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.
quote: Plasma has better picture quality since it works more like the old tube TVs
quote: 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.
quote: (The LED powered DLP still suffer from this, but to a -much- lesser extent.)
quote: 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.
quote: I've been eyeing Pioneer Kuro but they say Plasma degrades faster than others and is more pricey.
quote: 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.
quote: 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).
quote: Sony does not own DLP and they typically prefer to create and sell instead of just license it.
quote: 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.
quote: 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.
quote: 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
quote: Samsung now has that 31" OLED it might be a prototype but it works and hopefully will be out soon...