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Mitsubishi LCD and DLP TVs Bring New Muscle to the HDTV Battle

May 21, 2007 12:00 PM


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Mitsubishi is putting its muscle behind LCD and DLP in the battle for HDTV market share. The company unveiled 17 new models for 2007 at its spring line show in New York, including nine LCD models and eight DLP TVs.

Frank DeMartin, VP of marketing at Mitsubishi, says that the company is pushing the envelope on DLP screen sizes this year in an effort to maintain its specialty position. “Last year we said 65 was the new 50in.,” he says. “This year 73 is the new 65.” Noting the commoditization of smaller screen sizes—underscored by Wal-Mart’s addition this week of TV lines from Vizio, Philips, and Polaroid and an expansion of its Samsung lineup into larger screen sizes—Mitsubishi hopes to stay above the lowball pricing frenzy of the mainstream market.

While other manufacturers have sounded the death knell for DLP, Mitsubishi remains bullish on the Texas Instruments technology. “There’s still business to be done in DLP microdisplay,” he says. DeMartin also says that dealers who are abandoning the category are “walking away from revenues and profits.” Citing Mitsubishi statistics—based on data from dealers, analysts, and suppliers—he predicted 28-percent growth in sales of 60in.-and-over DLP TVs industry wide this year.

Mitsubishi is building its DLP lineup around its new 1in. Thin Frame design, which is created to achieve a maximum picture inside a minimum frame. In addition, 2007 DLP TV cabinets are 20-percent thinner than previous models. DeMartin downplayed the importance of super-thin TV depths citing data indicating that only 20-percent of flatscreen customers actually mount a TV to the wall.

On the technology side, all nine DLP models boast 1080p resolution. In addition, Mitsubishi’s x.v.Color promises an 80-percent wider color palette than conventional HDTV, and the sets also support Deep Color via HDMI 1.3 inputs. Connections include three HDMI 1.3 jacks, two rear component video inputs, and a front component input. The inputs are SimplayHD-certified. A USB input for photo viewing completes the jack array.

Measuring 57in., 65in., and 73in., the DLPs all pack Mitsubishi’s 6-Color Light Engine, which generates yellow, cyan, and magenta directly rather than by combining red, green, and blue. The results are said to be brighter colors and purer whites. Game FX functionality promises a 3D-like gaming experience without the eyestrain caused by flatpanel TV.

Prices of the DLPs range from $2,999 for the 57in. model in the starter series to $5,999 for the 73in. flagship product in the Diamond Series. The models will ship between June and August.

The LCD lineup includes all 1080p models in 40in., 46in., and 52in. screen sizes. The LCD line includes many of the features of the DLP sets including x.v.Color and Thin Frame which the company says is roughly half the width of most LCD frames. Other features include three rear-panel HDMI 1.3 inputs and support for consumer device control, which promises that compatible devices connected via HDMI 1.3 will detect each other and simplify operation.

Additional LCD features include CableCard, the 24-hour TV Guide On Screen, and Smooth120Hz, which is said to deliver fluid images in motion sequences.

Suggested retail prices of the LCD TVs range from $2,699 for the entry-level 40in. LCD panel to $5,699 for the premiere Diamond Series 52in. TV. Products will ship between July and September.



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