Apr 21, 2003  •  Post A Comment

Mitsubishi this month launched an 82-inch wide-screen high-definition TV. Let me repeat that: 82 inches! This thing is wider than Anna Nicole Smith. The HD set, featuring new liquid crystal on silicon technology, delivers a picture so big and clear you can’t believe your eyes.
You also can’t believe the price tag: $20,999. But Mitsubishi doesn’t expect that people will line up around the block to buy a television at the price of a Subaru. Called the Mitsubishi Alpha, this TV is more about making a statement than making a profit.
“We spared no investment or effort to create this breakthrough HDTV,” says Max Wasinger, Mitsubishi’s VP of sales and marketing.
The Mitsubishi Alpha is another reminder of the remarkable advancements coming in visual technology. Today’s pundits debate whether television has too much influence over our lives. But the consumer electronics industry is developing new technologies that will have an even greater impact on our culture. For instance:
Hang It Up
Experts say that within five to seven years HDTV will be available on flat screens that take up entire walls. The wall TV will display multiple channels, enabling family members to watch and interact with different shows at the same time. The set will give consumers more options in organizing and decorating the home.
Fold It Up
Professor Ifor Samuel, who is researching new display technology at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, is close to developing a television you can fold up like a newspaper. He says the fold-up TV could be ready in three years. Samuel foresees being able to customize the shape of your TV as if it were an article of clothing.
Look Up At It
It may be a few decades away, but engineers are already doing experiments with H-TV, or hologram TV. With hologram TV, the characters of our favorite show would magically surround us in our living rooms.
How’s that for a reality show?
Phillip Swann is president and publisher of TVPredictions .com. He can be reached at Swann@TVPredictions.com.