CES 2013: Tech Giants Unveil Bigger, Smarter TVs

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Two giants of the technology industry faced off at the international Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas when they separately unveiled their prototype, top of the range TVs.

The day after Sony (Xetra: 853687 - news) unveiled its 56" Ultra HD OLED TV to a suitably excited crowd, Panasonic president Kazuhiro Tsuga used his keynote state of the industry address to reveal his company's 4k set, also 56".

Neither company gave details of price, and very little in terms of technical specifications, but if open mouths and dropped jaws are any indication both products will do well when they finally make it to market - which, most likely, is not in the immediate future.

However, both companies described their sets as "the world's largest OLED panel" although Sony described theirs as the "world's first" - with 24 hours justification.

Panasonic revealed that its screen, just half an inch thick, was manufactured through 3D printing, using a technique they collaborated on with Sony in fact.

The next step is 4k, as electronics manufacturers try to improve on the HD format and keep consumers keen on upgrading their sets.

With twice the vertical and horizontal resolution of ordinary HD, and four times the pixels, the picture quality is, without hyperbole, incredible.

Detail which might be seen on ordinary HD if viewed up close can be seen from a distance on these TVs, bringing as true a representation of what was filmed as seems imaginable.

OLED stands for Organic Light-Emitting Diode. The screen is made of films of organic molecules which emit light when a current is applied.

Both Sony and Panasonic's 4k prototypes are not yet ready for mass manufacturing.

But a spokesman for Sony said "We have the expertise ...we feel this is close to production-level technology."

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