Mitsubishi Combines 3D Picture with 3D Sound
Expecting to ship 500k DLPs this year, MDEA continues to expand line for 3D lovers; launches Diamond 838 with built-in immersive sound that can expand to complete 7.1 surround system.
Mitsubishi Digital Electronics America (MDEA) was best known last year for two things: Unisen LED TVs with built-in immersive sound bars and big-screen DLPs ready to project 3D onto displays up to 82 inches.
Now the company is combining those concepts to deliver “3D picture and 3D sound,” says Nick Norton, senior manager brand marketing.
At its press event in New York on June 23, Mitsubishi will debut the new Diamond 838 Series of 3D-ready DLP TVs integrated with the company’s 16-speaker immersive sound technology previously found only in the company’s Unisen line. The new TVs will be available in screen sizes of 65, 73 and 82 inches.
Lest you think rear DLPs are dead, Norton says Mitsubishi will sell about half-a-million units this year. He attributes the popularity of the sets to their relatively low cost for the size, making them ideal for 3D.
“3D is a large-screen experience,” Norton tells CE Pro. “You need to be immersed. You don’t get that experience with a 46-inch screen.”
He explains that over 90 percent of 3D theaters use DLP because it’s “1,000 times faster. … You don’t get a lot of cross talk.”
How about the relative bulk of DLP displays? Norton says that 90 percent of TVs 60 inches and larger are not mounted anyway. They’re propped on furniture “like a DLP would be.”
You might expect that anyone who buys an 82-inch TV would have a surround sound system to go with it. So why bother with an integrated sound bar?
For one thing: aesthetics. Especially with today’s multipurpose rooms, open floor plans and modern decor, homeowners are more likely to nix dedicated surround systems for their clutter of cables, speakers and additional components, according to Norton.
Plus, if the surround sound is built into the TV, you can get your groove on right away … then build out your surround sound system over time.
And now, consumers will have the opportunity to enhance the sound even further. The single 16-speaker array (32W total power on the 73-inch unit) can be transformed into just another speaker in a traditional surround-sound set-up.
For example, it can be set to a single-channel mode to serve as a center channel.
Or configure it as a three-channel (LCR) speaker and add Polk’s F/X Wireless Surround box ($400) for the rears. About the size of a toaster oven, the 2.4 GHz F/X speaker system includes four 2.5-inch full range drivers and a 5.25-inch woofer, powered but a compact multichannel 120-watt amp.
“You can put it on the floor, a sofa table or even mount it,” says Mitsubishi product manager John Hwang. “It supports up to four channels so you could do a 7.1 system. The down-firing woofer helps with the midrange.”
Indeed, the unit features a three-position DSP control that optimizes the image height for floor, table and shelf placement.
Tack on Polk’s PSWi225 wireless subwoofer ($400) and you’ve got yourself a system.
The wireless Polk products are not exclusive to Mitsubishi, but the key is that “we’ve designed our TVs with the Polk product in mind,” says Hwang.
For example, the wireless transmitter for the Polk subwoofer can be powered via USB (now power cords required). So Mitsubishi built a USB port into its televisions, designed specifically for power. As with most networkable TVs, Mitsubishi’s have a USB for data but the second port is all about power.
“Dealers love this subwoofer,” says Hwang. “A lot of them don’t have an audio line. They just sell TVs. This [wireless sub] allows those dealers to have a subwoofer to complete the experience.”
The new Diamond 838 DLPs with immersive sound technology will retail for $2,199 to $4,499.
Polk Audio 4-channel F/X Wireless Surround complements Mitsubishi’s immersive sound technology built into Unisen TVs and select DLP displays
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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