Camera and copy machine manufacturer Canon Inc. has plans to launch rear-projection TVs, as early as late 2005.
The company has already announced a plan to launch, in the second half of 2005, surface-conduction electron-emitter display, or SED, TVs, another type of flat-panel TV being developed jointly with Toshiba Corp.
By launching two types of flat-panel TVs, Canon aims to make the audio and video equipment division one of its core business lines, company officials said.
SED TVs will be launched mainly in screen sizes of between 50 in and less than 60 in diagonally, while the rear- projection technology will be used for TVs with 60-in or larger screens.
For the commercial launch of rear-projection TVs with high image quality, Canon will use core parts, such as liquid crystal display (LCD) panels and lenses, which it has developed for business-use projectors.
Rear-projection TVs, popular in the United States, are considered the third type of flat-panel TVs following LCD TVs and plasma display panel TVs. It has a set of small LCD panels inside, on which images are projected. The images are magnified by lenses and reflected onto the screen by mirrors.
As production costs are lower than those for LCD TVs, many Japanese makers, including Sony Corp., Hitachi Ltd., Victor Co. of Japan Ltd. (JVC), and Seiko Epson Corp. are placing emphasis on rear- projection TVs.
Canon's entry into the market is expected to add fuel to the already intensifying competition, observers said. (Jiji Press)
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