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Mitsubishi "Big Screen" TVs Are Going, Going Gone

Nothing lasts forever in the world of consumer electronics. Take, please, rear p rojection TVs, now going down for the count as final product maker Mitsubishi exits the category.

Nothing lasts forever in the world of consumer electronics. Take, please, rear projection TVs , now going down for the count as final product maker Mitsubishi exits the category. .

Mitsubishi  was  long  the  premiere "big screen TV company" in the era  (1970s, '80s and '90) when rear-projection sets were the only way to bring home a self-contained, larger than 35-inch TV. The brand was a special favorite of independent audio/video dealers  like Hi-Fi House, locally, which had the room and staff to properly showcase the TVs in a "living room" or "home theater" setting, then deliver/install the big bruisers  in your house.

But in this  age of increasingly large screened and relatively light weight flat panel televisions,  Mits' bulked-up, 150 pound RPTVs have lost  relevance.  The product category's death seemed inevitable  after last year's holiday season, when Sharp pushed  60-inch flat panel displays out the door for $999, robbing Mits of its last big bargaining chip, a lower price.

Recently,  the company touted higher tech -  a super bright and fast laser light source for the Texas Instruments-spawned DLP (digital light processing)  engine at the heart of the show.  Laser did add sex appeal, brightness   and enhanced durability  to rear projection technology, finally fixing the burning issue of  a high watt bulb which needed to be replaced  after 4,000 viewing hours.  But even Mitsubishi's flagship  75-inch LaserVue is now going-going-gone, along with other 73-, 82- and 92-inch models, said Frank DeMartin, vice president of sales.

Some wacky good sales will help clear out the last of the remaining  inventory. If you've got the rec room space , the 92-inch Mits monster of a RPTV  (WD-92842) originally priced at $5,999 is currently  selling for 50 percent off  through regional dealers like Paul's TV, HH Gregg, ABC and Fry's. Some specific  Mitsubishi DLP models  are available "on-line only" from Walmart, Amazon and Best Buy.  The rent-to-buy Aarons chain should be wheeling-dealing, too, with its inventory.