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Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

January 8, 2009 at 3:34 PM

CES: Photo and video gallery of thin, Webby, wireless and wacky new TVs

In case you’re wondering how a lot of those proposed federal stimulus checks for taxpayers will be spent, here’s a sample of some of the new TVs on display at CES this year.

Panasonic’s Viera Cast, the latest version of its widgetized TV platform. Widgets on the screen include a YouTube player, Bloomberg news ticker and link to Amazon.com’s video download service:

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Also at Panasonic’s booth was its latest entry in the skinny TV contest — a 50-inch panel that’s 8.8 millimeters thick, down from the 24.7 mm 50-incher it displayed last year. It’s so thin the tuner has to be separate from the screen. There’s no word on when it will go for sale or for how much.

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Here’s a short video I took of the thing rotating, so you can see it from the side and front:

A month or so ago I wrote about a wireless Sony device that connects, for example, DVD players to televisions and displays up to 1080i content. A number of competing devices are on display here, including full 1080p systems from Panasonic and LG, including this LG system including a wireless flat-panel TV and receiver module that can be placed up to 30 feet away:

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LG’s also displaying a prototype AMOLED TV with a 15-inch diameter display that’s 0.85 millimeters thick. It will be awhile before it comes to market, definitely beyond 2009:

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Here’s the AMOLED TV from the side. It’s hard to make out, but the panel is thinner than the plexiglass display on which it’s mounted:

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Lots of 3D TVs are on display. It’s almost as fun to look at the people in funny glasses as is to watch the demonstrations, although the huge 3D movie of a U2 concert was pretty neat, like a rock concert on Starship Enterprise’s Holodeck. A few crowd shots:

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This video shows the flexible OLED display that Sony Chief Executive Howard Stringer demonstrated this morning going through its paces, flexing inside a protectve case on the show floor:

Intel demonstrated an in-dash video display that draws signals via Wimax services like Clearwire:

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This isn’t exactly a TV, but this USB device can receive free mobile digital TV signals from broadcasters. LG’s lining up hardware and broadcasting partners and expects to begin selling the USB device for $40 to $80 by the end of 2009:

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Also on display were LG devices with mobile digital TV receivers built in, like this prototype handheld TV using the receiver chip at left beneath the magnifying glass:

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