Consumer electronics retailers throughout the U.S. were caught off guard by the unexpectedly high demand during the holiday season for a new generation of microprojection rear-projection television receivers, reports the New York Times.
Less bulky than older rear projection models, the new micro sets—most capable of high-definition display—use both LCD (liquid crystal display) and DLP (digital light processing) technology to produce brighter, sharper images than cathode ray tubes. While large conventional rear-projection sets can be as much as three or four feet deep, some digital models are only 12 inches deep and weigh as little as 80 pounds.
As demand for the new sets soared, many manufacturers ran short of inventory because they underestimated the market, the Times reported.
Like the better-known new television technologies built into flat panels, plasma and pure liquid crystal display screens, the microprojection sets, said the Times, are benefiting from the much anticipated but long-delayed arrival of interest in HDTV.
Microprojection sets may be enjoying their unexpected boom in part because of the excitement over flat-screen TVs. According to several retailers, consumers are turning up in showrooms eager for the flat screens—until they see the price. Once they recover from the sticker shock, they are gravitating to the less expensive, widescreen rear-projection sets.