| LAS VEGAS
LAS VEGAS JVC on Sunday unveiled an LCD TV less than 3 inches thick, calling it the world's thinnest flat-screen television, as the Consumer Electronics Show began in Las Vegas.
Also at the show, JVC, formally called Victor Co of Japan Ltd, said it would unveil four new LCD models that each sport a built-in dock for the iPod, Apple Inc's market leading portable digital media players.
The ink had barely dried on JVC's statement when rival Pioneer Corp was already claiming a concept TV that was less than one-fourth as thick.
JVC said its new slim TV, which includes a TV tuner, measures 1.5 inches or 39 millimeters (mm) at its narrowest, with a maximum depth of 2.9 inches (74 mm) at the center.
Pioneer then unveiled its Kuro 52-inch flat panel concept TV based on plasma technology, a rival to LCD. It boasted a thickness of 9 millimeters. But unlike JVC, which promised its thin TV's this year, Pioneer said its products would not be available in 2008. It did not say if a tuner was included.
Rival Sharp Corp in August revealed prototype 52-inch LCD TVs, which were 20 mm thick. Its conventional 52-inch TV is 81 mm thick.
TV makers are scrambling to develop thinner models to preempt rivals who are eyeing mass production of organic light-emitting diode TVs, known for thinness and crisp images.
JVC said its new slim design televisions would be available in 42-inch and 46-inch diagonal screen sizes in early summer and that it planned to announce pricing at that time.
JVC said its new P-Series TVs, which range in size from 32 inches to 52 inches, can be used to play videos or music or view photographs stored on an iPod placed in a dock on the TV.
The TV's remote control, which has a circular keypad that mimics the iPod's control wheel, can be used to find and select content on the iPod, JVC said.
The company forecast availability for the 32-inch and 42-inch TVs with iPod docks in March; an April launch for the 47-inch model and a summer launch for the 52-inch model. It did not reveal prices.
The Consumer Electronics Show is the industry's largest U.S. trade show and runs this week.
(Editing by Maureen Bavdek, Phil Berlowitz)