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Sony says no more to rear-projection TV market, OLED on the way

With the strong growth in LCD and plasma HDTVs, the rear-projection TV that once ruled the big screen realm is quickly heading the way of the Dodo.

Sony announced today that it will withdraw from the rear-projection TV market. Sony already reduced its rear-projection TV sales target by 43% to 400,000 units for the year.

The company does not carry digital light projection (DLP) TVs, which dominate the rear-projection market.  Two additional 60" and 70" XBR SXRD models were embargoed for launch at CES 2008 next week, though the company claims prototypes will face cancellation.

Sony isn’t the first major maker of TVs to pull out of the rear-projection market.  With prices falling for comparably sized plasma and LCD screen HDTVs, rear-projection set makers found it hard to compete for consumers dollars in 2007. Seiko Epson stopped production of its rear-projection TVs earlier this month; Hitachi withdrew from the rear-projection market earlier this year as well.

All three companies planned to take on Texas Instruments' DLP technology with alternatives like 3LCD and SXRD.  However, these alternatives were inferior to DLP either in cost or marketshare, and spent the majority of their short lives playing catch-up. 

Sony will stop its rear-projection TV production at three plants in February.  The company still plans to announce SXRD front-projection units, including the anticipated WPL-VW40.

Reuters speculates plasma TV will be the next technology on the chopping block with TV makers rushing towards OLED panels and larger LCD panels in 2008. Earlier this year Sony exited the plasma TV market; the company is placing all its eggs into the LCD and OLED basket.

Yet Sony does have one unplayed ace.  After national rival Toshiba exited from the OLED market earlier this month, Sony became the only company in the world with working large-screen OLED displays. 

Anyone at Texas Instruments will tell you: being first has its benefits.

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Whats better?
By GhandiInstinct on 12/27/2007 3:00:36 PM , Rating: 2
DLP LCD or Plasma?

I've been eyeing Pioneer Kuro but they say Plasma degrades faster than others and is more pricey.

RE: Whats better?
By djc208 on 12/27/2007 3:33:55 PM , Rating: 5
Depends on what you want out of it?

DLP (or any rear projection) gives you big size for less money. TThey can't be wall mounted, many still have bulbs that will need to be replaced periodically, and some DLPs can have a rainbow effect that's distracting to some people. But if you want a 70" screen without having to take out another mortgage it's your only option.

LCD's are thin, use less power, and can have very good pictures. Black levels are not as good as the others, they can suffer from a narrow field of view, and lower quality pannels can suffer from motion blur. These are probably the best for most uses right now and the prices have been dropping so fast it's hard not to get one, but they get very expensive the bigger you go.

Plasma has better picture quality since it works more like the old tube TVs, come in larger sizes, and can still be wall mounted. They can have issues with screen burn-in over time, and they use lots of electricity when they're on.

In the end Plasma and LCD do not compete much any more, LCD has slowly pushed plasmas back from the smaller 37~46" sizes. Above that (50"+) LCD's get too expensive to compete with a plasma.

Rear projectors are slowly being phased out at the smaller end as well (42" and 46") by cheaper LCDs, and tend to compete against plasmas in the 50+" size and are the only reasonable option above about 60" to about 70" when you start looking at regular projectors (with seperate screens).

RE: Whats better?
By jpeyton on 12/27/2007 4:47:23 PM , Rating: 2

Earlier this year Sony [b]excited[/b] the plasma TV market;

The correct spelling is "exited".

RE: Whats better?
By Oregonian2 on 1/2/2008 3:00:15 PM , Rating: 2
I thought they left that market a long long time ago (at least in terms of making product). They were very very late getting away from their proprietary CRT Trinitron technology and got too far behind on Plasma technology to catch up and went to concentrate on LCDs.

RE: Whats better?
By scrapsma54 on 12/28/2007 2:38:44 AM , Rating: 2
We are missing another important factor in why dlp is superior. Contrast ratio. Dlp so far is the current market production that boast really superior and consistent contrast ratios. As for the raibow effect that many see, this has been remedied in Lazer dlp which removes the motorized colorwheel and replaces that with 3 straightfoward lazers each a specific color.

RE: Whats better?
By Oregonian2 on 1/2/2008 2:55:46 PM , Rating: 2
I thought it was plasmas that ruled contrast ratios?

RE: Whats better?
By timmiser on 12/28/2007 2:12:14 PM , Rating: 2
That is a great summary of the pros and cons of each type of TV. I have a 72" Toshiba DLP and love it.

One thing I would add to the LCD summary is the tendencies of LCD monitors to have stuck pixels.

RE: Whats better?
By elmikethemike on 12/28/2007 10:46:35 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry but your entire post is rife with misinformation. It's too much to even correct here.

As an example:

Plasma has better picture quality since it works more like the old tube TVs

I mean, that's not even remotely true.

