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Matsushita/Toshiba CRT Plant Goes Wide

Troy, Ohio — One week after Thomson’s announcement that it has ended U.S. picture-tube production, MT Picture Display Corporation of America (Ohio), a picture tube factory owned by Matsushita and Toshiba, announced its has begun manufacturing 30W- and 34W-inch wide-screen CRTs for high-definition televisions (HDTV) here.

The announcement follows “a multi-million dollar capital investment” at the Troy, Ohio plant for the production of 16:9 aspect ratio picture tubes.

“The transition to HDTV is rapidly picking up steam, as more and more consumers vote for the format with their checkbooks,” says Masayuki (Mike) Nakamoto, MT Picture Display Corporation of America president. “As consumer demand for these TVs grow, so will the need for reliable, high-performance CRTs for these next-generation televisions. And we’ve made significant investments at our Troy facility to meet current and future needs of high-definition TV manufacturers.”

According to Nakamoto, the proven technology in CRTs offers television manufacturers a cost-effective, high-performing choice to newer technologies, including flat-panel direct view and micro-display-based projection displays.

Although Thomson, in its decision to close its Marion, Ind. CRT factory last week, said the market for picture tube-based televisions is in steep decline, Nakamoto defended the market.

“Not only are CRT manufacturing costs typically lower, but picture tubes offer improved picture quality over many other more expensive display technologies,” read a statement issued by MT.Picture Display Corp.

Since the company is a local manufacturer, Nakamoto anticipates that shipping costs and delivery times to TV makers in the region should be lower than overseas suppliers they are currently using.

MT Picture Display-produced wide-screen CRTs — believed to be the first such products manufactured in North America — are capable of displaying 1,080 lines (interlaced) of horizontal resolution in the wide-screen HDTV format. Boasting a perfectly flat screen design, the new CRTs’ high-density pigmented phosphors deliver improved contrast and high brightness.