RPTV fit club

JVC announces a pair of slim rear-projection HDTVs designed to hang on the wall.


JVC, purveyor of LCoS-based rear-projection HDTVs such as the well-performing HD-56FN97, today announced a pair of superslim models designed to "easily fit on most stands and furniture designed for flat-panel TVs" according to the press release. The 58-inch HD-58S998 (January, $3,300 selling price) and the 65-inch HD-65S998 (March, $4,200) occupy a mere 10.7 inches and 11.6 inches of depth respectively. The company is marketing a stand (pictured, right) and a wall-mount bracket that allows these TVs to hang over the fireplace, plasma-style.

Given the fact that a comparably sized plasma, such as Panasonic's 58-inch TH-58PX60U, currently goes for about $3,300 itself, we expect JVC's "selling price" for the 58-inch model to erode pretty quickly. The price gap between 65-inch HDTVs is quite a bit wider however--Panasonic's 65-inch TH-65PX600U costs about $8,000--so the 65-inch slim JVC should be a more popular alternative in the rarified "hangable big-screen" product category. It's also worth noting that some previous attempts at superslim, wall-mountable, rear-projection HDTVs, such as RCA's HD61THW263, compromised picture quality to a certain extent. If JVC's sets do not, and their prices fall enough to remain competitive with plasmas, they may help stave off the inevitable death of rear-projection HDTVs.

JVC also announced an "affordable" 1080p LCoS projector, the DLA-HD1 (February, $6,300), which joins the ranks of other somewhat less-expensive-than-before 1080p projectors like Sony's Pearl, Mitsubishi's HC5000BL, and Panasonic's PT-AE1000U. JVC's spec sheet trumps all of those models with a 15,000:1 contrast ratio, which the company claims is the "industry's highest without the use of an iris." We haven't tested any of JVC's LCoS front-projectors yet, since they typically have even higher price tags, but this one definitely looks interesting. There should be at least a few more 1080p projector announcements at CES in January.

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