It's time for someone over at IDC to pop the champagne, as its 2007 projection about the end of rear-projection TVs turned out to be only a year off, now that the last company still making them has announced it's getting out of the game. As first reported by CE Pro, Mitsubishi is finally ceding to competition from flat-panels which have grown to equally ridiculous size, and cut prices so sharply that it "can no longer sustain our business in its current form." The company's official statement is after the break, confirming that its DLP and LaserVue models are no more however "existing customer relations and parts and services departments will remain in place along with existing authorized service centers" which should be good news for current owners. There's an in-depth retrospective of the technology at the source link, looking back to Samsung's exit that left Mitsubishi alone in the segment three years ago, long after others like Sony and Hitachi fled for thinner-framed climates.
Mitsubishi also made a go of it in flat-panels, but ditched those efforts last year and will now focus on the professional market and home-theater projectors here in the US. In recent years the tech has improved with thinner models, integrated soundbars and even larger screens available. The slowing economy may have extended RPTV's lease on life with a size bang for buck that's tough to beat, but ultimately customers opted for bright flashy flat-panel HDTVs that offer easier wall-mounting options while seeming to get bigger, lighter and cheaper every year. We're sure there are more than a few super-sized rear-projection TVs that will continue to bring the big game to basements and dens everywhere, feel free to celebrate an old friend in the comments below.
"This decision has been an extremely difficult one as it deeply impacts our loyal employee, customers, dealers and vendors. But the introduction of our competitors larger flat panel products and, more important, the severe price competition across the industry, has made it increasingly difficult to remain profitable. We can no longer sustain our business in its current form. Therefore, we'll no longer manufacture and sell our DLP rear projection televisions in the US. We'll focus our US operations exclusively on our professional grade visual solutions products, including projectors, printers, data wall products and display monitors. Our existing customer relations and parts and services departments will remain in place along with existing authorized service centers."