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Mitsubishi Reveals 2008 Digital TV Lineup

Jul 2, 2008 12:00 PM, By Rebecca Day

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Mitsubishi LaserVue

The contest to reshape the digital TV continues. Mitsubishi has unveiled its 2008 TV lineup, including three statement categories: its long-awaited LaserVue TV, a new 3D TV/PC solution, and an integrated sound system for LCD TVs.

Scheduled for delivery to Mitsubishi Diamond dealers in the third quarter, the 65in. LaserVue redefines the color red for TV viewing. At a product preview in New York, company officials showed off the 65in. TV, which is based on a DLP engine, pitting it against a Sharp 65in. LCD and a Pioneer 60in. Kuro plasma model. The stunning red reproduction made the LCD and plasma models pale to orange by comparison. The company says LaserVue produces 200 percent of the color gamut. Although Mitsubishi execs touted contrast, brightness and sharpness as well, the competing flatpanel displays appeared a bit sharper than the LaserVue during our demo.

Availability for LaserVue is third quarter with a 73in. to follow at an undisclosed time. Pricing was not announced. David Naranjo, director of product development in Mitsubishi’s marketing group, gave the price range a wide berth. List price for the LaserVue 65in. will fall between Mitsubishi’s 65in. DLP ($2,199) and the Pioneer Kuro ($6,999).

Mitsubishi also touted the energy efficiency of the LaserVue TV—less than 200W versus 600W to 700W for a comparably sized plasma display. It weighs in below 150lbs. compared with a comparably sized flatpanel TV at 300lbs. to 400lbs. Naranjo says the laser technology is “very scalable” both up and down and is expected to expand to smaller and larger TVs. The company is looking at incorporating the LaserVue brand in its flatpanel and front-projector lines, Naranjo says.

LaserVue is also 3D-ready, which could pay a big role if 3D gains the ground some believe it will. Mitsubishi is doing its part to make that happen. The company has joined forces with Aspen Media Products to provide a complete 3D solution for PC gamers. Aspen’s Media Center PC packs Nvidia’s GeForce FX Go series of graphics chips for 3D processing, turning even standard PC games into 3D. According to John Oliver, CEO for Aspen, the Aspen/Nvidia combo system converts 350 PC game titles to 3D. As more dedicated 3D content becomes available, he says, consumers will gain a step-up 3D experience that adds another level of realism.

The companies demoed a 60in. DLP with Aspen’s 2.4-GHz dualcore Media Center with 1.5TB hard drive. The TV/PC combo will begin retail test runs in Dallas and southern California next month and are due in stores nationwide in August. The combined package will retail for under $4,000, including 3D glasses.

Hoping to capitalize on the thin bezels and thin sound of LCD TV, Mitsubishi has turned to 1 Ltd.—the company that provides the algorithm for Yamaha’s Digital Sound Projector—for a surround-sound loudspeaker algorithm. The 16-loudspeaker array fits tight into a thin enclosure integrated beneath the screen into the cabinet of the TV. The drivers generate sound beams to broaden the listening spot and give a fuller overall sound than traditional TV loudspeakers. The sound projector, available this month, will be part of the LT-46149 ($3,299) and LT-52149 ($3,699) LCD TVs.

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