Thursday, February 8, 2007



Plasma and LCD are very expensive in the large sizes. Once you get past 42", things get exponentially more expensive. With 1080p resolutions now available on all displays, 50" will cost you almost a body part. A 40" or 42" is a lot more affordable. Going back to our concept of "perception" in the beginning and also introducing the factor of "substitution", manufacturers developed several technologies to address the "big screen" issue. Some consumers would rather have a huge 70" screen even if it means giving up quality. Enter the following display types; Rear projection LCD, LCOS, DLP, and as they use in the cinema, front projectors. Rear projection allows for the "blowing up" of the picture in a cost-effective manner. What we get is a huge screen in the 60"+ range with good performace. I stress "good", because as it stands now, quality IS substituted for size. When compared to Plasma, LCD or CRT's, colors will look washed out and far from realistic. Contrast, vividness, response times, and refresh rates, will also look and perform far from that of their counterparts. When you look at the specs for any of these screens, you will often see 10,000:1 contrast ratios or 5ms response times; similar specs to those of higher end plasmas or LCD, but I urge you to physically look at the display. The nature of the technology, the way the picture is created, will produce a very different result despite their high end specifications.

Now let's not compare them. Let's look at them for what they are. What you have is a huge screen cinema experience with a great picture! Let's look a little more indepth on each individual rear projection technology.

REAR PROJECTION CRT: After CRT's there was a splurge of rear-projection CRT's. The attraction was the huge size and cheap prices albeit at the price of image quality. These screens are now being phased out by other superior budget conscious rear-projection technologies such as DLP.


  • Huge sizes with 55", 60" and 65" screens being very common.
  • The HDTV iterations of these screens are very cheap compared to their competition.
  • The high end CRT rear-projection screens can be on par with mid-range DLP's.


  • The picture quality is not up to par with the range of today's offerings.
  • They take up a lot of space and weigh quite a bit.
  • Don't expect to see these available past 2008.

Recommendation: The Hitachi 51F59 is one of the few rear projections CRT's your'll find available at your local retailer. It also has a built in ATSC HD tuner.