Pioneer invited us to get a first look at its Advanced
Design Concept TV last night before the start of the show. Even this TV weary
tech reporter was agog at the thing. The 50-inch diagonal screen plasma
measures just 9 millimeters thick—less than an iPod and way skinnier than any
other full-sized TV. (Sony’s Lilliputian OLED set notwithstanding.)
Like JVC’s thin LCD, the Pioneer does have a small dirty
secret—a hump on the back that holds the electronics for the panel. But even
this is a mere 20-some millimeters thick. (Pioneer reps couldn’t remember the
exact figure.) And this is the real innovation.
Turns out 9 millimeters is about the same thickness of the glass panels inside all Pioneer’s current TVs. But the power supply and
extremely complex drive circuitry makes the whole thing about 100 millimeters
(4 inches) thick. It’s not clear whether this also includes the power
supply—probably the bulkiest component.
How did Pioneer do it? Well, they’re not saying. But there
is clearly some serious foo involved. So when can you get it? Pioneer says it
won’t be out in the coming year, but they definitely will sell it—combined with
their amazing new infinite contrast screen technology prototype (also revealed
at CES) as soon as they can. My bet is sometime in 2009.—Sean Captain
Want more? Check out our entire CES 2008 coverage here.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.