CES: HDTVs ditch wires, get slimmer and shinier

By Ted Kritsonis, Special to CBCNews.ca

LAS VEGAS - Last year's Consumer Electronics Show had plenty of news about the advent of big, high-definition 1080p screens, but this year it's all about the look of the latest HDTV flat-panels.

The bezels are getting thinner and the panels are thinner than ever before. Sharp introduced a 65-inch LCD with a panel just under one inch thick, for example.

All across the board, LCD and plasma manufacturers are trimming whatever fat they can, which includes the room in a display's casing that's reserved for speakers. Some of them have altered their designs so that thinner speakers run along all four sides of the panel.

All the manufacturers I've spoken to have said the aesthetic changes shouldn't affect pricing too much, but they're also not divulging much about when new models will hit retail this year in Canada and how much they might go for. But the next couple of months should reveal a lot of that for Canadian consumers - it's unlikely companies are going to sit on these new designs for long.

Transmitting HD content to a wireless flat-panel is also making waves here, too. Almost all of the home-electronics manufacturers (Sharp being an exception) have announced plans and showcased TVs that could make it happen in the not-too-distant future. More to come on this.

The author is a Toronto-based freelance writer