RE: Whats better?
By Oregonian2 on 1/2/2008 2:52:07 PM , Rating: 2
The better PQ part is correct, but the only resemblance to CRT's is the use of phosphors.

RE: Whats better?
By MajorPaver on 12/27/2007 3:41:11 PM , Rating: 1
Man - you should never have asked that question as the deluge will now commence.

A deluge of such staggering proportions that Noah will start building that pesky boat of his again.

So, here's my $2:

DLP - generally quite good, but I can't get around the viewing angle issues, even on the best sets.

LCD - 2 years ago, I would've run from them like the plague. Blacks were grey and colors were just - weird. Now that's been improved. LED backlit displays are looking particularly promising, but even traditional CCF backlit is pretty good now.

PLASMA - still my tech of choice - and with screen half-lives of better than 60,000 hours, degradation is not an issue. Generally still the brightest and blackest. BUT, eats power like a Packers Fan eats bratwurst. Also, before the old saw about "burn-in" pops up AGAIN. It's not a problem anymore. I game and watch letterboxed movies regularly and have for nearly 2 years. Not a single problem.

Really, I'd say I'd pick between LCD and Plasma and base the choice on inputs and picture processing.

RE: Whats better?
By rikulus on 12/27/2007 4:19:57 PM , Rating: 2
I'll believe burn-in is no longer a concern for plasma televisions when I see an owner's manual for said TV that doesn't list it among their warnings. When even the best plasmas (which presumably incorporate the best means of avoiding burn-in) still warn against still images and have a break-in period, you can't say it's no longer a problem for any plasma TV's.

RE: Whats better?
By bigboxes on 12/27/2007 5:47:46 PM , Rating: 2
My LCD monitor also has a warning of burn-in. The point is that it's bearable and fixable, just as are today's plasma televisions.

RE: Whats better?
By kmmatney on 12/27/2007 4:46:15 PM , Rating: 2
I can speak from first-hand experience that Plasma screen still suffer from burn-in. I bought mine about a year ago, and there there is definately burn-in. There is a screen scrubber utility that you can run for 2 hours to remove most of the burn-in, but it still happens. The picture is still good, but I probably won't buy another plasma.

RE: Whats better?
By MajorPaver on 12/27/2007 7:18:19 PM , Rating: 2
I suppose if you leave Bloomberg up for 12 hours a day or play Halo or an equal time-waster for an equivalent length of WILL get burn-in. You'll also get it on an LCD or a CRT.

It's the dirty little secret people forget about CRTs, they were tremendously burn-in prone - primarily because they use phosphor based screens just like plasma.

I and 3 friends all have plasmas at least a gen old and no one has had a burn-in issue. The sets run the gamut from Philips to Panny to Samsung and see heavy use.

I don't know, I guess treat them rationally and don't crank the brightness up to 90 and problems are non-existent.

RE: Whats better?
By giantpandaman2 on 12/27/2007 8:57:51 PM , Rating: 2
Old CRT's were tremendously susceptible to burn in. That last gen, though, was not. I'm still running a 19" CRT. Play games on it for ungodly marathon sessions on it every once in a while. No burn in.

Moot point, however, since they don't make any good ones anymore.

RE: Whats better?
By therealnickdanger on 12/28/2007 8:48:49 AM , Rating: 3
You all should take note that there is a difference between "burn in" and "image retention". The latter goes away when the image is white-washed or refreshed. Newer plasmas use improved phosphors (specifically green) that reduce IR considerably. For the most part, IR is no longer noticeable unless you go from bright text to a black screen. Burn-in is something that can never be removed: the phospors are literally burned.

RE: Whats better?
By Moishe on 12/27/2007 3:43:24 PM , Rating: 2
Rear-projection was really just a stopgap product until large flat panels became cheap. Obviously there has been a decent period of time for RP TVs to fill that gap, but their time is basically all but over.

Flat panel TVs are "it" for the viewing angle, brightness, clarity, etc. The different techs within the flat panels have their own pros and cons of course. For the money right now though, Plasma and regular LCDs are in the sweet spot.

OLED and the special backlit LCDs, and stuff like SED are either not here yet, or are still too expensive for the average person.

RE: Whats better?
By DigitalFreak on 12/27/2007 7:57:36 PM , Rating: 2
Rear-projection was really just a stopgap product until large flat panels became cheap. Obviously there has been a decent period of time for RP TVs to fill that gap, but their time is basically all but over.

Ever bothered to price a flat panel screen over 50"? I'd hardly say they're cheap.

RE: Whats better?
By Moishe on 12/28/2007 8:06:36 AM , Rating: 2
They're not cheap, and the rear projection stopgap is still in effect. However, a 42" LCD was more than double the price of a RP TV just a couple of years ago and now they're in the sub-1k sweet spot.

As LCD gets cheaper RP's only advantage (price) will dissolve and they will be gone. It's already happening.

