Mitsubishi’s Bright New Idea
Mitsubishi Electric Corporation is well known for their HDTV rear projection sets. Chances are that you have seen those models that utterly dominate large living rooms, and look similar to big square-like boxes that, if hollowed out, could accommodate a family of rottweilers. Those large monsters, in which the picture quality never looked very good from an angle, will soon be relegated to museums, because rear projectors are getting thinner at a fast clip. Now, Mitsubishi is pioneering a new way to approach the rear projection HDTV—they are using Lasers! With this new idea from Mitsubishi, a RPTV (Rear Projection Television) is transformed because a Laser replaces the usual mercury lamp in the rear of the set. The model is still considered a DLP (Digital Light Projection) but the light comes from red, green and blue Lasers! LASER, which stands for light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation is a technology discovered in the late fifties and is already used in CD players and printers. Albert Einstein knew about the amazing things that photons could do when stimulated in the right ways.
The pure, coherent light provided by the Laser is expected to nearly double the colors available with today’s best LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) High Definition television sets! The picture quality will be enhanced over any existing rear projector. In addition, this new idea will not a require a color wheel because the Laser can be turned off and on quickly enough to provide for changes in color for the display. Mitsubishi expects these new Laser sets to be just over 25 centimeters deep (around 10 inches). Therefore, they will be able to compete in slimness of design with some plasma and LCD models. It may be around two years before this technology is available to the consumer, but it will make quite a splash when it hits the market.
The President of Mitsubishi said recently, “We want to release the product on the market in two years by creating a mass-production line capable of being run on a commercial basis.” The staggering fact is that Laser technology is fully capable of producing a better picture than either Plasma or LCD. Of course, improvements in those technologies should not be underestimated, but the race is on. Just like during the Internet bubble, there are a number of competing technologies, and it is too early to discern whether DLP will beat LCD, or Laser will reign over Plasma. Stay tuned to see the outcomes, for there is no known oracle that will spoil the ending for us and it is getting more interesting all the time. While some consumer goods such as CD players and laser printers have made use of the laser, this would be the first commercial production of Laser light powering a HDTV display.
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