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Mitsubishi Touts Big Opportunities in Rear DLPs

You can buy a 70-inch Sharp LED for about $3,000, but Mitsubishi's DLP is still half the price and a better opportunity for dealers, TV maker claims.


Frank DeMartin, VP consumer product sales for Mitsubishi (right), with senior VP Max Wasinger, at Nationwide PrimeTime Fall 2011.
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Mitsubishi is pretty much the last DLP TV maker standing after Samsung exited that business in 2009. Why is Mitsubishi clinging to a technology that many would consider outdated compared to flat screens?

Answer: DLP rear projection is an amazing value and there’s still money to be made, especially if you hold a virtual monopoly on the category like Mitsubishi does.

“I want to know who’s making money in flat screens,” says Frank DeMartin, VP consumer product sales at Mitsubishi Electric Visual Solutions America, the consumer and professional display division of Mitsubishi. The company pretty much gave up on the mass-market flat-panel business earlier this year.

Mitsubishi exhibited at the recent Nationwide Marketing Group PrimeTime expo for A/V integrators, appliance resellers, and furniture and bedding dealers.

DeMartin talks about a competitor’s 70-inch flat screen that retails for about $3,000 (ahem, Sharp Aquos LC-70LE732U LED-based LCD)—and that’s without 3D capabilities and mounting gear.

RELATED: My Love Affair with DLP Continues

Or, says DeMartin, “You can get a 73-inch DLP for $1,599. And by the way, we [the dealer] can give you furniture, 3D glasses, a Blu-ray player and home theater in the box, and you’ll still pay less than $3,000.”

Such an ensemble provides better margins than flat screens and “there’s really no competition,” says DeMartin. “They [DLP displays] are not shopped as much.”

And then when you get into even larger displays, such as Mitsubishi’s 92-inch WD-92840 ($5,999 MSRP, $5,499 street price) there is no competition at all, except for projector/screen combos or 100-inch flat panels that start at $30,000.

Of course, DLP isn’t right for every room, especially bright ones; however, Mitsubishi continues to improve on its DLP sets. The laser-based LaserVue line is better suited for brighter spaces and consumes less power than the standard DLP displays in Mitsubishi’s Home Cinema line.

RELATED: Out, Out Damn Lamp! The Big Bummer with DLPs

The 75-inch LaserVue L75-A91 has a street price of less than $4,000.

DeMartin says, “I think a lot of dealers, especially in smaller markets, see the opportunity. No one else can put it [big-screen DLP with furniture] on the floor. Best Buy can’t.”

He says that companies like Paul’s TV—a multi-location A/V retailer—have had particular success selling DLPs within furniture stores. Indeed, furniture resellers represent a huge chunk of members in the Nationwide buying group.



  About the Author

Julie Jacobson, recipient of the 2014 CEA TechHome Leadership Award, is co-founder of EH Publishing, producer of CE Pro, Electronic House, Commercial Integrator, Security Sales and other leading technology publications. She currently spends most of her time writing for CE Pro in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V and the business of home systems integration. Julie majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, spent a year abroad at Cambridge University, earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin, and has never taken a journalism class in her life. She's a washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player currently residing in Carlsbad, Calif. Email Julie at [email protected]

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