RE: Whats better?
By Khato on 12/27/2007 6:17:58 PM , Rating: 2
Well, my favorite by far are the 3LCD projectors. Purrsonally don't care for anything DLP due to the distraction that rainbow artifacts provide. (The LED powered DLP still suffer from this, but to a -much- lesser extent.)

But anyway, the only reason to get a rear projection tv is if you don't have a good spot/can't get a room reasonably dark. If you have a wall you can project on in a room that you can get reasonably dark... Well, it's hard to beat 100"+ screen sizes that don't suffer from -any- viewing angle issues.

RE: Whats better?
By ZeroGuardian on 12/27/2007 7:56:14 PM , Rating: 2
(The LED powered DLP still suffer from this, but to a -much- lesser extent.)

I don't know where you get your information from but the LED based DLP displays do not suffer from the "rainbow effect." Its literally impossible because the rainbow effect was caused by the color wheel distorting the light. And the LED based DLPs don't have a color wheel, therefore they can not produce the rainbow effect.

RE: Whats better?
By DigitalFreak on 12/27/2007 8:05:51 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know where you get your information from but the LED based DLP displays do not suffer from the "rainbow effect." Its literally impossible because the rainbow effect was caused by the color wheel distorting the light. And the LED based DLPs don't have a color wheel, therefore they can not produce the rainbow effect.

Incorrect. Whether a single chip DLP set uses a color wheel or LEDs, you still have the possibility of the RBE. Granted it's MUCH less noticeable with an LED set because of the rate at which the LEDs switch on and off, but there are still people that can see it on those sets. The only way to totally eliminate RBE is to switch to a 3 chip DLP solution, which is very expensive. You'll only find that in extremely high end projectors as well as the units in movie theaters.

RE: Whats better?
By sprockkets on 12/27/2007 11:09:48 PM , Rating: 2
With color wheels being so fast, and with LEDs switching even faster, you literally have to try to see the rainbow effect. For me at least, if I quickly looked away from an older DLP projector or TV, I could see a rainbow. Now I cannot do it, even with waving my hand in front of my face.

But hey, it still exists if some say so.

RE: Whats better?
By Moishe on 12/28/2007 8:11:57 AM , Rating: 2
Rainbow effect is caused by a single color display at any one time. The wheel allows one color wavelength through at a time.

It happens so fast that our eye interprets it as full color.

So as long as one color is coming through (single chip) there will be the possibility of rainbow effect.

I will say this though, the rainbow effect is basically visible to only the rare person. I've owned a DLP HD projector for some time and have never seen it. The 100+ unique people who have watched content on it have not seen it. It takes a special, rare person to see the rainbow effect. Not exactly what I would call a "problem".

To me "rainbow effect" is like the "burn in" problem on LCDs... it *CAN* happen but it's very rare with any modern unit

RE: Whats better?
By TwistyKat on 12/27/2007 6:53:06 PM , Rating: 2
I'm a DLP fan.

The good is that they have the best HD display for the money. The worse DLP HD picture is still better than the best LCD HD picture.

The bad is that the SD picture isn't very good. SD on an LCD TV is much better than DLP.

Also, LCD TVs are pretty fragile, whereas DLP TVs are less so.

RE: Whats better?
By Moishe on 12/28/2007 8:13:58 AM , Rating: 2
I'm a DLP fan too, but what you're saying is ridiculous.

The worst HD DLP image is better than the best HD LCD image? HA.

Each has it's sweet spot and there are good and bad projectors. A lot of it is subjective. DLP simply is better "overall" as agreed on by a majority of people.

RE: Whats better?
By TwistyKat on 12/28/2007 11:40:44 AM , Rating: 2
DLP simply is better "overall" as agreed on by a majority of people.

Really? I've never heard that. Sounds slightly ridiculous to me.

RE: Whats better?
By jrb531 on 12/29/2007 12:05:09 PM , Rating: 2
I found the opposite. LCD's at HD looked fine but when they (at least the cheaper ones) had to resize down to SD they looked horrid!

DLP looks far better at SD which is why I went with a 50" DLP. The HD picture is pretty sweet also.


RE: Whats better?
By Oregonian2 on 1/2/2008 2:54:54 PM , Rating: 2
I've been eyeing Pioneer Kuro but they say Plasma degrades faster than others and is more pricey.

Current generation Panasonic plasmas are rated 100,000 hours to the half-brightness point. LCD's might last longer (at least the LED lit ones) but but 100K hours is a looooooooong time for a TV. Short lives for plasma displays was a problem when the technology was new. They're in something like 9th generation now and things have improved.

Article was a little biased
By mcnabney on 12/27/2007 3:09:09 PM , Rating: 1
In no way was microdisplay LCD or LCOS inferior to DLP. Just different with their own positives and negatives. Check out reviews of Sony SXRD RP sets and you will see glowing acknowledgments of a market leader. I have never heard anyone say that DLP was in any way intrinsically superior to other RP microdisplays.

