Samsung Electronics has taken the wraps off a 70in LCD (liquid crystal display) panel that it hopes will help boost the competitiveness of LCD technology in the big-screen TV sector.

The panel refreshes the picture 120 times a second - double that of the LCD panels used in most TVs. In a demonstration at the FPD International 2006 show in Yokohama, Japan, images and text scrolling across the panel appeared to move more smoothly than on existing LCD TVs.

Samsung plans to begin commercial production of the 70in panel early next year, and it should be available in TV sets in the months following.

Their launch will mark another step by LCD technology into a part of the market currently dominated by PDPs (plasma display panels). When flat-panel TVs first started becoming popular the division between LCDs and PDPs was at around the 42in mark, but LCD makers have been steadily launching larger screens.

Competition between LCD and PDP makers is fierce because so much money is at stake. The market in screens for flat-panel TVs is expected to be worth $29.6bn this year, up 60 percent on last year, according to a report published by research firm DisplaySearch.

Revenue from LCD panels is expected to account for 71 percent of that market, up from two thirds in 2005, with PDPs falling from 39 percent to 27 percent of revenue, said DisplaySearch.