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Panasonic puts plasma TVs on a diet

The company shows off prototype high-definition plasma displays at IFA that are less than an inch thick.

Sharp thin LCD
Sharp's 23-millimeter thick Aquos XS1 comes to the U.K. this fall. Engadget

We had inklings that thin was in for the HDTV business this year after CES, but the sets being shown off at IFA in Berlin this week confirm it.

Panasonic showed off the 50-inch version at CES in January, but brought out 58-inch and 65-inch versions of the startlingly thin TVs at IFA at the Berlin trade show Thursday.

Unsurprisingly, Panasonic is saying that the sets are not as heavy as normal plasma TVs. Plus, the prototypes are being made with WirelessHD inside, which means fewer pesky wires. Keep in mind, this is not a real TV. It's just a prototype for the gadget hounds at IFA to drool over.

But, it'll likely happen eventually. Plasma is actually one of the last of the HDTV technologies to go super skinny. Sony set the standard with its ridiculously slim OLED TV, and Hitachi showed up at CES with a 1.5-inch thick LCD.

Now Sony's trying thin LCDs on for size, as my colleagues at Crave UK found out.

Sharp also has its Aquos LCD TV on a workout regiment. The XS1 is a mere 23 millimeters thick, and comes in 52-inch or 65-inch panel sizes.

This one's actually a real product, but for now only available in the UK beginning this fall.