Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Displays Television Hardware

Mitsubishi Drops Bulky DLP TVs: End of an Era 95

Posted by timothy
from the like-a-slightly-warm-rock dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Mitsubishi was the last hold-out in the big-screen rear-projection display business after Samsung left the category in 2009. Now Mitsubishi has dropped the dinosaur. Every big-brand CE manufacturer got their start in the big-TV business via rear projection sets from CRT to DLP to LCoS, eventually replacing them with modern-day flat screens. Mitsubishi did develop LCD flat-screens for a time, but dropped out of that market to focus on rear DLPs after Samsung gave it a monopoly. The author, a CE editor, takes a nostalgic and amusing look at her 15 years with three Mitsu rear pros, the only big-screen TV she's known."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Mitsubishi Drops Bulky DLP TVs: End of an Era

Comments Filter:
  • by matty619 (630957) on Saturday December 01, 2012 @06:24PM (#42157099)

    I don't think I ever fully realized how long ago 2001 was until I just saw that picture in the slide show of a giant hulking DLP TV "featured" at CES.

  • by lemur3 (997863)

    hey! editors.. why not make some sense of these summaries..

    • by Trepidity (597)

      I think it means "consumer electronics", but I agree it's an odd place for an acronym.

  • DLP and all other rear projection televisions are a constant source of problems for purchasers, who are often confused and talked into buying things that they don't want by unscrupulous salespeople looking to make a quick buck. The Mitsubishi televisions specifically have had numerous issues with their circuit boards, on top of the short life of their expensive bulbs. I'm sure nobody will miss these DLP units.
    • by matty619 (630957)

      The author of the article mentions that they never had to change a bulb for the entire 10 year or so tenure of their first DLP...but maybe quality went down.

      • by Trepidity (597)

        Consumer Reports did a test in the mid-2000s and found about 5000 hours per bulb on average. How long that is depends on how many hours a day you keep the TV on...

        • by zwede (1478355)

          Consumer Reports did a test in the mid-2000s and found about 5000 hours per bulb on average. How long that is depends on how many hours a day you keep the TV on...

          Guess I got lucky. My Samsung DLP (HLN series) is from 2004. 11,000 hours on the original bulb and still works fine. Haven't had a single problem with this TV.

      • by guruevi (827432)

        There is a light bulb somewhere in a fire station that has been on for over a hundred years. The thing is, projectors' light bulbs (which is what this is) have a life span of ~2000 hours. Nothing you can do about it or you should get a set of LED's as a light source (which brings it's own issues in manufacturing and image quality).

    • > on top of the short life of their expensive bulbs

      WTF are you talking about? I have a Mitsubishi WD-62627 (62", bought in early 2008). It's still on its original bulb, but I finally bought a spare 2 months ago just so I wouldn't have to wait for a replacement when the day finally came. I paid about $40, and got it from Amazon.

      Putting it in perspective, my "fragile and expensive bulb" with allegedly-short life has lasted about twice as long as roughly 1/3 of the LCD TVs my friends and family members have

      • by toddestan (632714)

        Most of the LCD TVs sold in America are total and complete garbage, made with parts that die and fail within 2-3 years, and can't be meaningfully repaired because everything in them is proprietary, specific to one or two models, and probably costs more as a replacement part than an entire comparable new TV.

        Actually, I've had pretty good luck repairing LCD TVs. More often than not it's a bad capacitor. Usually the hardest part is getting the things apart without marring the case too much as most are clearl

    • The first Air-Traffic Control Tower simulator I helped build used 9 73" Mitsubishi rear-projection DLPs. They weren't our first choice, but we didn't get the funding we asked for so it was either settle or get nothing.
      They were awful for our purposes, except in one key factor: price. The image quality was bad: fuzzy, low contrast, inconsistent colors between displays. Their mirrors were fragile! I think we lost two displays to broken mirrors eventually. They were also prone to bending, and not well calibrat

      • by tibit (1762298)

        It'd have been cheaper to put up a cylindrical screen and point a couple projectors at it. You can get a heck of a bright system for the cost of those LCD panels...

