Hitachi Builds 1.5-inch Ultra Thin Plasma To Go With Its 1.5-Inch LCDs

As excited as we were when Hitachi showed off its 1.5" full-production LCDs in October, we were even more excited to know that they've pulled off a plasma of the same thick—rather, thinness. They may not be the 9mm plasma that Pioneer is apparently boasting, but plasma has been traditionally thicker and heavier than LCD, so all of this is wonderful news at a time when plasma is getting some serious kudos. Hitachi also promises to show off its super thin concept LED-backlit 3/4-inch LCDs at the show too, so we'll keep an eye out. Jump for press release.

HITACHI SHOWS OFF NEW ULTRA THIN PLASMA DISPLAY AT CES

— Just 1.5-inches Thin, Hitachi's New Plasma Display is Centerpiece of "Innovations Showcase" at its CES Booth —

LAS VEGAS, INTL. CES (Booth: Central 11906) - Jan. 4, 2008 - Hitachi has developed an Ultra Thin plasma display panel (PDP) that is a mere 1.5-inches in depth. Having shaved more than one third of the thickness off of today's comparable plasma displays, this new product represents an engineering achievement of significant importance from Hitachi.

This new Ultra Thin plasma display will be the centerpiece of Hitachi's Innovations Showcase here at CES, which also features:
• A "super" Ultra Thin LCD at just .75 inches in depth
• An advanced search technology that can be applied to visual images
• A system that allows video to be shared between homes and then viewed on a TV, not a PC
• A wireless video gateway for sharing content among several displays in the home
• An IPTV user interface for accessing, managing and sharing content at home or on the go

Complete Family of Ultra Thin Displays
While a handful of companies, including Hitachi, have already developed Ultra Thin LCD models, Hitachi is among the first vendors to demonstrate an Ultra Thin plasma display. For various technical reasons, the challenges in producing a thin plasma display greatly exceed those associated with developing a thin LCD, making Hitachi's achievements - 1.5-inch Ultra Thin models in both LCD and PDP - even more impressive. As a result, Hitachi expects to seize an early lead in the rapidly emerging and commercially attractive new category of Ultra Thin Displays.
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"Hitachi has a long history of innovation and a proven track record of making breakthroughs that advance the consumer electronics industry," said Daniel Lee, vice president of marketing for Hitachi America, Ltd., Ubiquitous Platform Systems Division. "But what is even more important than being first with a prototype or concept is being first to deliver the end product to consumers. Especially for our complete new line of Ultra Thin displays, we already have the manufacturing processes, sales and marketing investment and overall corporate commitment in place to put these products into consumers' hands months, if not years, ahead of other suppliers. From our perspective, and that of our distribution partners, being first with a product in the sales channel is ultimately what is most important."

Developed using highly proprietary and innovative technology from Hitachi, which is so secretive and highly competitive it cannot be revealed, the new plasma display sample is 50 inches in screen size. Hitachi expects
to commercialize the product by late 2009 and other sizes may be available at that time.

Alongside its 1.5-inch Ultra Thin PDP, Hitachi is also showing off its "super" Ultra Thin LCD which measures an incredible .75 (19mm) in depth. First seen at CEATEC in Japan last Fall, this 32-inch wonder offers another proof point for Hitachi's engineering prowess. The other breakthrough technologies Hitachi will feature in its Innovations Showcase include:

Similarity Based Image Retrieval System - With the volume of data already at unprecedented levels and expected to continue to increase rampantly, technology enabling quick searches of still and video images is much in demand. In response, Hitachi has developed a Similarity-Based Image Retrieval technology, a search engine for just such large-scale image and video archives. Similarity-Based Image Retrieval technology automatically extracts quantified information intrinsic to the image — such as color, shapes and forms — and runs searches to locate a match. This innovative search technique can be used for something as basic as searching for a movie scene or image on a camcorder to something as complex as searching for facial imagery in security, video surveillance or law enforcement applications.

Personal Video Sharing - Throughout CES, Hitachi will conduct ongoing demonstrations of its Personal Video Sharing System, which allows users to easily share and play content recorded for personal use, both inside and outside the home, via a home data center. The demonstration goes through a sample application in which content recorded on a video camera can be shared between two homes - for example, a consumer's home and that of their parents - simply by using the first home's central server. The parents can then easily view the latest videos of their grandchildren simply by using their television to access the network - there is no need to hassle with a PC.
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Wireless HDTV System - This demonstration will show how high-definition video content is distributed over WiFi from a Hitachi wireless video gateway device to two Hitachi LCD HDTVs. The content is stored locally on a hard disk drive, but the server can also connect to a local PC or IPTV for HD content. Each TV has a remote control to select different content via a user-friendly menu. This form of wireless HDTV content distribution enables consumers to be located anywhere in the home where a power supply is available. Complicated and troublesome management of unsightly cable, satellite or other wiring is no longer needed. Easy access to stored video and Internet content provides an added advantage.

IPTV User Interface - Hitachi will also demonstrate its new IPTV User Interface. This innovative GUI features a set of intuitive controls for selecting and enjoying content from various sources (home
server/network, broadcast, Internet, handheld devices, etc.); a customizable menu with the ability to set user-specific preferences to enhance personalization and control; and multi-device support, which allows users to store and access content using multiple devices both inside the home and on the go.

Hybrid Monitor - Hitachi will show its one-of-a-kind Hybrid Monitor that uses an advanced Light Source System capable of generating an eight million to one (8M: 1) "mega contrast" ratio and optimum light efficiency. Through the ingenious combination of Hitachi's proprietary Micro Display system, a Sole Polarized Light Source a magnifying lens and an LCD panel, the Hybrid Monitor perfectly controls color gradation, allowing the viewer to see pure black and natural images in a more true-to-life way than ever before possible.

For more information about Hitachi's activities at the 2008 International CES, please visit http://av.hitachi.com/