Print 48 comment(s) - last by CarbonJoe.. on Dec 5 at 11:39 AM

Rear screen projection TVs are dead

Mitsubishi has announced the end of its rear projection screen TVs. For many years if you had big-screen TV, it was typically a rear projection style unit. As pricing on LCD and plasma TV sets came down and screen sizes increased, consumer interest in rear projection TVs waned.

Mitsubishi was the last manufacturer producing these relics from the past, but the company has informed its authorized service centers 73-inch, 82-inch, and 92-inch DLP projection TVs will be discontinued.

Mitsubishi Electrical Visual Solutions America (MEVSA) president and CEO Junichi Nose stated that the change was part of an "important change in business direction, which will necessitate a corresponding restructuring of the MEVSA organization."

MESVA's Max Wasinger added, "We are in the midst of an orderly exit from the DLP TV business. MEVSA will now focus on B-to-B (projectors, display wall, printers, digital signage, monitors, etc.) and the home theater projector business."

Mitsubishi's line of projection screen TVs were far from inexpensive. The 75-inch LaserVue TV sold for about $4,000 at retail locations around the country. 

Source: CE Pro

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Poor example....
By scook9 on 12/3/2012 10:52:02 AM , Rating: 3
You mention the LaserVue being $4000 but that is the top end range from them. I got a 60" 3D Capable 1080p model for only $700 in early 2011. These TVs are great because they are the cheapest way to get a huge screen with very good picture quality. Currently the 73" model is commonly on sale for $700 or $800. And for those who think these are all 400 lb monsters....mine is 18" deep at the base, like 3" deep at the top (tapers) and only weighs 80 lbs....very manageable.

RE: Poor example....
By Denigrate on 12/3/2012 11:01:18 AM , Rating: 2
But it's tough to hand that dude on the wall, and all the marketing is focused on the LED/LCD units.

RE: Poor example....
By TheCommish on 12/3/2012 11:29:09 AM , Rating: 2
Lots of people love the idea of mounting TV's on the wall, but then bitch about all the wires hanging everywhere. Many just end up buying a stand so they can hide the wires and/or relocate it if necessary. Once you have decided on using a stand, the 18" depth of the DLP becomes a non-factor. It's been the best bang-for-the-buck for quite a while. Mine is a 73" Mitz from Jan 2010 for $1300 delivered (Dell). At that time, maybe you could get a cheapo 60" LCD for that price.

RE: Poor example....
By Dr. Kenneth Noisewater on 12/3/2012 5:13:27 PM , Rating: 2
LCDs and Plasmas don't have the fan noise of RPTVs. I've got a 56" with a pretty darn good picture (JVC LCoS) but the fan noise is LOUD :/

RE: Poor example....
By Mitch101 on 12/3/2012 5:37:47 PM , Rating: 2
Ive never heard the fan on my Mitsubishi. Sure it exists but Ive never heard it.

Reality is its time for RPTV's to go away. The cost of manufacturing the box the components reside in, front surface mirror, fresnel, Bulb, Calibrating, and shipping size. The size alone you can fit 3-4 flat panels in the same space. This time next year we should see 60" LCD for the same price as RPTV's today so it just makes sense to drop the box.

RE: Poor example....
By mcnabney on 12/4/2012 9:50:41 AM , Rating: 2
I have a Samsung LED DLP and I can only hear the fan if I stick my head behind it -and even then it is a soft whir. Something must be wrong with the fan.

RE: Poor example....
By inperfectdarkness on 12/4/2012 2:31:50 AM , Rating: 2
Plasma's need to die off too. Heavy, shorter life-span, prone to burn-in (if you're not careful), high power consumption, and hot enough to roast marshmellows by the rear vents.

RE: Poor example....
By abhaxus on 12/4/2012 5:13:05 PM , Rating: 2
heavy: myth (samsung 60" E8000 TVs are within a pound of each other for either technology)
shorter life span: myth (both are typically rated to 100,000 hours half life)

You are probably as likely to have burn in on an LCD as you are on a modern plasma, unless you do something any reasonably tech savvy person would consider dumb. They use as much power as a traditional LCD, and create as much heat. Sure, if you compare to LED backlit models they are less efficient, but at the prices most people buy plasmas at (entry level) they are vastly superior in all aspects, and at the higher end, many are willing to trade power consumption for the superior picture they offer.

