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Everywhere one goes at the CES show there are TVs in one form or another. They are hot and eveyone wants a share of the action.

Televisions were prominently displayed at the first Consumer Electronics Show in 1967, and they’re making waves again this year. They’re front and center at hundreds of CES booths–some looming like shiny black monoliths, others clasped proudly in the hands of petite company spokespersons.

Almost everyone in the world “gets” TVs; that’s why sales of the latest and greatest digital sets will surpass $23 billion in 2006, says the Consumer Electronics Association. As new technologies like plasma, liquid crystal display (LCD) and digital light processing (DLP) saturate the market, digital TVs get ever thinner, bigger and cheaper.

Samsung is showing off a TV that, when it is up for sale in mid-2006, will be the largest available LCD TV at 82 inches, according to the South Korean company. Large LCD screens have posed a production problem for manufacturers in the past because they are typically more difficult to make than plasma screens.

In addition to one of the largest sets, Samsung is debuting one of the smallest as well. The YM-P1, with only a 4-inch screen, will be the first portable media player to receive a satellite TV signal.

Samsung rival LG decided not to enter the size contest, instead putting forward a plasma set that, while only 50 inches diagonal, is completely wireless (except, of course, for the power cord). This could solve a problem for many home theater enthusiasts who would choose to mount their flat-screen TVs on the wall, if they could only find a way to hide the slew of unsightly wires. The wireless TV will come with a black transmitter unit that can be hidden in a home entertainment unit, according to LG.

With high-quality digital screens now affordable for most consumers, the time seems ripe to take advantage of those displays with high-definition video content. After much deliberation, it appears that DVD-player makers Toshiba (other-otc: TOSBF.PK – news – people ) and Pioneer will be the first to bring to market home set-top boxes from the rival high-definition DVD format camp. Toshiba’s first HD-DVD player should hit stores in March–the cheapest priced at $500. In May, Pioneer will sell a Blu-Ray player and recorder priced at $1800.

Sony Home Entertainment, the primary backer of Blu-Ray content, named the first 20 Blu-Ray DVD movie titles to become available in the spring of 2006. They include new titles, such as Sense and Sensibility, as well as a few older titles that sold well as DVDs in the past few years, such as Robocop, Species and Legends of the Fall.

 

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