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Sharp's thin LCD in a race with time

It's far thinner than today's LCDs, but other technologies loom.


It's taken awhile, but that whole thin-vs.-thick thing between LCD and plasma TVs will soon be a thing of the past at this rate. The most extreme example of the LCD crash diet is a prototype that Sharp is reportedly calling the "future of television."

The reason for the boast is in the numbers: A 52-inch screen with a contrast ratio of 100,000:1 that weighs 55 pounds and measures only 20 millimeters thick (about 0.78 inches), about 80 percent thinner than most LCDs of that size on the market today. And just for good measure, it supposedly uses a lot less power too.

But the biggest obstacle may be time: Sharp says it's not scheduled to produce these until 2010. In the meantime, other manufacturers are working on competing technologies that could make this TV look like a Jenny Craig "before" ad. A few months ago, for example, Sony showed off a 9-millimeter OLED screen, and Toshiba says it's working on its own version as well. By that time, we may all be watching TVs wrapped around our wrists.