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Thin Is In

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The narrow profile of plasma and liquid-crystal-display (LCD) televisions has caught the public's eye, but the sets are still far more expensive than the conventional cathode-ray tubes (CRTs) that have long dominated the market. Nevertheless, CRTs have lost some luster. Manufacturers are responding by designing a much shallower picture tube.

Several makers have unveiled prototype slim TVs, which could be sold in the U.S. by this summer. A 30-inch (diagonal) set will be about 16 inches deep instead of 24 inches and be priced somewhat higher. Though heftier than the eight inches or so for a plasma or LCD in the 30-inch range, slim TVs will "save considerable space and maintain their superior picture quality and cost savings," says Istvan Gorog, general manager of Thomson/RCA's R&D Center in Lancaster, Pa.

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