updated 08:40 am EST, Thu December 20, 2007
Sony Exits Rear Projection
Sony is bowing out of the rear-projection TV business, the company has confirmed. The Japanese electronics firm has effectively halted production and will allow stock of both its 3LCD and SXRD sets to run dry over the course of the next few months. The decision is the result of several months of research which showed a clearly waning interest in such units, which are typically less expensive than direct-view LCD or plasma TVs at the same size but are often bulkier and have narrower viewable angles. LCDs are considerably more popular and better justify the company's focus, a Sony spokesman observes.
"We are moving our resources more toward LCD TV, because that's what people really want," he says.
The news come both after NPD-backed research showing that rear-projection sales will nearly halve in 2008 from 3.1 million to 1.6 million TVs and as LCD also promises to overtake plasma due to a combination of lower prices and larger screen sizes that erode most of plasma's early advantage. Reports surfaced just yesterday that Panasonic will drop plasma in favor of LCD despite its previous attachment to the format.
Front projectors based on 3LCD and SXRD will remain unaffected by the shift towards LCDs and will still be available for home theaters and businesses, Sony says.