RE: Poor example....
By Mitch101 on 12/3/2012 5:33:35 PM , Rating: 2
Ive got a 65" DLP that sits on top of the dresser in the bedroom. The dresser space would otherwise get cluttered with junk so there is no real loss of space if I had bought a flat screen and hung it on the wall only a loss of a cluttered counter top.

Best bang for buck personally is a projector if you have a dark enough room. About the time I should be in the market for a new bulb we should see laser projectors that can come close enough to bulb projectors to make the switch. Yes there are a few on the market but that lack the lumens to compete still but its getting there. Im hoping we should see 4k laser projectors in the coming two years? So I can increase my projected image to 180". :)

RE: Poor example....
By CarbonJoe on 12/5/2012 11:39:31 AM , Rating: 2
Too bad Mitsubishi exited the LCD TV market a few years ago.

RE: Poor example....
By twhittet on 12/3/2012 11:13:01 AM , Rating: 2
80lbs is very manageable, though 18" is less manageable.
I think these would be great tv's for the optimal room setup - but a 2 inch thick tv you don't have to worry about having the perfect room setup.

Also - did they ever fix the viewing angle? Horrible viewing angles is what put me off of DLP - but it's possible they have improved this.

RE: Poor example....
By euclidean on 12/3/2012 11:37:12 AM , Rating: 2
I've never noticed an issue really with viewing angles on DLP Rear Projection TVs, but those original Rear Projections I totally get what your saying.

Unless you are talking about the weird viewing issue some people have with DLPs in general...that I don't think is something you can fix with the TV.

Amazon dot com - Westinghouse 40" 1080p LED HDTV - $400 to the door. IDK, but I don't think I could bring myself to buy a rear-projection mainly because it's becoming so cheap to purchase an LED TV that has decent quality, and I can put it pretty much anywhere in the house - maybe if I had a larger, or better room setup as someone else mentioned...

RE: Poor example....
By Solandri on 12/3/2012 2:41:29 PM , Rating: 2
All rear projection sets have a viewing angle problem. There's a tiny array of fresnel lenses just behind the screen which directs most of the light forward, causing image brightness to drop off if viewed from a different direction. In other words, the brightness falls off towards the sides because that light is being redirected straight forward to increase brightness when viewed straight on.

The problem with rear projection (and also front projection) is that all the light has to come from a single source - a bulb which is focused by a lens, shines onto a DLP, then goes to the screen. This means it gets really hot where the light is most concentrated. That limits the maximum amount of lighting you can use before overheating and melting start to become an issue. By the time that light is spread over a large screen, it's pretty dim. And so you need to concentrate it within a narrow angle to maintain brightness.

LEDs and older LCDs on the other hand can spread the light source out along the edges of the screen, allowing for higher overall light output without as much heat issues at any single point. LEDs in particular run very cool (are very efficient). Ideally you'd be able to use them in a projection TV, but they don't yet produce enough light to replace a halogen or arc bulb. I was really hoping laser LED projectors would make up for this deficiency, but that technology seems to have fallen by the wayside.

RE: Poor example....
By mcnabney on 12/4/2012 9:53:35 AM , Rating: 2
My Samsung RPTV uses an LED light engine (made in New Jersey BTW). It is 5 years old. You aren't saying anything new.

RE: Poor example....
By theapparition on 12/3/2012 11:50:52 AM , Rating: 2
Personally, I've never understood the attraction to many "thin" hang on the wall TVs for home theater setups. Good speakers are going to have depth, the AV equipment has depth, so does the Blu-ray. And I haven't seen any cable boxes made flat either. Most people don't install their equipment in another room or closet.

So for most peoples homes, the AV equipment and speakers hang out, so why does the TV need to be flat. Gives a recessed look that's not too flattering.

I'll agree that the flat TVs are ideal where you don't really have too much equipment.

Also - did they ever fix the viewing angle? Horrible viewing angles is what put me off of DLP - but it's possible they have improved this.

DLP always had very good horizontal viewing angles but poor vertical viewing angles. But to be honest, on DLP TVs this size (65"-90"), it's almost impossible to get into an angle where you see it. You literally have to be 1 ft from the TV and have your head on the ground or near the ceiling to have the picture wash out. Certainly not a position most chose to watch TV from.

RE: Poor example....
By FITCamaro on 12/3/2012 2:14:01 PM , Rating: 2
I had absolutely no trouble lifting my 42" DLP myself when I had it. I believe it was about 40 lbs.

