Televisions, it seems, are like fashion models: they can never be too thin. It's hard to find a set slimmer than Philips' 42PF9986. Granted, the name isn't so chic, but you can't beat its looks: the plywood-thin speakers surrounding the screen, supplied by Britain's NXT, are so skinny that they're virtually part of the TV's frame, with no bulky cone. Another innovation: this 42-in. TV uses liquid-crystal display (LCD) technology rather than the plasma engineering behind most large-screen flat TVs. LCDs first emerged three decades ago in calculators and are now gaining popularity as thin computer screens and smaller-sized flat TV screens. They are starting to creep into larger flat-panel TVs too, where plasma has dominated. Although LCD's picture quality is not quite up to plasma standards, it consumes only half the power, so the 9986 is perfect for the environmentally friendly couch potato. Wander close to the set and motion detectors light up its tactile controls no more fumbling around for the volume. Alas, innovation comes at a price: $11,085. (If you want to spend less for a better picture, there's always Philips' new plasma 42PF9966, which will only set you back $7,390.) Both the 9986 and 9966 boast Philips' "Pixel Plus 2," which enhances the sharpness and color of each individual pixel. The two models are scheduled to hit shops worldwide in mid-April. So this spring, thin is in.