The television industry has undergone significant changes in competitive structure internationally. In the past the industry was characterised by rapid growth as first black and white and then colour television diffused throughout developed countries. More recently, recessions and market saturation have constrained growth and competition has grown more intense. Competition has intensified further with the introduction of new television-based products, such as video recorders, dises and home information systems. All the major Japanese consumer electronics firms have invested in the US and Europe in both component manufacture and set assembly. This has threatened the established US and European manufacturers. Innovation has played a major role in international competitiveness. Innovation in products and manufacturing processes has changed the nature of competition in the industry. Japanese firms have been the most successful innovators. By applying advanced automation in assembly, testing and handling to large production volumes, the Japanese have achieved dramatically superior performance in terms both of productivity and of quality. European and US firms have only responded to the challenge belatedly.