I think the real reason for the Sony pullout is the terribly high failure rate for RP displays in general. There are all kinds of problems with all of the RP displays, including DLP.

I do believe that this may be bad for consumers. If the RP market loses its high-cost player there will be less pressure to keep prices low and they may sink into parity with flat panels when they previously beat them on price per square inch.

RE: Article was a little biased
By James Holden on 12/27/2007 3:23:05 PM , Rating: 3
I think the real reason for the Sony pullout is the terribly high failure rate for RP displays in general. There are all kinds of problems with all of the RP displays, including DLP.

You're acknowledging the underlying fact of the whole article. Yeah Sony had some good tech, but it was years behind DLP (especially in failure rates).

At the end of the day, TI sold billions of DLP chips. Sony pushed a few million, but I think the company recognizes OLED is the future. And they're right.

RE: Article was a little biased
By DigitalFreak on 12/27/07, Rating: -1
RE: Article was a little biased
By mcnabney on 12/28/2007 12:36:39 AM , Rating: 2
All RP sets have high failure rates, not just LCD or LCos. DLP has series issues too. Usually 3-4 times the failure rate of flat panel LCD or plasma.

RE: Article was a little biased
By Moishe on 12/28/2007 8:03:59 AM , Rating: 3
You're right about RP... the design is simply prone to more failure.

A dead bulb is not a failure.

Common failures in LCD projectors is bad polarizers breaking down due to heat (newer units have been changed so it's not as bad), misaligned panel(s) causing ghosting and color shifting, dead pixels, and the LCD panel itself dies over time which causes it to lose color and detail.

DLP failures: broken/bad color wheel (not very common)

For now common DLP units have a single chip (as 3DLP comes down in price this may be an issue, but even then, less so than on an LCD), and talking to pros, there are never any dead pixels. DLP has no polarizers. The chip itself is only a reflector and doesn't die over time. You replace the bulb and it looks the same now as it did 5k hours ago. Not so with LCD.

RE: Article was a little biased
By Moishe on 12/27/2007 3:36:59 PM , Rating: 2
You're absolutely right that *everything* has it's pluses and minuses... but you're wrong about LCD vs DLP. DLP is technically superior to LCD. You have to spend a bit of time looking at failure rates and common problems for both techs, and talking to professionals who use them but you can find that info.

The problem is that DLP is for projection only, which is going away on TVs. Flat panel TVs are simply the wya of the future. DLP cannot do a flat panel, and a projection TV can never compete with a flat panel in most areas.

Sony does not own DLP and they typically prefer to create and sell instead of just license it.

By Oregonian2 on 1/2/2008 3:03:35 PM , Rating: 2
Sony does not own DLP and they typically prefer to create and sell instead of just license it.

Yes, Sony tends to have NIH issues. Not always a bad thing if it results in something new and a lot better (rather than just something else that's proprietary and roughly the same, like say, memory-sticks).

RE: Article was a little biased
By LeviBeckerson on 12/27/2007 3:38:26 PM , Rating: 2
3LCD tech and to an extent, LCoS is pretty much inferior to DLP. There isn't really any margin for argument here. Simply put two sets next to each other with an HD input and you can tell the difference straight away.

As to high failure rates on RPD, not sure where you got your information (though I would be interested to know). In my experience, plasma has the top failure rate of all the current display technologies. I've personally serviced the same Samsung plasma set (please do yourself a favor and never buy Samsung TVs) three times before. The only thing I've ever had to do for an RPD set was replace bulbs, which is standard maintenance, and I think we got a faulty light engine in one, which was attributed to shipping damage.

It's actually pretty unfortunate the RPDs are going away because they still have the best picture/performance per dollar of any HD display. I know, BS, right? Go to a privately owned home theater dealer (not a chain store because they all have terrible picture no matter what) and look at something like a Mits 52" DLP set next to any 50" plasma. If you don't see the difference, more power to you, but you could be saving yourself $1,000 buying the RPD (sans bulbs which is where the cost catches up after about five or six years of heavy use).

I can't argue that recent LCD and plasma sets are still mediocre picture, that's simply not true (LG's Opus line is phenomenal), but they still can't beat a good DLP set.

As for Sony leaving another display sector, good. I can't wait until they quit making displays altogether. I have sold many many sets to dissatisfied Sony owners. "I read in Consumer Reports that this was the best set, but it looks terrible/failed after only a few months." Pretty typical. I'm sure this can be true of any mfcg, but Sony and Samsung were the top two in failure around here. :)

A note should be made that Samsung's computer monitors are actually really good compared to their TVs. I am not sure, but I think Samsung may rebrand another maker, like NEC or something for their computer displays. I never dug into that area.

