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Panasonic's RPTV LIFI bulb lasts so long, it might never need changing

Ben Drawbaugh

As much as we love the value of rear projections TVs they are not without their issues, most notably is the eventual replacement of the bulb. While some manufactures are using LEDs to solve this problem, these can be more expensive so Panasonic has taken another approach in an attempt to keep costs down. They are using converted HID (High Intensity Discharge) lamps to create a new light engine that they are calling LIFI. They are claiming that this lamp lasts so long you may never need to change it. The brightness will never fade and has a very wide spectrum of light which helps the set produce a wide range of colors. The other great thing about LIFI is the boot times are greatly reduced because the bulb size is considerably smaller, they are claiming it display an image about 6 times faster. LIFI TVs will be available in 50", 56" and 61" sizes, all are available in your choice of 720p or the latest craze 1080p and 3,000:1 contrast ratio. There aren't any prices yet, but look for them in the 2nd quarter of 2007.

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