Hong Kong-based LG.Philips Displays, the world's largest maker of cathode ray tube (CRT) monitors, hopes its move to flat product designs will push back the challenge of slimmer plasma and liquid crystal display (LCD) screens. 'CRT technology is still the best value for your money,' chairman and chief executive Andreas Wente said. 'It offers the best performance at the lowest costs and continues to introduce further innovations to strengthen our competitiveness in the market,' Recent innovations focus on a new generation of CRT colour-picture tube and colour-display tube products that rival the flat form of more expensive plasma and LCD monitors. Last year, CRTs accounted for more than 95 per cent of the global market for television screens and about 70 per cent of the market for computer monitors. LG.Philips Displays, an SAR-formed joint venture between LG Electronics of South Korea and Philips Electronics of the Netherlands', posted a 26 per cent market share for CRT sales worldwide last year. Deputy chief executive and chief operations officer Ki Song Cho said: 'Picture performance is still the greatest feature of CRT technology.' He said the company's Cybertube Plus product combined 'a truly flat screen with outstanding brightness and contrast'. This CRT design features 'highly pigmented phosphors' to provide brighter and more lifelike colours. A variation, the Cybertube High Definition, uses a new 'ultra-high resolution electron gun' that provides a uniform smaller spot size at all positions on the screen for even viewing, while offering lower power consumption compared with older CRT designs. LG.Philips Displays is also credited with developing 16:9 wide screen television tubes, which have become popular over the past few years. Mr Wente forecast the company's Asia-Pacific business would increase to 65 per cent of its overall sales in the next 12 to 24 months, from 50 per cent in 2001, outpacing rivals Chunghwa Picture Tubes of Taiwan and Seoul-based Samsung SDI. He said fast-growing demand from mainland-based television manufacturers and exporters such as Konka, the Haier Group and TCL International, China's No 1 colour TV maker, provided increased opportunities for CRT monitor sales. About two-thirds of LG.Philips Displays' sales have been generated from television makers that have shifted production in recent years to low-cost areas such as China, Mexico and Eastern Europe. The balance comes from sales to the computer market.