One of the knocks against rear projection HDTV is that you have to replace a lamp every few years to maintain the brightness. That problem is being addressed through the use of solid state lighting, using high-brightness LEDs such as the PhlatLight from Luminus Devices. The other major problem is that rear projection HDTVs are too deep, compared with the thinner plasma and LCD models.
Well, that’s less of a factor now. At CEDIA last week, Samsung showed a new 42″ 720p model that was only about 10″ deep. Not only is this thinner than an equivalent plasma or LCD when mounted on a tabletop base, it also weighs about half as much which makes it easier to hang them on the wall. The weight is approaching one pound per inch of diagonal screen size. Samsung also showed a wall-mounted shelf to hold the new HDTV, with room for a DVD player or other device as well.
As a bonus, the HDTV has a very thin bezel: just the thinnest strip around the edge of the screen. The result is a stylish and trim appearance that is far smaller than the plastic or glass frame that surrounds plasma and LCD HDTVs of the same size. And with an advertised price of $1,799, it will cost hundreds less than most plasma or LCD choices.
This is expected to be just the first of many slimline rear projection models, which may help increase their appeal for buyers. The lighter weight, smaller footprint, thinner bezel, and lower cost may lead more buyers to consider rear projection for their HDTV purchase.