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Technology

A Glimpse into the Future of Television

LG 7mm-thick HD TV (Photo courtesy of CNN)

Thanks to Toshiba, LG, and the Consumer Electronics Show, we’ve gotten a glimpse into the future of TV.  And three themes seem to be the focus: “Ultrathin”, “3D”, and “Connected”.

The Anorexic LG HD TV

The yet-to-be-named HD TV shown above was debuted by LG at CES this week.  It comes in at under seven millimeters thick — that’s less than a quarter of an inch — which makes it the thinnest TV that I’ve ever heard of.  It will be available later this year.

3D HD TV at Home

If you’re like me and you’ve only seen Avatar in IMAX 3D, it’s hard to imagine watching it any other way.  But you still want the DVD/Blu-Ray.  What to do?

Well, you won’t have to give up the 3D experience when watching video at home if Panasonic, Toshiba, Sony, and Samsung have anything to do with it.

Toshiba ZX900 Series Cell TV

The Toshiba ZX900 Series Cell TV, which debuted at CES this week, will convert standard programming into HD 3D in real time.  It requires a bit of horsepower to do that — which is why the new ZX900 will have roughly 143 times the processing power of current TVs, Toshiba claims.

It will be available later this year.  Don’t hold your breath on pricing.

Oh, and can’t stand the glasses?  3M (with that name, who else) has apparently developed technology that will allow you to watch 3D TV without those clunky 3D glasses!

The Connected Entertainment Center

The “connected” TV is also making news at CES.  Several new TVs, included the aforementioned Panasonic ZX900, will feature an internal hard drive for storing movies, photos, and any other type of media.  More importantly, they will be internet-connected, doubling as a video phone (think Skype on the big screen) and allowing you to stream content from Pandora, Netflix, Boxee.tv, and other web services directly to your TV in real time — and possibly for downloading and storage on the internal hard drive.

The Color Purple…err, Yellow

Sharp debuted a new TV technology at CES this week that adds a fourth color — yellow — to the red, blue, and green of traditional TV pixels.  The so-called “quad pixel technology” will allow their Aquos line of LED TVs to display more than a trillion different colors.  And I thought the Crayola crayon boxes already had too many colors…

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