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  • Weighing In on the Digital Projection TV Market

Photonics Spectra
Jan 2006
Anne L. Fischer, Senior Editor

The projection television market is expected to grow rapidly as the price of microdisplay projection models drops in comparison with LCD units, according to a report titled “Future Prospects of Projection TV Market.”

Chris Chinnock, co-author of the report and senior analyst at Insight Media in Norwalk, Conn., said the effect on the photonics market is difficult to anticipate. As the display market grows, photonics companies that provide technology and components to it must assess the trends and see how they can develop products to meet the new needs.


The market for projection televisions is growing rapidly. Microdisplay technology is expected to affect pricing and market share by the type of television.

Cathode-ray tube projection TV technology is maturing, but the prices in North America are not decreasing enough to maintain profitability. Pressure from the microdisplay projection market suggests that the future is dim for the cathode-ray tube in North America. However, the tube sets make up the majority of the large-screen TVs sold in China.

High-temperature polysilicon projection TV manufacturers, all of which are based in Japan, have formed a consortium called the 3LCD Group. The companies aim to establish a competitor to digital light processing technology. They have been able to keep costs down by manufacturing engines in-house, but the TVs’ contrast has been poor. Insight Media expects that contrast will improve with implementation of inorganic alignment technology in 2006, but brightness may be diminished.

Digital light processing technology is well-established in North America and has many manufacturing advantages. It does have a drawback in color breakup, which may be somewhat lessened with new manufacturing methods, according to Insight Media.

Liquid-crystal-on-silicon projection TV has several technical advantages, such as high brightness and a miniaturized panel, but several manufacturers have ceased production after failing to achieve high yields. The report indicates that the problems may be too difficult to surmount and that the costs may be too high to attract new manufacturers.

The report was released in October and is available for $4000. For more information, contact

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