Sony slims 1080p LCD rear-projection TVs

The 2007 Sony line show includes an announcement on LCD-based rear-projection HDTVs with 1080p resolution.

Sony KDF-50E3000
The KDF-50E3000 is a 1080p LCD RPTV. Sony
Sony KDF-37H1000
Sony's slim 37-inch KDF-37H1000 rear-projector Sony

Some of the more notable products announced at the Sony line show today are three rear-projection HDTVs--remember those?--that use LCD technology housed in foot-deep cabinets. Sony has been selling LCD-based RPTVs such as these as its somewhat less-expensive alternative to SXRD-based rear-projectors such as these (more info), but this year there's a new twist: Two of the three LCDs have 1080p native resolution, the highest available today. In other words, just one 2007 Sony RPTV so far, the KDF-37H1000, will have less than 1080p resolution.

The two new 1080p LCDs, the 46-inch KDF-46E3000 and the 50-inch KDF-50E3000, are both due in July. They boast slimmer cabinets than many like-sized RPTVs; the 46-inch model measures 11.9 inches deep, and the 50-inch measures 12.6 inches deep. Aside from 1080p, they include an adjustable Iris, which we've found does help improve black-level performance; the ability to accept 1080p at both 60 and 24 frames per second, the latter of which is said to cut down on judder and flicker when paired with a compatible source (we'll be sure to test that claim); and three component-video along with two HDMI inputs that can also accept PC signals. Sony did not announce pricing, but we assume the 50-inch model will cost less than its 2007 SXRD-based counterpart, the $2,299 KDS-50A2020.

Sony's lone non-1080p rear-projection model is the relatively tiny, 37-inch KDF-37H1000 (May, $1,300), which has a native resolution of 1,280x720 (aka 720p) and a slim cabinet of its own, but exactly how slim was not specified. Sony's press release positions the KDF-37H1000 against CRT-based direct-view televisions, but with numerous 37-inch flat-panel sets, such as Sharp's LC-37D40U , available today for similar prices, we're skeptical that this rear-projection model will achieve popularity.

Sony also announced new flat-panel LCDs and details on its BRAVIA Internet Link product (with which all three of the above sets are compatible), but didn't say much about SXRD-based rear-projection HDTVs.

About the author

Section Editor David Katzmaier has reviewed TVs at CNET since 2002. He is an ISF certified, NIST trained calibrator and developed CNET's TV test procedure himself. Previously David wrote reviews and features for Sound & Vision magazine and eTown.com. He is known to two people on Twitter as "The Cormac McCarthy of consumer electronics."

 

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