By KristopherKubicki on 12/27/2007 3:42:19 PM , Rating: 2
Samsungs LCD property comes from everyone on the spot market, but the majority of their panels are built in-house. They're usually flipping back and forth with LPL on size, capacity and density.

RE: Article was a little biased
By walk2k on 12/27/2007 5:31:31 PM , Rating: 1
You have absolutely no idea what you're talking about.

LCoS/SXRD is widely regarded as the best quality display out there right now, bar NONE. Bulbs should last 5 years or more for most consumers and cost around $250. If you purchase an extended service plan that includes the bulb, even less. Plus when you replace the bulb, you bring your set back to 100% new quality - can't say that for plasma can you?

Show me a 60" 1080p LCD with 1.5ms refresh and the color and contrast of the Sony 60A3000 for under $2000. Oh and make it 120hz while you're at it. Shame they won't be making them any more...

RE: Article was a little biased
By elpresidente2075 on 12/28/2007 11:51:04 AM , Rating: 2
Show me an RP TV that I can mount on my wall and has a viewing angle of more than about 100 degrees and I'll agree with you. Until then I'll stick with my LCD.

Can't wait for the OLED TV's to come out.

RE: Article was a little biased
By walk2k on 12/28/2007 11:12:35 PM , Rating: 2
Since we were talking about image quality, your message is entirely irrelevant.

But I have actually seen "wall mounts" for RPTVs, they aren't pretty but they do allow you to mount them on a wall. I've also seen people mount them IN a wall. Of course it requires cutting a hole in your wall, and that the other side of the wall is in a garage or a closet or some other kind of unused space... but when you look at it, it looks JUST like a "flat panel" (only with a 10x better quality picture).

As for your viewing angle requirment, all of the Sony SXRD have had 135 degrees+ .....

RE: Article was a little biased
By jrb531 on 12/29/2007 12:19:05 PM , Rating: 2
What is this obsession with mounting TV's on your wall? I've always put my TV's in the corner. Even if I bought a Plasma or LCD I would still put it in the corner unmounted.

I picked DLP because I got a 50" picture for $800 instead of nearly twice that for LCD.

Viewing angles? Give me a break. They are not that bad for new DLP's but then again I guess viewing angles are a concern if you simple "must" bolt your TV to a wall. If I had to put my TV on a wall where I could never move it then sure you would be concerned with viewing angles because no matter where you sit (unless you had a seat right in front of the wall LOL) you would have a really rotten viewing angle.

I did have to laugh when you stated that LCD's had better viewing angles because for years this was considered a weak spot for LCD's. Better now for sure but LCD's do not have great angles either.


By Oregonian2 on 1/2/2008 3:09:32 PM , Rating: 2
If you want a wide angle, get Plasma. They're good to almost looking at it on-edge.

By elpresidente2075 on 1/4/2008 8:36:35 AM , Rating: 2
I did have to laugh when you stated that LCD's had better viewing angles because for years this was considered a weak spot for LCD's.

Apparently you haven't been to a TV store recently. The tables have certainly turned.

Also, I forgot to mention that I am able to move my 42" LCD around without any assistance. With the exception of "/$, I am of the opinion that LCDs are in all ways better than DLP and in most ways better than Plasma.

Good luck with your behemoth of a TV. I am a college student, and as such, move around a lot. No need to break my back (or hire a forklift) once a year.

RE: Article was a little biased
By KentState on 12/27/2007 6:52:21 PM , Rating: 2
3LCD tech and to an extent, LCoS is pretty much inferior to DLP. There isn't really any margin for argument here. Simply put two sets next to each other with an HD input and you can tell the difference straight away.

I can't comment on 3LCD, but LCoS sets have always been rated higher in visual quality than DLP. Both the Sony and JVC sets lack the screen door effect, rainbow, and other shotcomings of DLP while providing better blacks and more realistic skin tones. You are the very first person that I've seen make a statement as such.

RE: Article was a little biased
By mcnabney on 12/28/2007 12:40:11 AM , Rating: 2
DLP does not have screen door. The non-LED versions of DLP do have rainbow. DLP has excellent blacks while LCos and LCD do not. DLP is not as sharp as LCos, which is often the consumers #1 demand. There is also a moving part (color wheel) in DLP. Moving things break.

RE: Article was a little biased
By Moishe on 12/28/2007 7:50:50 AM , Rating: 2
like someone sles said... anything that's not 3 separate chips is going to be at least susceptible to rainbow... However with the speed that the modern color wheels move the vast majority won't see rainbow. I know there are people who claim to see it, but I've never met one and I've had at least 100 people watch stuff my DLP projector.

The sharpness of LCD over DLP is one of the reasons why DLP looks so nice when watching movies. Not so good when viewing a spreadsheet, but nice for cinema. This is actually a selling point. People often expect every product to do everything perfectly... which is absurd.

If you want a business projector or a computer monitor, then buy one. A TV's primary purpose is not for those purposes... Some will want sharper than others, but that's purely subjective.

