We've seen quite a few DLP rear-projection sets over the past year or two, both in our testing area and at retail. While the viewing angles and form factors of these sets are a welcome improvement over traditional CRT-based rear-projection technology, we've more than once been turned off by the picture artifacts frequently seen on single chip models, including unnatural, oversaturated colors that stand out on a fluorescent showroom floor, but can look cartoonish and offputting in a home theater setting.
Mitsubishi's WD-52825, however, is an exception to what we've come to expect from this category. It's unquestionably one of the best implementations of single-chip 720p DLP we've seen to date. Beyond that, it's loaded with convenience features that put it near the head of the class in this crowded category.
That's pretty big news. Numerous retailers have been telling us they're having a hard time keeping DLP rear-projection sets in stock, and with plasmas and LCDs taking up the high end of the price scale, single-chip DLP has pretty much become the only other game in town for the average customer's big-screen dreams.
While the industry knows that CRT-based RPTVs have been going the way of the dodo for years, consumers still see them as a reference point for what big-box TVs are supposed to look like. That includes poor viewing angles (in comparison to DLP) and physical depths that make them a no-go practically anywhere the spouse acceptance factor comes into play. While the pictures that single-chip DLPs produce obviously aren't the apex of videophile quality, they are dazzling those customers who can't quite afford quality HD-resolution flat panels.
This isn't Mitsubishi's first stab at DLP. Along with Panasonic and Hitachi, Mitsubishi actually was one of the first companies to implement DLP in rear-projection, about a year before Samsung released its first sets, which promptly began to dominate the market. Mitsubishi, meanwhile, didn't offer DLP in 2003, allowing Samsung and RCA to further entrench their respective market positions.