. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Tomorrow's TV Lighter, Flatter

The television of tomorrow will look a lot like today's after an old-fashioned crew cut -- a trimmed-back, flat-screen design maybe an inch thick.

Thanks to liquid-crystal-display technology, manufacturers envision consumers hanging a shaved-off 30-inch set as they would a painting.

The closest thing to that vision today, ironically, is the handheld LCD color television. These sets are no bigger than a transistor radio and cost as little as $100 at the nearby discount electronics store. Expanding the screen size increases the price exponentially.

But think of the possibilities. Sony demonstrated a stunning gas-plasma version of LCD technology at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January. The Plasmatron has a 25-inch screen, weighs about four pounds and is four inches thick. The price could reach $10,000 by the time it reaches the United States in two years. But Sony says the Plasmatron is suitable for large-screen sets and low production costs.