RE: Article was a little biased
By ShapeGSX on 12/29/2007 5:25:02 PM , Rating: 2
The A3000 does have excellent black levels, and it is an SXRD. CNet rated the A3000 second only to the Pioneer Kuro, and it is rated higher than all of the DLPs on the market.

RE: Article was a little biased
By DigitalFreak on 12/27/07, Rating: -1
RE: Article was a little biased
By valnar on 12/28/2007 12:43:22 PM , Rating: 2
You're kidding right? The latest (and last) A3000 series from Sony is better than any DLP made. The picture quality rivals the best plasmas and is head-and-shoulders above it's nearest RPTV competitor.

RE: Article was a little biased
By James Holden on 12/29/2007 1:20:37 PM , Rating: 2
Ah, so that's why Intel, Sony, Epson and Hitachi all pulled out of the LCoS / 3LCD market. Because their technology was superior to DLP in every way.

Makes sense to me.

RE: Article was a little biased
By ShapeGSX on 12/29/2007 5:30:56 PM , Rating: 2
Sony is still making SXRD chips for front projectors.

My last TV was a HD2+ DLP with square pixels. The latest DLPs with wobulation and overlapping pixels simply do not match the latest SXRD sets. The overlapping pixels on wobulated DLPs mean single pixel detail is smudged across several pixels on screen. Yuck. As a result, DLP can't resolve all the detail of a 1080i or 1080p picture.

It is a shame that Sony exited the RPTV business, but that wasn't due to their technology being better or worse than DLP. It had everything to do with people wanting flat panels. The DLP RPTV industry is heading for the same sticky end. :(

RE: Article was a little biased
By Carl B on 12/28/2007 10:36:30 AM , Rating: 2
I commented above on the LCOS thing, but I have to do so again here as well since I see people pointing out very real discrepancies with the article and reality being voted down. Absolutely is SXRD at the top of the heap in terms of image quality. The fact that the DT article doesn't even *mention* that Sony had multiple RP technologies - let alone what they were - while issuing a blanket "inferior to DLP" statement... I don't know, it wouldn't be the first time I felt a DT article wasn't researched at all and was just a straight re-wording of some of the other 'quick' news we see floating around the web.

RE: Article was a little biased
By adiposity on 12/28/2007 6:04:39 PM , Rating: 2
Mod parent up

LEDs are the key
By djc208 on 12/27/2007 3:47:02 PM , Rating: 2
I think the only thing keeping Plasma around right now is the price point on the 50 to 60 inch range and slightly better picture quality.

LCDs have been pushing hard on the price point for a while now and I think they'll be competing on price in probably two or three years at most.

The LEDs, either regular or organic, are going to be the final nail in plasma though. The dynamic LED backlights they've been showing will solve the black level issues with LCDs, while the OLEDs slowly start pushing the LCDs on the low end like LCDs have everything else.

I think plasma will go long before projection technology, the cost per inch is too low for big sizes for much else to compete, and front projectors are going to be with us for quite a while yet.

RE: LEDs are the key
By jonrem on 12/28/2007 12:54:13 AM , Rating: 2
Watch a Pixar film on an LCD, then watch it on a plasma. I think you're right in your predictions, but for the here and now plasma is severely under-rated. If Panasonic, along with other manufacturers, are able to continue to provide considerable improvements each generation at competitive price points, plasma will be around for a while. Just look at CRT.

RE: LEDs are the key
By Pneumothorax on 12/28/2007 1:27:40 AM , Rating: 2
Agreed in a light controlled room - (imho which most HT setups should be) plasma (latest gen) KILLS a LCD set. Stop looking at crap plasmas like vizio and look at a real plasma like Pioneer's & Panasonic's 1080P Plasmas. Looks like you're looking through a window at real life on good source material.

RE: LEDs are the key
By Oregonian2 on 1/2/2008 3:19:32 PM , Rating: 2
Or compare it to an Olevia LCD. Pure crap, but very nicely cheap (got one for the bedroom, and for the very reason of being cheap -- living room got a Panasonic Plasma).

This sucks!
By Teetu on 12/27/2007 7:36:09 PM , Rating: 2
It's too bad they are leaving the rear projection market, because their SXRD (lcos) sets were extremely good. I bought a SXRD because I found DLP to be an inferior technology, with rainbows, gaming lag, etc. I really like the blacks on the SXRD and it's too bad it won't see a sucessor in 2008. Get the A3000s while you can!

I'm glad that the lcd rear projections are going, because they weren't very good considering how much SXRDs came down in price.

