Toshiba, Canon show 55-inch SED television

Toshiba and Canon demonstrated a 55-inch SED screen at Ceatec

Toshiba and Canon demonstrated a television with a 55-inch SED screen at the Ceatac exhibition in Chiba, Japan, saying they plan to put the screens into production next year.

At 55 inches, the prototype SED (surface-conduction electron-emitter display) screen on display here is the largest yet demonstrated in public.

The companies will begin initial production of the 55-inch screens in July 2007, said Keiichiro Mori, chief specialist at Toshiba's SED Project Team, confirming that the production of SEDs, which had been delayed several times, is on track to begin next year.

The screens will go on sale first in Japan, Mori said. Pricing, as well as plans for selling SED televisions overseas, have yet to be finalized, he said.

At present, Toshiba and Canon plan to produce only 55-inch SED screens, Mori said.

In development for 20 years, SED promises pictures that are as bright as CRT (cathode ray tube) televisions, while consuming one-third less power than equivalent-size plasma displays, and showing none of the image delays sometimes associated with flat-panel screens.

SED offers other advantages over existing flat-panel technology, Toshiba and Canon said. For example, the screens offer a wider viewing angle than other technologies and have a contrast ratio of 100,000 to 1.

Toshiba and Canon have delayed production of the screens several times, with engineers citing the difficulty of manufacturing the screens in volume. With the first screen to be manufactured next year, these difficulties appear to have been resolved.

The SED prototypes demonstrated at Ceatec were among the most popular products on display for visitors, who lined up to get a look at them. The demonstration, held in a darkened room, consisted of three 55-inch SED televisions used to show a variety of high-definition content, including a sumo wrestling match, footage from a rock concert, and a clip from the movie "Apollo 13."

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