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CRTs to take backseat in rear-projection TVs

Emerging "microdisplay" technologies are gaining on traditional cathode-ray tube technology in rear-projection televisions, according to a report Monday from research firm iSuppli. The firm predicted that unit shipments of microdisplay-based rear-projection televisions will exceed those using CRT technology by 2006. Liquid crystal on silicon and Texas Instruments' Digital Light Processing are microdisplay technologies, said iSuppli analyst Riddhi Patel. Some microdisplay units also use liquid crystal display technology, according to iSuppli.

Rear-projection televisions are large-screen units often found in home theater systems. Last year, about 5 million rear-projection televisions were sold worldwide, the vast majority of them CRT-based, iSuppli said. Sales of microdisplay-based rear-projection televisions are expected to rise to 3.3 million units by 2006, compared with 2.9 million sets that use CRT technology, according to iSuppli.