New TV technologies crop up almost as often as new reality-TV shows, but among all the Celebrity Fear Factors, Obnoxious Bosses, and Strange Loves, there's only one American Idol - the kind of show that can save a network and bury the competition.
If you're shopping for an HDTV, you've probably noticed that the news stories and Sunday circulars all seem to focus either on expensive flat-panel plasma and LCD sets or on more affordable LCD or DLP rear-projection TVs.
The HDTV market is heating up, especially for microdisplays - rear-projection TVs (RPTVs) that use LCD, DLP, or LCoS chips to produce their high-resolution images. These sets are essentially video front projectors stashed in a box, so it's no surprise that a projector and printer maker like Epson would want to get in the game with something that sets them apart from the competition.
Big-screen, rear-projection HDTVs based on traditional CRT (cathode-ray tube) technology are inexpensive enough - and good enough - to warrant consideration by just about every shopper. But they aren't all that sexy.
With a 60-inch (diagonal) screen and a cabinet only 5 inches deep, LG's largest plasma HDTV, the DU-60PY10, has the kind of measurements both home theater buffs and interior designers will find enticing. But unlike many of its industrial-style plasma counterparts, this panel is very much a traditional, self-contained TV.
The flat-panel plasma form factor represents the aesthetic ideal of TV design. That inches-thin, "all picture" look coaxes men and women alike to open their checkbooks and pay significantly more than they would for a bulky rear-projection TV with the same size screen.
The hottest-selling HDTVs right now are big-screen rear-projection sets, a category that's still dominated by the relatively cheap, time-tested cathode-ray tube (CRT). But the new "microdisplay" TVs are gaining fast.