By Matthew Henry

TOKYO: Canon and Toshiba have again delayed the launch of SED TV, which was scheduled to be commercially available in Japan by the end of the year and worldwide in time for the 2008 Beijing Olympics due to a legal dispute over a license infringement.

The companies have not announced a new timeframe for the roll-out of the technology, which has already suffered numerous delays since its first scheduled launch date of late 2005.

Canon’s ongoing legal dispute with US-based Nano Technology over a license infringement is said to be the primary reason for pushing back the release date.

“Reasons for the postponement include prolonged litigation currently underway in the United States and efforts to establish mass-production technology aimed at realising further cost reductions,” said Canon Inc in a statement Friday.

Canon said it will announce a new launch schedule for SED “at a future date”.

Toshiba, which will buy SED panels manufactured by Canon for integration into televisions, said an Australian launch will also have to be pushed back.

“As Toshiba intends to procure SED panels from Canon, we cannot help but postpone our launch of SED TV if the panels are not available,” said Toshiba Australia product manager, Justin White.

“Toshiba is committed to bringing SED technology to market and will aim to sell SED as soon as we are able to get supply of the panels. We are confident that SED TVs still retain the superiority and competitiveness necessary for success in the market and that this delay will not impact Toshiba’s current TV business.”

SED has been heralded by its promoters as the successor to plasma and LCD due to its high picture quality, low power consumption and ability to easily handle HDTV resolution.

But the technology has failed to win significant support among consumer electronics manufacturers, many of whom are grooming OLED display as the next-generation flat panel TV technology platform.

SED TV is being developed by SED Inc, which was formed in 2004 as a joint-venture between Toshiba and Canon to develop and market the technology.

In January this year, Toshiba was forced to pull out of SED Inc to speed resolution of the Nano Technology legal battle.

At the time, Canon announced that it would have to reassess the launch of its first SED TV – a 55-inch full HD model – but said this would not necessarily result in a delay.