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Panasonic parent makes 30in OLED TV play

Wants to be first to market

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Matsushita - best known as the owner of Panasonic - will be punching out 37in OLED TVs within three years, it has been claimed.

According to Japan's Sankei Shimbun newspaper, Matsushita wants to be the first TV maker to get decent-sized OLED TVs to market.

Sony is currently the only consumer electronics company selling OLED TVs - indeed, it was the first to do so - but its XEL-1 is just 11in. It has already promised a 27in model within the coming 12 months.

Matsushita wants to be first out with a 30in screen, the paper said. It will charge ¥150,000 ($1392/£706/€894) for them, apparently.

For its part, Matsushita has only officially said it's considering an entry into OLED TV production. However, since the technology is widely viewed as the natural successor to LCD and plasma, it's hard to imagine the company not wanting to get its foot in this particular door.

Matsushita appears to be particularly keen to do so ahead of South Korean rivals Samsung and LG. The latter is looking at releasing a 32in OLED TV in 2011, the year in which Samsung has bullishly said in the past that it'll have 40in and 42in models on the market.

Last year, Toshiba said it would have a 30in model on sale in 2009, but then scaled back its plans, knocking release dates back a year or two.

Truth be told, it's still very early days for large-size OLED panels, and vendors need to do more work to improve the production process and take on board new developments in panel longevity. With LCD demand strong, there's no need to leap in too early, but equally no one wants to be left out when the technology becomes ready for sale.

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