More Flat Panel Choices in 2006

Just figured out the difference between LCD and plasma? We in the tech journo field have spent the last couple of years trying to give you the tools you need to buy the best flat panel TV set as well as figure out all their differences, pros and cons. But it looks like all our jobs are going to get just a little bit harder next year with the launch of a new flat panel technology called SED. A partnership between Canon and Toshiba, SED is being touted as "the holy grail" of flat screen TVs, mixing all the best traits of what's out there now. Images are sharp and clear, like LCD, while power consumption is low and viewing angle is wide. And the images on the screen are being compared to what you'd get from a CRT TV (which is still the best, though bulky and old-fashioned looking). The technology itself, which stands for surface-conduction electron-emitter display, consists of electrons fired from the back of the set colliding with a phosphor-coated screen to emit light, almost like CTVs. And instead of just three electron guns, it uses one for each pixel on the display (which comes to hundreds of thousands electron emitters). What makes it flat is the ability to place these emitters nearer to the front of the TV. Look for the first 55-inch SED TV to be on the market by spring (hopefully here in the US as well as in Japan), though whether the companies will see profits is anyone's guess, especially since plasma TVs are finally coming down in price and LCDs are sure to follow substantially in the next year.

Here comes another flat-screen TV [Reuters]