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01-20-2007, 04:26 PM
2355Mitsubishi will demonstrate a 52 inch version of its new laser rear projector technology this Friday. A new type of HDTV was was announced by the Japanese manufacturer last February and now they're ready to show it off. Laser projection TV uses the principal of DLP which uses a chip to reflect light and create images. But instead of using a white-light Mercury lamp as found in existing LCD and DLP rear projectors today laser projection will use three lasers one of each primary video color red, green and blue. Frank DeMartin marketing VP for Mitsubishi says this will provide brighter and deeper colors even compared to what you'll get from film.

Mitsubishi tells the New York Times that lasers not only provide deeper, brighter colors but also provide a greater color range and intensity. The Televisions are to be built into custom cabinets that will take up less space than any rear projector today and the front of the TV will be almost all screen with very little frame surrounding it.

Frank DeMartin Mitsubishi's VP for marketing promises the sets will be lighter than most HDTV's today and will use about a third of the power of rear projectors that use a lamp. The energy savings will be granted us because conventional Mercury white - light lamps must be on at full power while the lasers will switch on and off when required. Lamp replacement will be a thing of the past with laser projectors as well because the lasers are designed to last the lifetime of the set.

Laser displays are nothing new. They've been in use for years in certain lab environments and produce colorful, bright images at resolutions beyond what we've seen in consumer electronics. But past laser television has serious limitations barring it from consideration in the consumer electronics market. These things have been huge energy hogs and way too expensive for the home market plus there is a small matter of the "speckle pattern" effect. Mitsubishi claims to have overcome most of these problems as the laser rear projection sets consume low power consumption and the price should be low enough to compete with plasma. However the New York Times (or Mitsubishi so far) doesn't comment on how they'll deal with the speckle pattern. The speckle pattern is an annoying spot in the picture and a serious flaw in laser projectors that can range from distraction to causing sickness in some viewers. Existing laser projectors have controlled the problem with de-speckling modulation. It will be interesting to find out what Mitsubishi does to control this flaw and if they can really do so well enough or will it remain a persistent problem with laser television.

Mitsubishi projects they'll release laser TV to the public by the end of '07. This will be quite an accomplishment considering most researchers close to laser television development have said the technology was at least two more years away from being a consumer electronics reality. This is truly a breakthrough for Mitsubishi.