CES Dispatch--Dieting TVs

Here at the annual Consumer Electronics Show, I’ve been impressed by the number of television makers who are announcing new HDTVs that are so thin that they make Apple’s iPhone look positively obese. Thin definitely is in. Pioneer, Sharp, Hitachi and Sony were among those drawing huge crowds of picture-takers for their svelte sets. Sony’s 11-inch OLED HDTV is no thicker than three stacked credit cards, while the larger sets from the other manufacturers aren’t much thicker. Though some won’t be commercially available for a year or two, it seems clear that the “big-name” CE manufacturers are looking to innovative designs to beat back competition from manufacturers like Vizio and Syntax-Brillian’s Olevia TV lineup, who have pretty large booths here at the tradeshow for the first time I can recall. Even though the market for HDTVs is still in its relative infancy, the new designs are necessary. They will command a premium for set manufacturers, and are sure to keep up the WOW factor for consumers looking to top their friends and neighbors with best-in-class products.

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