There's something different about these new competitors: They look better, and they're cheaper than LCD and plasma (PDP) technologies.
Between the news from Motorola this week that new, carbon nanototube technology may bring down manufacturing costs for a 40" FPD to under $400 (see Motorola Says New Nanotube Technology Will Shrink Flat-Panel Display Costs and Motorola unveils carbon nanotube emissive display for flat-panel TVs), to news earlier this year that the Toshiba-Canon SED TVs will go on sale next year, the onslaught of new flat panel technologies continues.
But there's something different about these new competitors: They look better, and they're cheaper than LCD and plasma (PDP) technologies. Or so we're told.
Flat-panel phosphor-coated screens represent a plateau that's likely to last for a long while -- if the promises of low production costs turn out to be for real. And they provide a clean, neat, unquestionably superior replacement for existing CRT screen technology. SED and NED panels look almost identical to color CRTs -- which to this day remain the "gold standard" of display quality -- but they're only a few inches thick.
Maybe it's just as well this "final" display technology (for a while, at least) isn't on the market yet, because neither is the final interconnect standard, to feed it. Last week a federal court struck down the "broadcast flag" copy protection provision of the FCC's digital TV regulations (see Court Tosses FCC's Anti-Piracy Rules for TV). That battle appears to be far from over. And VESA announced their own new, copy-protected standard for feeding video displays (see VESA developing digital display interface standard).
Display manufacturers live in interesting times.