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August 20, 1998


By CBR Staff Writer

The prospect of a market worth three million devices a year within three years has prompted Japanese giants Fujitsu Ltd and Hitachi Ltd to join forces on the development of large-scale color plasma display panels and HDTV digital TV applications. Consumers are going to have to buy new TV sets to receive digital TV pictures and current HDTV sets, which will initially cost $8,000 or more, use rear projection. They’re huge. Fujitsu is already committed to developing a flat plasma screen for conventional TVs with Philips Electronics NV (CI No 3,471), while rival NEC Corp is developing screens for Thomson Multimedia SA’s RCA brand. Fujitsu and Hitachi says they will work jointly on a panel development project, an advanced project to improve the panel’s brightness, and a process to mass produce low-cost panels. Digital broadcasting on network TV begins this fall in the US – the technology specifications required to deliver HDTV over cable haven’t been worked out yet. BS digital broadcasting begins in Japan in 2000. á

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