Oh, surface-conduction electron-emitter display (SED). We still remember the halcyon days of 2005 when we first laid eyes upon your black as a CRT / thin as a plasma or LCD self, and equally recognize the pain of each false start and delay that followed, each leading up to today's announcement by Canon that it is abandoning SED HDTVs entirely. It had held out hope as late as last spring that the technology could have a future in professional displays, but Japan's The Nikkei reports it simply couldn't bring down costs enough. There's still the possibility for a future in "image diagnostic equipment" but all those prototypes will never see the light of mass production. Check after the break for some of the highlights along the way, or just to imagine what might have been if not for lawsuits and technical issues.

Timeline:

Company creates SED panel with 100,000:1 contrast ratio - April 2005
SED technology explained - August 2005
SED production begins - August 2005
SED up close and personal - January 2006
Sorry, no SEDs this year - March 2006
Mass market SED HDTVs by 2008? - September 2006
Toshiba demos 55-inch SED with 100,000:1 contrast ratio - October 2006
Toshiba SED production hits another snag - January 2007
Judge favors Nano-Proprietary in Canon licensing quandary - February 2007
SED televisions delayed, again -- possibly forever - March 2007
Canon said to be developing own tech for SED TV production - December 2007
Canon wins SED lawsuit, can produce SED displays again - August 2008
Canon cleared to resume work on SED TV (now that the world doesn't care) - December 2008
SED could still have a future, probably doesn't - April 2009