Thinner Takes All

Televisions, it seems, are like fashion models: they can never be too thin. It's hard to find a set slimmer than Philips' 42PF9986. Granted, the name isn't so chic, but you can't beat its looks: the plywood-thin speakers surrounding the screen, supplied by Britain's NXT, are so skinny that they're virtually part of the TV's frame, with no bulky cone. Another innovation: this 42-in. TV uses liquid-crystal display (LCD) technology rather than the plasma engineering behind most large-screen flat TVs. LCDs first emerged three decades ago in calculators and are now gaining popularity as thin computer screens and smaller-sized flat TV...

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