TOKYO (07/13/2000) - Everyone loves the idea of a big-screen television that you can hang on the wall, but the price -- often anywhere between US$10,000 and $20,000 -- has been enough to put all but the richest home cinema fan off the purchase.
In a couple of weeks in Japan, NEC will start selling a new flat-panel Plasma TV that it claims has the distinction of being the cheapest on the market. At just under 1 million yen (US$9,345) it's still way out of the reach of most people, but it's proof that the price of monster flat-panel TVs is slowly falling.
NEC's new PX-42VT1 features a 42-inch wide-screen PDP (Plasma Display Panel) screen, a television tuner and speakers, which means it can function as a stand-alone television (some current models are nothing more than monitors and need a separate tuner and audio to operate).
It also features special connectors that allow it to work with a digital TV tuner, and can accept analog or digital video from a personal computer at up to XGA (1,024 by 768 pixels) resolution.
Aside from the price, NEC has more good news for consumers. The new TV weighs just 29.5 kilograms. That may sound heavy -- in fact, it is heavy -- but it's a full 10kgs lighter than the company's previous model, which means the "wall hanging" TV won't need such sturdy bolts to hold it in place.
The whole set is 104.8 cms wide, 64.8 cms tall, and just 8.9 cms thick.
Manufacturer: NEC Corp.
Model Name: PX-42VT1
Price: 998,000 yen (US$9,325)
Availability: From July 21 in Japan; No plans for overseas sales.
Editors: Graphics to accompany this story are available in the News Service Image Bank available through Lotus Notes or at http://www.idgns.com/.