        • Projection systems require space for throw-distance, or expensive first-surface mirrors. That adds cost. And they're a maintenance nightmare. Plus the cost of a good screen. Good, bright projectors are also usually in the $20k-$50k range.

          Really, projectors weren't an option. There is literally only one inch of clearance between the wall and two of the screens in the room we built the first system in. We had to build something that fit in the space we had been provided.

          At the end of the day, we got nine "acc

  • Why make rear projection TVs when you can just omit all the bulky injection molded plastics and just manufacture HD DLP Projectors! :D

    • by thegarbz (1787294)

      The market for putting a box in the corner of the room is far larger than the market for people who build a dark projection room or people who can tolerate a contrast ratio in the double digits.

      Rear projection TVs never had a perfect diffuser. If you sat in front of them they were far brighter than any normal projector would ever be. You could actually watch them during the day while direct sunlight was shining on the TV. There's a hell of a lot of houses where a projector would be absolutely useless during

      • by swalve (1980968)
        I have an old Sony CRT rear projector. Off axis viewing was greatly improved by removing the shiny smoked plastic front layer in the diffuser.

        And I think the thing about DLP front projectors is that you can shove a lot more light through them than you can LCD projectors, or the old CRT projectors.
        • by rtb61 (674572)

          The old CRT RPTV can still produce the best picture in terms of colour and motion blur as long as they are calibrated properly. The idea of removing the protective screen is basically, everything has a life and if you damage the screen, meh, it's time for a replacement anyhow. I have a Philips on it's last legs, can't remember how old it is more than five and less than a decade, although it is likely close to the decade mark.

          • by swalve (1980968)
            Yeah, there aren't any kids in my house, so the screen was a no-brainer. As for picture quality, I agree. It is a bitch to get calibrated even close to correct, and you can never get it to pixel-perfect, but the tradeoff is that you can't see a lot of the digital noise in a lot of content. It's much more film-like. I have no complaints. I will be disappointed when it finally gives up and I have to drag it out to the curb. I have a feeling getting something good to replace it will be a challenge.
  • Get on the floor.

  • by XaXXon (202882) <xaxxon@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Saturday December 01, 2012 @06:53PM (#42157313) Homepage

    Many of mitsubishi's TVs had horrible electronics. I knew about a year after I bought my modle 52525 that it wasn't going to last more than about 3. Sure enough, within 3 years it was broken and mitsubishi wasn't being proactive about fixing the bad control boards.

    Why companies need to save a few bucks on capacitors on a $2000 television will never make sense to me.

    • by tftp (111690) on Saturday December 01, 2012 @07:04PM (#42157399) Homepage

      Why companies need to save a few bucks on capacitors on a $2000 television will never make sense to me.

      The manufacturers take cheap components that they use in cheap products and design expensive products with them. Those components, like capacitors, are often purchased in large volume. An engineer sometimes doesn't even have a better part in the database. Often the engineer doesn't even know what part will be purchased for this or that position - as long as they are all similar the buyer will make that decision. When the time comes to buy parts the PHB will always point his finger at a mountain of compatible components that is already in the cage instead of going out, researching and negotiating a new set of prices on a new part - which may have its own problems.

      • by tibit (1762298)

        I don't know who you call a "buyer", but in any sane volume electronics manufacturing company, you'd actually have an engineer do part qualification prior to ordering anything that reaches the customer. I don't know what kind of a dysfunctional company your experience comes from, but man, if you design stuff without having a clue what exact parts will end up in the shipping product, you've got some serious organizational problems. Your production operations director or whatever that position is called shoul

        • by tftp (111690)

          I don't know who you call a "buyer"

          Well, here is an example. [talentvelocity.us]

          you'd actually have an engineer do part qualification prior to ordering anything that reaches the customer

          If the product contains 1,000 components and each can be bought from just three vendors, how many combinations do you need to test, and will the Universe be still habitable by the time you are done?

          The engineer just says "100 pF, 5%, C0G, 0603, 25V, no special RF requirements." The engineer cannot possibly know where this part will com

          • by tibit (1762298)

            Some components are more critical than the others. What you do is have a gold set of parts, and then some substitutes, and you should in fact build it at least with all the substitutes put in all at once. Suppose that for all parts you have up to 3 substitutes. You build 3 different boards, and all three go through all the testing. You don't necessarily have to test all combinations unless you have a good reason to. Everything depends on volume and liability, of course.

