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Panasonic still cautious on OLED TVs

At CES, the company expressed skepticism about the organic thin TVs getting bigger and mass-produced. At Ceatec, it hints it could take even longer than previously thought.

CHIBA, Japan--Already skeptical about the ability of OLED to uproot the TV technology dominance of plasma and LCD in the next few years, Panasonic cast even more doubt on the opening day of Ceatec 2008.

Speaking to a group of reporters, Panasonic AVC Networks President Toshihiro Sakamoto reiterated that OLED (organic light-emitting diode) TVs will not be made in sizes of 30 inches or greater for now, and it's still not suitable for mass manufacturing. Currently, Panasonic does not have an OLED product on the market, but Sony does: it makes and 11-inch OLED TV, and is working on a 27-inch model.

Though Panasonic is working on making its own OLED set, Sakamoto said "we may have to redefine the market position of OLED."

His quasi-cryptic comments indicate that LCD and plasma are here to stay for a while, and that the mass production of OLED TVs could be even further off than his previously stated estimate of 2015.

It's also not clear that we need OLED TVs before then. They're still prohibitively expensive, small, and LCD and plasma are continuing to make great gains. Here at Ceatec, for example, several major TV makers like Sharp, Toshiba, Sony, and Panasonic are showing off incredibly thin TVs as well as those with decreased power consumption, both features of OLED.

Click here for more stories on Ceatec 2008.