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HP ditching DLP TVs for flat-panel sets

HP announces its new TV lineup at CES, and it doesn't include any rear-projection DLP sets.

Is the end near for HP's rear-projection sets?
The end may be near for this DLP set.

HP announced its new lineup of HDTVs for 2007, and the biggest news is probably that its well-received DLP (digital light processing) rear-projection sets aren't being refreshed for the new year. Word is that the company will let stores sell through the DLPs still out there, but that's it. The focus for 2007 will be on flat-panel models. It's strange, considering that the company invested heavily in DLP technology.

Although I suggested in a recent column that the future for rear-projection sets was pretty dim, I think it's a shame HP's rear-projection sets may soon be extinct. I liked their look and the hideaway front-panel inputs. Alas, a good design and good reviews don't always translate into big sales.

As for new flat-panel models, HP's trotting out 9 new HDTVs at CES 2007. Highlights include bigger sizes--the LCD models now come in 42- and 47-inch screens--and 1080p support. Two top-end MediaSmart models feature built-in wireless media streaming along with 1080p support.

One of the two new MediaSmart LCD TVs

HP will also offer a couple of new plasmas: a 42-inch and a 50-inch. The specs say they have a 60,000-hour lifespan and, naturally, a VGA input for PC connectivity along with multiple HDMI ports. In fact, all HP's new sets will feature three HDMI ports. The company still hasn't announced pricing or availability, but here's the complete list:

2007 HP Flat Panel Televisions

  • HP 1080p LC4276N 42-inch LCD TV
  • HP 1080p LC4776N 47-inch LCD TV
  • HP 720p LC3272N 32-inch LCD TV
  • HP 720p LC3772N 37-inch LCD TV
  • HP 720p LC4272N 42-inch LCD TV
  • HP PL4272N 42-inch plasma TV
  • HP PL5072N 50-inch plasma TV

2007 MediaSmart Televisions

  • HP 1080p 42-inch SL4278N MediaSmart LCD TV
  • HP 1080p 47-inch SL4778N MediaSmart LCD TV