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Toshiba, Canon Gearing Up for Next-Gen LCD TV Production
via NewsEdge Corporation

Toshiba Corp. and Canon Inc. today announced that they will start the first stage of mass production of surface-conduction electron-emitter display (SED) panels in July 2007 and launch SED TVs in Q4 2007.

The companies said SED is the next step in flat-panel display technology that combines the slimness of LCDs with the high contrast and gradation ratios, low power consumption and overall better picture quality of cathode ray TVs.

The market for flat-panel TVs, including liquid crystal displays (LCDs) and plasma displays is expected to see continued high growth within the overall television market.

Data from market research firm DisplaySearch estimates that 20.3 million LCD TVs were sold in 2005, a number that is expected to see a CAGR of 57 percent over the next five years with a 40 percent share of the total TV market expected in 2009.

The firm had suggested 36 million LCD TVs would be sold this year, but reported at this year?s International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) that it would be revising that forecast upward.

Canon said it began SED research in 1986, then in 1999 began joint development activities with Toshiba with the aim of commercializing its SED product. Subsequently, the companies established a joint venture company ? SED Inc. ? in October 2004 and recently demoed the Toshiba 36-inch SED displays at CES in January.

Toshiba and Canon said they see the global shift from analog to digital broadcasting and the 2008 Beijing Olympics as key factors in ramping up enthusiasm for SED technology.

?Toshiba and Canon consider the launch of SED TVs to be a major industry milestone, a once-in-50-years historical turning point for the TV industry, comparable to the initial introduction of CRT television,? the companies concluded in a statement.