to become mainstream. -Ian Morris

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