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Mitsubishi Downsizes TV Ops, Drops LCD

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.”