RE: Poor example....
By name99 on 12/3/2012 4:42:44 PM , Rating: 3
But 42" is no longer a relevant number.
You can get a 42" LCD TV for less than $600 which is ridiculously light and runs ridiculously cool.

That's kinda the point. Even the 7x" LCD screens are becoming crazy cheap --- check them out in Costco, or the Best Buy house brand Insignia some time.

Yes, snobs can find a thousand things to complain about in these cheap TVs; but the bottom line is that once a technology is "good enough" convenience beats supposedly better specs every time. We have seen this over and over again (starting, perhaps, with CDs, then on through MP3s, now in the space of dedicated game consoles. Every time the fans rise up and deny reality, insist that, no, the wonderful attributes of their favored technology are somehow relevant to this discussion. Mitsubishi, at least, hires realists who understand how the world works.

RE: Poor example....
By mcnabney on 12/4/2012 9:59:18 AM , Rating: 1
A 42" TV is worthless for home theater. Even casual viewing.


Because you will never see the resolution. In order to 'see' the 1080p resolution on a 42" HDTV you have to sit 5.5' away from it. If you are watching it from 12' away you aren't seeing any quality beyond a plain old DVD resolution, aka TV from the 50s-90s.

RE: Poor example....
By CarbonJoe on 12/5/2012 11:23:50 AM , Rating: 2
The LaserVue TVs are 13" deep, which is about the same depth as an AV receiver or Satellite DVR box.

RE: Poor example....
By Schrag4 on 12/3/2012 2:18:18 PM , Rating: 2
I agree completely. I've never understood why rear proj DLPs aren't more popular. Sure, it's practically impossible to hang them on a wall, but a screen 60 inches or larger is probably part of a home theatre, which will have other deep components, like a place to put an A/V receiver, subwoofer, front speakers, etc.

If you don't have those things, or you do but they take up very little room, then I hate to break it to you but you don't have a real home theatre. It might sound good, even great, but I doubt you realize what you're missing. I've always said that for total immersion, a good picture is FAR less important than huge, clear sound.

For the record, I don't currently have a decent sound system either, but I know what one should look and sound like. The blu-ray player with the built-in amp and 5.1 speakers sound pretty good in the small room they're in, but the system is an order of magnitude below what a decent home theatre system should sound like.

All this to say, someday, when I finally put together a real home theatre, my preferred display will be a rear-proj DLP, assuming they're still being made.

RE: Poor example....
By Mint on 12/3/2012 7:53:13 PM , Rating: 2
It's mainly the allure of the flat panel form factor.

But even with picture quality, there are ANSI contrast problems of rear projection due to reflection inside the cabinet of the bright sections. DLP was always the best of rear projections for this, but I've only seen ~400:1 ANSI constrast measured, with ultra high contrast numbers only happening with a black screen. That really take a lot of punch out of the picture compared to 1000:1 contrast LCDs and much better still from plasmas.

Of course, none of this would matter if priced didn't drop for flat panels. It blows my mind that we can create a 60" panel with 6 million subpixels (i.e. filled with ~200 micron features) at a cost that can compete in price with a hollow plastic cabinet using a 1" DLP imaging chip. I saw 60" LCDs going for $700 on Black Friday. That's insane!

To put that in perspective, if the the TV lasts 5 years, it would take only 1% of a minimum wage salary to finance a 60" flat-panel.

RE: Poor example....
By TakinYourPoints on 12/3/2012 9:50:30 PM , Rating: 2
Being able to hang other types of displays have nothing to do with anything. Rear projection DLPs have inferior color accuracy, contrast, rendering of motion, and viewing angles to a plasma, and these are problems that will never be addressed.

RE: Poor example....
By Ghost42 on 12/3/2012 3:19:44 PM , Rating: 2
I know what you mean.. The 82" 3D DLP is $1600 & 92" 3D DLP is only $2800, I've been thinking about one as a replacement for our old 56" JVC RP. I've just never had that much free cash to jump on it. Hopefully I'll be able to by the time their gone.

RE: Poor example....
By Assimilator87 on 12/4/2012 2:41:02 PM , Rating: 2
Oh gawd, no more Laservue =(

RE: Poor example....
By CarbonJoe on 12/5/2012 11:26:55 AM , Rating: 2
I totally agree. I got my L75-A94 in July. Stunning picture quality. Also, a 75" TV that only consumes 85 watts.

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