Thin, light, low-energy TV showed in Japan

A 29 millimeter (1.1 inches) thick prototype TV – the thinnest, lightest and lowest energy-consuming liquid crystal display in the world – was showed by Sharp Wednesday.

The 25 kilogram (55 pound) display, which has a tuner and other TV features encased in its panel, weighs about half of current LCD panel TVs and consumes about half their power, according to Sharp Corp. It consumes about a quarter of the energy of plasma display panel TVs, Sharp said.

At a Tokyo museum, Sharp demonstrated how the new panels could be easily hung on walls or placed on thin poles for an arty floating effect. The panels are about one-fourth the thickness of its current models.

Sharp officials said they hope the new panels will be popular in the U.S. and Europe, where homes tend to be more spacious than Japanese homes.

The Osaka-based manufacturer of Aquos brand TVs gave no sales dates, prices or technology details for the panel it said delivers more vivid image quality than current panels.

President Mikio Katayama said parts of the new technology - a culmination of various improvements in materials, color filters and backlight technology - will be introduced gradually in Sharp's upcoming products.

He also said he hoped to have the innovations ready for mass commercial production by the time a new Sharp plant is running by March 2010.

The panels on display, which were as thin as 20 millimeters (0.79 inch) in some places, showed images of earth from space and colorful tropical flowers to illustrate superb contrast and image resolution.

"You will experience vivid colors unknown in today's LCDs," said Shigeaki Mizushima, group general manager overseeing display technology.

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Author`s name Angela Antonova