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Will Rear-Projection be obsolete in 15 years?

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#1 of 17 OFFLINE   Richard Paul

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Posted May 12 2003 - 05:43 PM

Since the price of flat panel screens continue to decrease and their size is going up to 60" I could see Rear-Projection being a dead technology in 10 years. Anything bigger than 60" you would buy a Front-Projector while anything smaller would be a flat panel like LCD or Plasma. It seems quite plausible that the Rear-Projector's of today could become obsolete considering their size and weight. They may be the best bargain for HDTV today or even in 5 years but 10 years down the road things may be bleak in the Rear-Projection market. I'm guessing that in 10 years that over 90% of the market will be flat panel and Front-Projection. In 15 years Rear-Projectors will be obsolete though still in use. What do you think the fate of Rear-Projection will be in the future, or in other words how long does it have Posted Image?

#2 of 17 OFFLINE   Jason GT

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Posted May 12 2003 - 06:19 PM

How long does RP have?

Long enough that if you bought one today, you wouldn't feel bad about it Posted Image.

IMO FP will always be a niche product - there are far too many compromises and inconveniences (even more than RPTV) that the vast majority of the population cannot, or will not, put up with.

#3 of 17 OFFLINE   Richard Paul

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Posted May 12 2003 - 07:49 PM

I'm not saying that a Rear-Projection would be a bad buy even 5 years from now so much as saying that it is bound for obsolescence. Also calling Front-Projection a niche product may be accurate but I believe it will be far more prevalent in the future than it currently is in large part because of the advent of digital projectors.

#4 of 17 OFFLINE   DonRoeber



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Posted May 13 2003 - 01:22 AM

The television in it's current form (a box that you stare at) has been around for what, 50+ years? People don't like change. The technologies behind television sets may change, but I don't forsee the majority of the television owning population switching to front projection.
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#5 of 17 OFFLINE   JeffLl



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Posted May 13 2003 - 01:31 AM

I think it's interesting to think about the future of technology so I appreciate this thread. I think that along a long enough timeline, all current technology will be obselete if you think about it. It's just a matter of time. Will RPTV be gone one day? Absolutely. But how soon... I like RP but that's just me( well me and lots of people)

#6 of 17 OFFLINE   Jan Strnad

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Posted May 13 2003 - 03:40 AM

Well, if you mean "obsolete" in the sense of "there aren't any," I think it'll be around for awhile yet. If you mean "obsolete" in the sense of "there are comparably-priced and more attractive alternatives," I think the lifespan is much less. Jan
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#7 of 17 OFFLINE   Neil Joseph

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Posted May 13 2003 - 04:31 AM

I do not feel that FPTV will always be a niche product. In fact, I forsee it being used in more ways than it is used today. Eventually, you will see halographic displays that are FPTV-based. As for RPTV's yes, due to ergonomics it will probably diminish but will take many many years to do so.
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#8 of 17 OFFLINE   Daniel Becker

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Posted May 13 2003 - 06:14 AM

In 5 years Plasma screens will have all but taken over the RPTV market. They will in effect be obsolete and the prices will be very competetive by that time as well. I certainly expect to buy one in about 5 years. Dan.B

#9 of 17 OFFLINE   Jason GT

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Posted May 13 2003 - 08:06 AM

Well, here are my reasons for FP being a constant niche:

1. convenience
2. convenience
3. convenience Posted Image

Remember that people on HTF aren't "normal" per se. Posted Image

There is a market for FP for sure, but there are too many inconveniences for FP to really take over (well, the holographic stuff is, IMO, so far into the future I won't really comment on that).

Convenience Posted Image - your average consumer will not want to spend an extra $500 - 1000 just to get sound (receiver, speakers), and won't want to mess around with equipment selection or, god forbid, actually hook it up (look at the target market for HTiB). This is probably the biggest factor.

light control -- from what I understand, there ARE many projectors which don't require much light control but they're expensive.

space - though people who own FP systems would know better than I do, but it seems that most people who have FP have dedicated rooms. It's not something you can easily stuff into an apartment.

I think FP is a wonderful idea and a wonderful concept but at the same time, its inherent limitations will keep it on the fringe. There is not much cooler than watching movies on the big screen, but there are simply some major compromisies which I feel that most people will not be willing to make.

For better or for worse, flat panel displays are more "livable", and assuming that the costs can be brought down, will probably be the future.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it. Posted Image

#10 of 17 OFFLINE   Richard Paul

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Posted May 13 2003 - 11:11 AM

By that logic people don't like HDTV or color TV Posted Image. People actually do like change in technology when it's for the better or DVD would never have taken off. No one would say that because a flat panel display is smaller or lighter that it is worse than a CRT. Personally I like LCD better than Plasma because it's burn proof while most people have told me Plasma's burn in faster than RPTV's. I've heard they are working on it and if they find a way to prevent(or severely reduce) burn in on Plasma I would see no problem with it though.

