Report: Rear-projection's 60-inch niche

A new report says that rear-projection HDTVs now serve a niche market of people who want 60-inch or larger televisions.

Rear-projection is only popular in really big screen sizes. CNET

A press release describing a new report (PDF) says that rear-projection HDTVs, including DLP-based microdisplays, now serve only a niche market of people who want 60-inch or larger televisions. The report by Quixel research shows that in the second quarter of this year, the 60-inch and larger screen sizes accounted for 86 percent of sales of all rear-projection HDTVs; up from 32 percent in 2007. The firm's spokesman says that the reason has to do value. "The market has changed and there is no value for 42-inch, 46-inch, and 50-inch MD RPTVs, but there is great value in the screen sizes above 60 inch," said Tamaryn Pratt, Quixel Research principal.

At CNET reviews we've noted a similar trend. This year, out of 40 HDTVs reviewed to date, we've reviewed only two rear-projection HDTVs, the Samsung HL61A750 and the Mitsubishi WD-65735, both larger than 60 inches and both cited for value in their reviews. We only expect to review one more, Mitsubishi's ballyhooed laser TV , before year's end. Reader interest seems to be waning considerably for non-flat-panel televisions; I receive very few e-mails from people who want an RPTV reviewed compared with those clamoring for another plasma or LCD. I wouldn't call RPTV "dead" just yet, but it's more of an endangered species than ever. I'll put it this way: I don't expect to review more than a couple of these bulky behemoths in 2009.

What do you think? Do love your RPTV? If you're a big-screen shopper, is the price of a 58-inch plasma worth it, or is it projection all the way?


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