Will laser TVs be the next big thing?
Frank DeMartin, general manager of Mitsubishi Digital Electronics America, was nice enough to talk a little laser TV with us just before the unveiling of the new laser TV -- we're not exaggerating about the "little" part. While it all sounds fantastic, we were disappointed that he wasn't willing to even begin to satisfy our unlimited thirst for technical details. But he was confident that a laser TV could provide the ultimate in picture quality because "laser has the ability to hit color points that no other technology can." We understand his desire not to spill trade secrets, but any technical information beyond, "it's the best" would've been better than nothing. So while we don't know how the TV works, we do know that the principal makes sense; lasers offer the purest form of light, while at the same time use less power than other light sources. The problem of course is that the competition in the HDTV market is a fast moving target, and with the delays Mitsubishi has been dealing with, we wonder how competitively priced this new technology will be -- though Frank assured us that Mitsubishi's dominance in the red laser market will help . Frank says, "it'll be competitive with flat panel prices," and that's great and all, but price isn't the only factor needed to compete against flat panels, people like thin TVs and the laser TV isn't thin -- it's about as thin as a DLP. But regardless of being the same price, Mitsu thinks the superior picture quality will trump thin because "people want it flat, but they want it large too." Either way, we'll have to wait until some unknown time this year to see if the laser TV can live up to the hype, but with what we know right now, we're not sold just yet.
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