Pioneer invited us to get a first look at its Advanced Design Concept TV last night before the start of the show. Even this TV weary tech reporter was agog at the thing. The 50-inch diagonal screen plasma measures just 9 millimeters thick—less than an iPod and way skinnier than any other full-sized TV. (Sony’s Lilliputian OLED set notwithstanding.)
Like JVC’s thin LCD, the Pioneer does have a small dirty secret—a hump on the back that holds the electronics for the panel. But even this is a mere 20-some millimeters thick. (Pioneer reps couldn’t remember the exact figure.) And this is the real innovation.
Turns out 9 millimeters is about the same thickness of the glass panels inside all Pioneer’s current TVs. But the power supply and extremely complex drive circuitry makes the whole thing about 100 millimeters (4 inches) thick. It’s not clear whether this also includes the power supply—probably the bulkiest component.
How did Pioneer do it? Well, they’re not saying. But there is clearly some serious foo involved. So when can you get it? Pioneer says it won’t be out in the coming year, but they definitely will sell it—combined with their amazing new infinite contrast screen technology prototype (also revealed at CES) as soon as they can. My bet is sometime in 2009.—Sean Captain
Want more? Check out our entire CES 2008 coverage here.