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LG Withdraws New LCoS TVs

Englewood Cliffs, N.J. — LG Electronics notified dealers that its has dropped plans to ship a pair of LCoS rear-projection HDTV sets that were previously announced at its dealer show and at International CES.

“We have received an update from our factories regarding the production status of the new 71SA1D and 62SA1D LCoS HDTVs.” Bob Perry, LG Consumer Electronics sales VP, stated in a letter that went out to dealers Wednesday. “Based on certain parts procurement issues, the future production date of these models for the U.S. market is uncertain.”

The models were to have been the first LCoS microdisplay HDTV sets for the LG line. However, the company was unable to procure LCoS chips to meet its delivery schedule. Meanwhile, Perry said the market for micro-display rear-projection products has continued to decline as demand for flat-panel televisions has increased.

“Based on the growth in the large-scale plasma market as well as strong growth of LCD there are serious questions about the size of the microdisplay market in the future. We expect substantial shrinkage in the market for microdisplay products this year and next year we see even more dramatic shrinkage. So, there are serious questions as to the future viability of microdisplay as a TV format.”

Perry said the LCoS models have been removed from the lineup “to avoid negatively impacting dealer assortment and business planning” Perry said an announcement would be made if the company decides to reinstate the products.

In the meantime, LG will continue to market two DLP rear-projection HDTVs under the LG brand and two under the Zenith brand from last year’s line. Two new DLP models are planned for the Zenith line in June, the company said.

LG joins a list of manufacturers that had previously announced plans to market LCoS rear-projection sets, only to drop the products when display chips became difficult to obtain.

Exceptions have included Sony, with its SXRD products, and JVC with its D-ILA products. Both companies have introduced new LCoS models last year that have done reasonably well in microdisplay market share surveys.