SED (Surface Conduction Electron Emitter Display) technology is phenomenal, but unfortunately it increasingly appears too good to be true.
First announced way back in September 2004, the infamously expensive standard promises to united the svelte lines of plasma and LCD with the superior black levels, colour definition, contrast, pixel response time and viewing angles of CRT. Problem is it looks like it's never going to see the light of day.
The latest afflictions to strike this (potentially) mouth watering technology are actually three fold. First, co-developer Canon has announced it is to discontinue work it was pursuing to make SED more affordable and consequently destroying all hope that mass market availability would begin in July this year. Secondly a prolonged lawsuit between Canon, fellow wavering co-developer Toshiba and Nano-Proprietary Ltd over patent infringements has slowed development to a crawl. Thirdly, and perhaps most vitally, Canon has admitted it is unable to supply panels on time due to the rather fundamental absence of any large scale production facilities!?!
Ultimately then we have a wonder technology which is unrealistically expensive, can't get out of the law courts and lacks panels or the plant to make them. Did I mention that no new launch timeframe has even been considered...?
In an attempt to keep moral up a Tosh spokeswoman declared "We still plan to offer SED TVs as soon as we secure panel supplies," but with the price drops seen in LCD and plasma coupled to the quantum leaps both continue to make in picture quality I'll admit SED has an increasingly strong sense of vapourware.