Mitsubishi Downsizes TV Ops, Drops LCD

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Irvine, Calif. -- Mitsubishi Digital Electronics America said Friday that it is restructuring the company through a plan that will see a reduced workforce, and a rededication to the production and sales of a wide range of large-screen visual displays in both its commercial and consumer business units.

In the effort, the company is dropping LCD TVs and will be concentrating on microdisplay rear- and front-projection systems measuring 73 inches and larger.

The 2010 consumer rear-projection model line included the 60-, 65-, 73- and 82-inch screen sizes in UHP DLP rear-projection models and 75 inches in the laser-light-engine-based Laservue DLP line.

At International CES the company said it would be adding a 92-inch DLP model to the mix.

The company also carried front-projection models under a separate unit that addressed both the home-theater and business markets. Another unit handles stadium-sized LED displays and scoreboards.

In a terse statement explaining the move, the company said the new structure is intended to "reclaim our position as the large screen company."

Mitsubishi entered the consumer TV business in the 1970s and pioneered the development of high-quality projection TV systems at time when picture quality was generally lacking in big-screen systems. The effort helped to pioneer the market for large-screen TV displays in the home.

Today, MDEA remains the only major manufacturer in the consumer microdisplay rear-projection TV category, making systems with DLP-based light engines.

Under the new structure, the A/V side of its business will continue to manufacture and sell microdisplay projection and Laservue televisions in sizes 73 inches and above, the company said.

On the professional visual systems side, the company will concentrate on projector sales, display walls, printers and large public display screens.

The company also plans to expand its PVS business to Central and South America.

Mitsubishi Digital Electronics America will reduce its workforce accordingly, the company said.

Offices in Ontario and Braselton will close, and all services will relocate to Irvine, Calif.

The workforce in the company's factory in Mexicali, Mexico, also is being reduced. The factory will continue to manufacture and assemble large-screen televisions.

As for retail distribution, the company said it is "evaluating its dealer network to match its new product offerings to appropriate distribution channels."


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