Well, this is interesting timing, just as I had posted my top selections for DLP TVs for the 2012 Christmas and Winter holiday shopping season, it seems that Mitsubishi has announced that it is discontinuing their entire DLP rear-projection TV line-up.
This means once current inventory that have already rolled off the assembly line, in the distribution pipeline, and on store shelves, DLP TVs will no longer be available to consumers, except through 3rd parties and the secondary market.
Although Mitsubishi hasn't had any competition in the DLP TV category after all other TV makers dropped their product lines (Samsung was the most recent to drop out in 2009), with the market dominated by LCD and Plasma, and with OLED waiting in the wings, the consumer demand for the DLP TV alternative has simply dried up.
However, it is also ironic that in mid-2011, as a result of weak market share in LCD TVs, Mitsubishi actually dropped out of that product category in order to put more emphasis into is DLP TV line, and even announced new entries as recently as May 2012.
From my perspective, this is kind of sad, as DLP TVs provide consumers with much lower prices than equivalent large-sized LCD or Plasma TVs. For example, a 92-inch Mitsubishi WD-92742 DLP TV is priced at about $5,000 (compare prices), while the currently available largest LCD TV, the Sharp 90-inch LC-90LE745U, has a list price of $10,999.
In fact, the 73-inch WD-73C12 DLP set has been selling this holiday season for about $999.99 (compare prices). The least expensive LCD TV that is available closest to this screen size, the 70-inch Vizio E701i-A3, is twice as expensive (compare prices).
Also, in addition to standard DLP, Mitsubishi also made an innovative variation on the DLP TV, the LaserVue, which combines energy efficient and color enhancing laser light source technology with DLP.
Rear Projection TVs were once the driving force for getting consumers to embrace home theater, but with so many other options available, including the more competitive pricing of standalone video projectors, as well as consumer preference for LCD and Plasma TVs, there is no longer room for rear projection TV.
However, Mitsubishi isn't out of the home theater game, as they have an extensive line of video projectors that utilize both DLP and LCD technologies. Freeing up the resources that were devoted to DLP TVs, they can put more energy into other product areas in both the consumer and professional arena.
My suggestion, if you want want a really big screen TV for a very little price, getting one the remaining DLP TVs on the market may not be such a bad idea, as Mitsubishi will continue to perform follow-up support for current owners.
As of the posting date of this blog entry, Mitsubishi has not issued a formal announcement on its TV website, but the now- former DLP TV maker has sent a confirming letter to its authorized dealers and service centers. For more details on what is known so far, read the reports from CE Pro and TWICE.