RE: This sucks!
By jonrem on 12/28/2007 12:43:14 AM , Rating: 2
Very much in agreement. Keep the SXRD around just to keep DLP, plasma, and newer LCD offerings honest. I went with Panasonic plasmas for my living room and rec room recently, but SXRD sets were definitely considerations due to PQ and their size at certain price points. The wife wanted something to hang on the wall, so you can understand why I went with the Panasonics. I certainly understand why Sony got rid of LCD projection sets, but LCOS sets?!?!? I'm sure men much more intelligent than myself with more knowlege regarding Sony's bottom line made this decision, but I hate to see such a solid display go away forever.

RE: This sucks!
By Carl B on 12/28/2007 10:30:48 AM , Rating: 2
Speak the truth brother; SXRD was the best rear-projection on the market. The fact that this article doesn't even mention the technology once or that Sony had several different RP technologies in play for different market segments leads me to believe that 1) no research was done, just straight news regurgitation, and 2) DT doesn't know all that much when it comes to the display market beyond being able to follow company announcements and their levels of relative hype vs one-another.

Sony Pittsburgh
By PrimarchLion on 12/27/2007 10:23:54 PM , Rating: 2
Sony has a plant in Westmoreland county near Pittsburgh. They used to produce CRT, LCD, rear projection, and plasma. After this it will be down to just flat LCDs. A few of my friends work there, hopefully they will have a few days of work next week and they don't have to rush to find a job within a day or two.

RE: Sony Pittsburgh
By PrimarchLion on 12/27/2007 10:26:41 PM , Rating: 2
edit: should have read the whole thing, I guess they'll have a month to work. Maybe I should see if they'll help me buy an SXRD at employee discount (like 40% on televisions). They really do look awesome its too bad they're not going to make anymore.

By GlennAl on 12/28/2007 3:32:08 PM , Rating: 2
Here I was waiting for Sony to introduce their LCoS (aka SXRD) set with LED instead of a bulb as the light source so I could get the absolute best picture quality available and no bulb to blow out after some number of years, and... nothing. (I've never had anything from JVC that lasted more than a year, so I'll never buy anything of theirs again.) OK, maybe an LCD with 120 instead of 60 cycle will be acceptable--at least they're starting to use LED now. Still, nothing I've seen is as good as LCoS for PQ. I'm really disappointed.

RE: Bummer...
By derubermensch1 on 1/4/2008 1:19:47 PM , Rating: 2
Which is why i bought a 60KDSA3000 and everyone else should too while they're still available :) Sooooooooo glad I bought one. LCDs have dead pixels, somewhat limited life for all the gaming/movie watching i do, and more motion blur. SXRD has twice the viewing angle as DLP with no rainbow affect. Black levels are alot better too. I did a ridiculous amount of research and calibrating and comparisons before I purchased my SXRD and it was hands down the best looking set out there that didn't cost $80k : ) God, what are people going to do for large screen TV's if they're stuck with just DLP? Hope they have a primary viewing ara directly in front of the TV at a reasonable height. Can't wait for OLED tho : )

Too bad...
By Icelight on 12/27/2007 3:34:05 PM , Rating: 3
Here's hoping JVC sticks in the LCoS market. I absolutely love my HD-56FC97...never expected that JVC could make a great product!

Even now I'd choose an LCoS HDTV over anything else. Low price for a gigantic screen, fantastic picture quality and colours, great blacks and no real response time issues.

The only problems you get in return are silk-screen effect (easily reduced by some picture settings changes) and the need to replace a bulb every few years.

this is not the real information
By GlassHouse69 on 12/27/2007 4:40:16 PM , Rating: 1
Sony owns no plasma factories. All of the other companies who makes plasmas split their facilities with at least 1 other major company. Some 2-3. Panasonic has 3 factories. 2 are brand new and use a huge piece of glass and upgraded sorts of shit to make the profit margin really high. NO ONE can compete with them. so they say plasma's are out. no way no how.

By Oregonian2 on 1/2/2008 3:16:59 PM , Rating: 2
Plasma sales have been increasing. LCD's have been increasing sales faster than plasma. This in politician-speak is to say that Plasma is dying and going away -- even though their sales are increasing nicely and projected to continue doing so. I don't understand the why of politician-speak, but I recognize it and understand it.

P.S. - The more common politician speak is to say that a slower growth rate of spending is a "cut" in spending, even if it's growing (and still faster then inflation).

Well sheesh
By IceTron on 12/27/2007 4:42:19 PM , Rating: 1
Man, my new TF from last year being dropped already? Owell, I love my 50" 3lcd Sony projector I got last year. It will last me well into the future until the upgrade bug gets to me again.

RE: Well sheesh
By jonrem on 12/28/2007 1:09:48 AM , Rating: 2
You mentioned the upgrade bug and future in the same sentence! You're probly thinking about upgrading now anyway. I guess now is the future anyway.

By PontifexMaximus on 12/27/2007 3:39:33 PM , Rating: 2
Panasonic just finished their 4th PDP plant that can pump out 500,000 42in panels a month and is already working on their 5th plant that will pump out 1,000,000/mnth when completed in 2009.

