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Seiko Epson Drops Rear-Projection TVs

Japan’s Seiko Epson Corporation—better known to U.S. consumers as just Epson—is getting out of the rear-projection television business. The company has halted production of its rear-projection TVs and plans to (ahem) focus its resources on front projectors. However, a company spokesperson said Epson is not abandoning the rear projection television business entirely, and plans to continue development of rear-projection models for possible future release.

Earlier this year, Hitachi withdrew rear-projection TVs from the North American market, while in October Sony drew back its sales target for rear projection TVs by 43 percent to 400,000 units. In contrast, Seiko Epson said it had hoped to sell 11,000 units when it began selling rear-projection systems in 2004, but has not offered any sales figures for its units.

Although rear projection televisions were once the flagship products dominating the large-screen television market, their market share has been significantly eroded by large plasma and LCD displays, which have both increased in size and come down significantly in price over the last few years.