Thursday, December 20, 2012

Goodbye Rear Projection TV’s – Your Bulky Presence will be Missed!

Though Mark Twain famously said, “The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated”, the same cannot be said for the giant staple of many a living room and man cave – the big screen rear-projection TV. Since the 1970’s, these giant behemoths were highly sought after for home theaters across America. They were considered status symbols and held a commanding presence in the room that they were placed. Who wouldn’t want to watch the Big Game on their own home Jumbo-tron? 

Now with the popularity of plasma and LCD TV’s, the rear projection television has become a relic of the past. David Katzmeier recently wrote an article for CNET announcing the exit of Mitsubishi from the rear projection TV market. Mitsubishi is the last major manufacturer to stop making rear projection TV’s. This sounded the final death knell for rear projection technology.

The biggest reason that plasma and LCD televisions dominate the market is the simple fact that they can be mounted on the wall. Current rear projection TV’s are also high definition and use the latest technologies to produce picture quality that rivals that of a plasma or LCD screen. Their biggest problem is their size. According to an article on thestar.com, “it does not matter that most buyers never mount their TV on a wall. They want to think they can”.           

Rear-projection technology has been around since 1947, when RCA unveiled the first rear projection television. This technology saw some popularity in the 1950’s when cathode ray tubes had a maximum size of 12 inches. Products like the Philips 1800A could be found in affluent living rooms. Large rear-projection TV’s became available to the masses in the 1970’s and stayed popular through the early 2000’s.   

So fare thee well, rear projection TV’s! We will miss the simulated wood grain paneling of your cabinet and the way that you dominated the rec room. Though we had to find the right viewing height to avoid your “hot spot”, we will miss you as we try to figure out what to do with all of the new floor space.

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