            Of course EMC testing doesn't ask for

            • by tftp (111690)

              Everything depends on volume and liability, of course.

              This is a very important factor. It costs me more than $10K to make a production run. There is no way I will be spending this money for an experiment with generic capacitors.

              If you have a bunch of decoupling caps on the board, you'd probably want to run them and the substitutes on a component/network analyzer and make sure their as-shipped performance is in the same ballpark.

              It's not easy to even test a capacitor. You need to build a test fixture

              • by tibit (1762298)

                Above post should go as a Community FAQ question/answer pair onto electronics stack exchange ;) Well done.

      • A capacitor is a capacitor, yes, there's room for capacitors going off spec, but people here are complaining about TVs that stop working after three years, rather than a few days - if the problem was "cheap capacitors" (ie a serious quality control problem at the plant leading to significantly off-spec capacitors) methinks we'd be see complaints about an entirely different issue.

        What this sounds like, to me, is a design flaw that's causing capacitors to get overloaded (or something similar) - it's easy f

        • by tlhIngan (30335)

          A capacitor is a capacitor, yes, there's room for capacitors going off spec, but people here are complaining about TVs that stop working after three years, rather than a few days - if the problem was "cheap capacitors" (ie a serious quality control problem at the plant leading to significantly off-spec capacitors) methinks we'd be see complaints about an entirely different issue.

          What this sounds like, to me, is a design flaw that's causing capacitors to get overloaded (or something similar) - it's easy for

  • Honestly? I think this is a real shame! A month or so ago I took some friends tv shopping. After going through Costco and ogling the tvs we we t to a shop that was selling these Mistu sets, I'd been hoping to show them a good PJ honestly. I was stunned at how good these things looked and the cost of an 83inch unit was incredible compared to the 60 and 70 inch LCD we'd already looked at. They weren't all that thick and I was very surprised at how far to the side I could stand and still get a terrific picture

    • by skids (119237)

      It is a bummer. They are also hands-down the most ghost-free best quality 3D source.

  • There are too many failure prone components. There's a UHP bulb (wear item), high voltage ballast, color wheel (moving part, highly failure prone), optics (heat from bulb causing the infamous samsung shadow problem), DMD chip (intense heat, plus over a million microscopic mirrors that move) and multiple fans (moving parts+dust). Samsung switched to using LEDs to get rid of the color wheel and bulb, but were driving the LEDs too hard causing premature failure. They exited the DLP market soon afterward
  • by rueger (210566) * on Saturday December 01, 2012 @07:03PM (#42157377) Homepage
    I'll stick with my good old analogue television. I just don't like the brittle, compressed pictures on these new "digital" TVs.

    Of course I'm still trying to figure out where to find some of that good, old, warm, analog TV signal to feed it.
  • I'm assuming this means the LaserVue line is dropped as well? [mitsubishi-tv.com] This sucks as I wanted one of those TVs someday... I've seen the picture on these and they are awesome! I thought this would be an alternative to Plasma...

    • Alternative, heck, these are about 3 times better picture!!!!! Over course, they were even more expensive than even Plasma! Maybe pick one up, like the writer of the story is planning, if the prices drop.
  • I bought an LCD projector a few years ago after my trusty old 25" studio monitor died. I considered DLP at the time, but they gave me a headache. Bulb prices quickly went from expensive (over $100) to dirt cheap (less than $40) for my Sony, so I have to think they all came down in price over the years.

    But with more devices wanting HDMI inputs and wanting a bigger 1080p display this year I decided to upgrade to a 50" plasma. Didn't even consider a projector, mostly due to problems with black levels and washo

  • Back before I learned the hard way not to buy Sony, I bought an RPTV. It was fun as the NYC stations were still experimenting with ATSC. Time went on, and a Plasma is now the main TV. We still use the Sony, though, and while it has eaten one projector bulb, it soldiers on....of course, the $2500 it cost back then is now $399.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Texas Instruments would cry now. They are the one supplying the chips for DLP.

"The only way for a reporter to look at a politician is down." -- H.L. Mencken

Working...