Sony Takes Rear Projection HDTV to the Dump
Sony will close its last rear-projector manufacturing plant next February. Affordable flat panel technologies and OLED has officially killed Sony’s interest in rear projectors.
That may explain the delays in getting your hands on the latest in Sony’s SXRD line.
Having already dumped plasma, Sony can now focus exclusively on flat panel LCD and OLED technologies. Now that prices of larger LCD panels have been dropping, most consumers probably won’t want a rear projector anyway.
The best advice to new HDTV buyers: If you’re looking at a rear projector, you might want to consider an extended warranty.
I can tell you first hand there is no love lost when I traded in my own Sony Wega rear projector for a Panasonic plasma HDTV. The idea of buying replacement lamps every couple of years just doesn’t sit well.
But it’s not just replacement lamps - Lenses, moving parts, fan noise, compromised viewing angle, thickness and weight can all be added to the list of rear projector’s shortcomings. According to Consumer Reports they’re the most serviced HDTV technology in its first five years.
Can Anyone Blame Sony for Wanting Out of that Market?
Sony seems to want to focus on fewer display types and that’s probably a good move from a research and development perspective. The company is now free to focus solely on LCD and OLED flat panels.
Sony is investing heavily in OLED technology. The next-generation display technology will be flatter, lighter and consume even less energy than LCD panels. With a 3mm thick, 11-inch widescreen OLED monitor already out, Sony wants to be first to make the new technology for the mainstream. They certainly have the money and industry clout to make it happen.
Get ready for competition to heat up in 2008 as Samsung and LG have both announced plans to jump into OLED next year.