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Mitsubishi unveils new HDTV technology

Mitsubishi has developed a new commercial television technology that uses colored lasers to display images on large, thin, lightweight screens-surpassing images seen on film, the New York Times reported.

The television sets are expected to reach stores sometime late next year.

At the heart of the new television is an existing rear-projection technology called digital light processing. In the past, this technology, developed by Texas Instruments, used white-light mercury lamps as the television's light source.

With laser technology, separate red, green and blue lasers are used in conjunction with an HDTV chip, Frank DeMartin, vice president for marketing and product development at Mitsubishi, told the Times.

In terms of performance, DeMartin said the laser television promises a greater range and intensity of colors. He said the new sets would be made with compact, sculptured cabinets and remain relatively light because the screens would be advanced plastics rather than the glass common in plasma television flat-panel units.

Solid-state lasers, DeMartin said, will greatly outlast lamps. As a light source, he said, they are practically permanent, meaning that the lasers should last for the set's lifetime.

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