By maverick85wd on 12/27/2007 4:54:28 PM , Rating: 1
After national rival Toshiba exited from the OLED market earlier this month, Sony became the only company in the world with working large-screen OLED displays

Samsung now has that 31" OLED it might be a prototype but it works and hopefully will be out soon...

Samsung's LCD TV's are great to, dad just picked up a 52" with smart LED lighting system and it's display is wonderful I sent them a blu-ray disc player for christmas :)

RE: error
By DigitalFreak on 12/27/2007 8:16:44 PM , Rating: 1
Samsung now has that 31" OLED it might be a prototype but it works and hopefully will be out soon...

OLED may be the wave of the future, but I think you're going to shit yourself when you see the price tag on a 31" OLED anytime soon. Just take a look at the 11" model Sony has. It's like $1700.

By neothe0ne on 12/27/2007 5:38:00 PM , Rating: 2
That instead of then, excited instead of exited... not only did the article bewilder me with news I didn't know about the HDTV market, but it also blew my brain away.

DLP's nice, but.......
By cputeq on 12/27/2007 6:30:53 PM , Rating: 2
I own a 50" Samsung DLP, 1080P TV.


1) Superb picture

2) Excellent black levels

3) Very bright, even in daylight (my entire living room is windows on 1 side). This isn't true of all DLPs, so do your homework. I was able to pick out the Samsung as soon as I saw Circuit City's huge TV display (them and the Sony's were the brightest out of all other brands, hands down).

4) Very light weight if I have to move it around (68 lb)

5) No rainbow effect on my set.

6) Very nice image even using SD cable.

1) Bulb will require replacements, potentially making the TV more expensive than LCD/Plasma, depending on how long you keep it / bulb use. (One sorta-Pro of this: You get a fresh, bright screen again every few years or so, unlike LCDs/Plasmas which slowly fade).

2) Cannot wall mount it.

3) Verticle viewing angle. This isn't a huge deal unless you're standing within about 6 feet of the TV (aka, guitar Hero on PS2). At my couch heights, the view is excellentm, as is the view if you're looking at it while standing in the kitchen (about 20 feet away). Side angle viewing isn't much of a problem, though it is slightly noticeable past 135 degrees or so (my living room doesn't go much beyond that in angle).

4) Blacks can sometimes be too black. They will tend to swallow up details in some darker scenes. Brightness controls help this some, but don't totally alleviate it. I'm sure if I were to have it professionally calibrated, it would help a bit more.

5) A light tunnel manufacturing defect required us to leave the TV at the repair shop for about 1.5 weeks. Samsung was cool about it, extended our warranty for 3 months for free, and was very agreessive in following up with us to make sure we knew exactly what was going on with our TV (very good warranty service). Unfortunately I only have 2 more months left on the warranty!

get yer SXRDs!
By paydirt on 12/28/2007 9:49:07 AM , Rating: 2
I really lucked out when I bought a 60" SXRD A2000 for $1450 (with tax and delivery) in October! Fry's Electronics is getting rid of their older SXRD stock, including their A2020 stock. The KDS model or A3000 has more inputs and a faster image processor, but at worst the A2000 is 9 milliseconds (which is fine for gaming).

The only bummer for me for the 60" A2000 1080p is that it only has two HDMI inputs, so unless I pay for a HDMI switcher I gotta get off my keester to switch inputs since I have three HDMI devices.

Plasmas are great
By Zensen on 12/28/2007 11:31:53 AM , Rating: 2
I love that televisions in general are coming down in price. To think of the prices back a few years ago and the improvements in each generation is great news for the consumer.

Those who say Plasmas is technology on the verge of extinction couldn't be more wrong. The facts of burn in may have been a big case a long time ago but the improvements have been great in this area and there a ways to prevent it.

The power consumption may still be higher than LCDS but when you compare the costs between the two during a year, it is marginal.

I love my blacks to be black and Plasmas do a much better job at. I definitely love my theatre experience.

I think panasonic have done a great job with their new plasma screens and for anything larger than life, Plasma is the way to go for now as LCD's lag a tad behind in this area, otherwise 40"-50" screen both produce outstanding images esp on the better known brands.

OLED and the like may be the future but that future is still probably a long way off esp at a reasonable price as new tech usually come with a hefty price tag. But with all new shiny things, I can't wait as the tech we have now will become cheaper and that can only benefit us all.

LCOS is not inferior to DLP
By valnar on 12/28/2007 12:40:44 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure where they get the "opinion" that DLP is winning because it's superior to LCOS/SXRD. Simply not true. Sony is exiting the business because they aren't making much money at it. But a Sony SXRD is hardly second best to any DLP set. Quite the opposite.

it was inevitable
By MamiyaOtaru on 12/29/2007 4:50:49 AM , Rating: 2
It's the mirrors

"If you mod me down, I will become more insightful than you can possibly imagine." -- Slashdot
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