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Toshiba and Canon claim SED TVs will be here in two years, but will the price be competitive?

Reuters reports that the joint surface-conduction electron-emitter display venture between Canon and Toshiba will have to wait an extra year or so.  At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas two months ago, the two companies announced that SED displays are just inside a year for commercial use

With the cost of LCD and Plasma TVs in near freefall, for SED TVs to gain any market acceptance, the technology needs a dramaticly cheaper cost or dramatically apparent feature.  Right now, DLP and similar technologies dominate the high fidelity market while LCD and Plasma TVs have dropped so much in cost that SED has a difficult task ahead of itself to really unseat either technology. 

For example, low end 37" LCD TVs used to cost approximately $2,000 about this time of the year in 2004.  Today, you can walk into any Costco or Frys and pick up a 37" Syntax LCD for $1,300.  The price drop is even more dramatic for larger sized LCDs.  DLP prices have experienced similar drops, but have also increased resolution dramatically in the last two years.  For SED to really have a fighting chance out of the gate, Toshiba-Canon would need a 37" to 40" SED TV for under $1,500 to compete with sub-$1,000 LCD TVs of the same size. 

Toshiba and Canon have promised nearly $2B USD to keeping SED technology afloat, though Intel made similar promises in 2002 with LCoS technology. 

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RE: All these pixels...
By nwrigley on 3/12/2006 3:35:45 AM , Rating: 2
I agree completely. I see no reason to throw down money on a HD set until more content is readily available. Not to mention that standards may change and quality will only continue to go up while prices go down.

About the only truely compelling reason I've seen to buy a HD set is for use with an upscaling DVD player. Still not worth the cost to me.

Quick History
By Googer on 3/12/2006 5:03:20 AM , Rating: 2
Candescent technologies was the company original developing these FED's (aka Thin Panel CRT) during much of the 1990's. At the near end of the decade they were working closely with Sony and had small (6inch?) prototypes and developerment kits avalable untill the deal fell through (I think because of disagreements) and Candescent ran in to financial trouble in part to the loss of Sony as a buisness partner. Canon later picked up and bought most of Candescent and continued the research untill the present day.

RE: All these pixels...
By AlexWade on 3/12/06, Rating: 0
RE: All these pixels...
By masteraleph on 3/12/2006 9:23:06 AM , Rating: 5
Wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong.

TV stations were supposed to have until 2006 (now '09) to go DIGITAL. This is NOT the same as HD. Yes, you can broadcast HD in digital, but you can also broadcast SD in digital. The requirement is designed so that the government can reclaim the spectrum of frequencies currently used for analog TVs.

Furthermore, it is only broadcast TV that has to change over. As in the rabbit-ears on top of your TV variety of broadcast. Stations on cable or satellite or what have you can stay analog to their hearts' content. And since something like 80% of people have either cable or satellite or some other variety of non-broadcast TV, it's actually going to be a relatively minor impact on the market as a whole.

Digital != HD. Remember it, love it, be aware.

RE: All these pixels...
By bigshooter on 3/12/2006 9:26:23 AM , Rating: 2
TV stations don't have to go HD, that would be expensive for the cameras/bandwith. They just need to convert over to a digital signal to free up the analog airwaves.

RE: All these pixels...
By bigshooter on 3/12/2006 9:26:59 AM , Rating: 2
Ooops... gues ssomeone beat me to it.

RE: All these pixels...
By spwrozek on 3/12/2006 9:39:54 AM , Rating: 2
You put it in such a better tone though :)

RE: All these pixels...
By GTMan on 3/12/2006 6:15:10 PM , Rating: 2
And then we just have to wait two years for the salespeople to learn how to use the technology.

I recently walked into a "The Source" where they had a nice HDTV showing a 4x3 letterbox stretched wide to fill the entire screen. I asked why there were black bars on the top and bottom and several salesmen said those bars would always be there because it was HDTV.

I asked why I should spend money on a TV that never uses part of the screen. They had no answer. I asked why I would want to watch everything squashed vertically on the screen and they had no answer.

Turns out they had the digital cable box set to output 4x3 letterbox and didn't know how to access the menu.

RE: All these pixels...
By cgrecu77 on 3/12/2006 3:25:13 PM , Rating: 2
hdtv is great, there are plenty of sport casts in hdtv and once you got used to watching a game in hdtv regular tv is almost unwatchable, the difference in quality is huge. In addition to this, the larger the tv the worst SD looks, on my medium size (42") tv analog looks like civilization 1 on a 21" lcd ... digital is acceptable though, but I can only imagine how it looks on a 50" or bigger screen.
In my opinion the small cost ($10 per month is more than worth it the price of hdtv) since virtually all lcd/plasma tvs support some form of hdtv

"You can bet that Sony built a long-term business plan about being successful in Japan and that business plan is crumbling." -- Peter Moore, 24 hours before his Microsoft resignation
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