By Matthew Henry

SYDNEY: Hitachi Australia expects to launch a new super slim UT series LCD range by the end of next year, the company revealed today, which would see the brand introduce wall mountable flat panels just 35 mm thick.

The slimline UT series models will debut in Japan from mid-December in sizes including 32-inch, 37-inch and 42-inch, however, the Australian subsidiary will have to wait until late 2008.

“Again it proves Hitachi remains in the forefront of flat panel technology and although our date is not defined for the launch in Australia, we believe it will be late 2008,” said Hitachi general manager – sales and marketing, Geoff Hannaford, in a statement today.

The panels achieve their incredibly thin 3.5c m profile through the use of a new LCD panel and by relocating bulky components into a separate media box.

Hitachi will also offer an optional accessory allowing wireless connection of the media box to the panel to reduce cable clutter and allow placement of the panel away from AV components.

In Japan, the 32-inch UT series models will be available in a range of colours including black, white, red and blue, with the latter two only produced in limited numbers.

Hitachi has not confirmed whether these will be available in Australia.

Other features include Hitachi’s iV Pocket – a slot in the media box accomodating a hard disk drive for personal video recording.

Sharp Corporation also recently announced it will introduce a slim LCD range in 42- and 50-inch sizes.

But so far Sony has set the benchmark for slim TVs with its new 11-inch OLED television, which employs a new screen technology to achieve a panel just 3mm thick. The model, which is the first of its kind, will be launched in Japan this December.