While many people see resolution as the most important consideration when buying a new TV, this might not actually be the case. Jim Catcheside at Pioneer says that people are too hung-up on resolution and that this is causing some to buy inferior products.

"One of the blights on the TV industry at the moment is the big hang-up that people seem to have on resolution. It's a big bugbear of mine. All most people are worried about at the moment is that their new TV should have a resolution of 1920 x 1080. 1080, 1080, 1080, 1080. That's all some people want to hear about," he said when we spoke to him at CES today.

Resolution not important?

"But at the moment if you put our 42-inch 720p screen against all or any of the 1080p sets that are out there [from other manufacturers] at the same size, I know hand on heart it will blow them away.

"Only about five minutes ago, when all TVs were CRT, they all had the same resolution. Every one of them. So then, why were some better than others?

Resolution, explains Catcheside, is only one tiny element of the picture. People should consider what the black quality does to the overall colour palette and what happens when you turn the ambient light down (an Achilles heel for LCD technology).

"Lots of things go into making a better picture," explains Catcheside. "Colour, contrast, black levels. All those things are equally important."

At CES, Pioneer has been demonstrating a large plasma panel that's just 9mm thick, and a concept panel that produces the most realistic black-levels ever seen in a display.