Also I have nothing against RPTV's except for the fact that they will soon be looking like dinosaurs compared to the flat panels in local electronic stores. In terms of quality a HDTV rear projection CRT offers the best value today but that doesn't change the fact it weighs 200+ pounds, is bigger than a refrigerator, and burn's in faster than a direct view TV. All present television technologies have both strengths and weaknesses and LCD's though small, lightweight, and burn-proof have poor contrast and a high price. What I'm saying though is LCD, Plasma, and organic LCD will eventually either reduce or eliminate their weaknesses which will cause the obsolescence of RPTV's.

#11 of 17 OFFLINE   David Lorenzo

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Posted May 13 2003 - 12:25 PM

DLP RPTVs don't have many of the drawbacks of CRT based RPs. They are light (about the same as an equally sized plasma), have no chance of burn in, are relatively small in size, and will potentially last a very long time (just have to replace the bulb. I see DLP based RPs being very big. Imagine a set with 1920x1080 resoution, very high copntrast ratio, and 3 chips to prevent rainbow effects. It will happen eventually. Also, the price on these will come way down in time. So I think CRT based sets of all kinds are on their way out, but not digital based ones.

#12 of 17 OFFLINE   LaMarcus



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Posted May 15 2003 - 10:37 PM

I agree that rptv (crt based) are on their way out. Today if I had been a member here before I bought my rptv, I would have bought a FP. But for regular tv watching if I had a choice between a 60" flat panel tv vs. a 65" rptv you better believe I'd have the flat panel!

#13 of 17 OFFLINE   Dan Kolacz

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Posted May 16 2003 - 06:25 AM

Gosh I hope so!!! I imagine by then, we well all have LCD or Plamsa technology that can be auto calibrated to D6500K with the touch of a button. Convergenge/Geometry issues as well as ISF'ers will be a thing of the past.

#14 of 17 OFFLINE   Richard Paul

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Posted May 16 2003 - 10:07 AM

Received my Widescreen Review magazine yesterday and was quite surprised that in a "Video Forecasts" article they predict the end of Direct-View and Rear Projection. Many of the display technologies they talk about could become mainstream, but some like the Field Emission Display (FED) will most likely never exit the laboratory. A FED requires miniature CRTs for every RGB color which means for 1080p you would need about 6.2 million of them. Also they don't discuss a major disadvantage of OLEDs being that unlike LCDs they can burn in (at least thats what I've heard). Though a great article it would have been nice to have a chart to see the various attributes of each technology.

#15 of 17 OFFLINE   David Lorenzo

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Posted May 16 2003 - 10:51 AM

I disagree about FED. Toshiba has stated that their version of FED will be in production by Q1/2004. Samples have already been demonstrated and the process is already relatively cheap for manufacturers. So what that you would need 6.2 million emitters, in a DLP chip you need millions of tiny mirrors flucuating thousands of time a second. FED actually sounds simpler than DLP or plasmas, both of which seem to be doing fine.

#16 of 17 OFFLINE   sean_pecor


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Posted May 17 2003 - 06:51 AM

Here are the predictions of an entirely unqualified, yet highly opinionated, home theater enthusiast:

Direct-view CRT or rear projection CRT TV: In five years, I think production in western countries will have stopped almost entirely. With the coming transition to HDTV, there are billions of aging analog TVs being thrown out and the environmental impact is going to be huge. Between 4 and 8 pounds of lead and toxic heavy metals in every single TV will have to be dealt with somehow! Scientists, environmental lobbyists and naturalists will be hopping mad about this. Rest assured that this will be a very popular news topic in 2006. I suspect that 2-3 years after 2006, manufacturers will be scared shitless about future environmental lawsuits, and will stop manufacturing cathode ray tubes of any type.

Front-projection: These will remain a toy for the enthusiast or business professional. Lamp life will always be an issue. Installation is an issue. Furthermore, most people don't want or need an 80" screen. Yes, you love them, and I love them, but will Thelma in Oklahoma, or Harriet in Vermont want one? Probably not.

Flat panel: Of course, these will be the darling of the consumer TV industry. But will the dominant technology be Plasma or LCD? It's hard to say. Personally, I am rooting for LCD. The 15.1" LCD on my desktop notebook computer (used for browser testing on Windows, since I am a Linux user) has been running virtually non-stop (and I mean non-stop, I NEVER turn it off) since 1999. The image quality is as good as the day it first booted up over 4 years ago. On the other hand, I've seen plenty of burnt-in Plasmas in person and on TV (where you can often see newsroom plasmas with burnt-in network logos on the lower right corner Posted Image).

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#17 of 17 OFFLINE   Craig S

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Posted May 18 2003 - 07:33 PM

I don't think it's a matter of IF flat-panels will make CRTs obsolete, but when. How long will it take those astronomical prices (for the average consumer) to come down?

I bought my 57" Sony RPTV last year for about $2100. A comparible sized plasma set would run me about 10 grand. A comparible sized LCD set is about 5 grand. That's a big difference, and it says to me if the prices fall on the same slope LCD is poised to be the winner. I can see that $5000 LCD set falling to the sub-$3000 level in a couple of years, at which point I'd be tempted to grab one and sell my RPTV while it still has some value.

Of course, by then I hope to be in a new house with a dedicated HT room, and in that case FP would be the way to go. Posted Image
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