Flat panel TVs are being enhanced so rapidly that any performance comparisons quickly go out of date.


Take a simple measure like screen size. At Japan’s leading consumer electronics show, CEATEC, held in Makuhari on Tokyo bay in September, hundreds of would-be home cinema owners crowded around Panasonic’s new 65-inch plasma panel TV, which was being billed as “the largest commercial TV set in the world”.



But just two weeks later, the company had to withdraw the claim when its bitter rivals, South Korean firms Samsung and LG Electronics, leapfrogged it with 67-inch and 71-inch plasma panel TVs respectively.



And if constantly shifting specifications are not enough of a problem, there is the small matter of which of the three available large screen technologies is best: plasma display panel (PDP), liquid crystal display (LCD) or rear projection.



And then there are the forthcoming “quantum effect” surface-conduction emission displays (SEDs) that are due out in 2005, and still in the pipeline are flat screens based on organic LEDs.



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