Updated: December 14, 2012
Rear Projection TV Reviews
2007 Rear Projection TV Round-up
...Panasonic, Toshiba, and Sony Rear Projection HDTVs
If neither Samsung nor Mitsubishi represent your brand, then rear projection HDTV sets may be not for you... unless you decide to opt for one of the few remaining used/refurbished premium 2007 HDTVs from Panasonic, Sony, and Toshiba.
For information on the latest rear projection DLP HDTVs, please refer to our Rear Projection HDTV Reviews - 2012 Update discussion page.
Mitsubishi WD-73642 3D DLP TV
A massive 73-inch 3D TV for the price of a 50-inch LED TV! More on 2012 Mitsubishi DLPs in our rear projection TV review page here
What about 2007 rear projection HDTVs from major brands like Panasonic, Toshiba, and Sony, still available on the market?
Up to 2007, if you were after a rear projection HDTV, your choice was not limited to just Samsung and Mitsubishi.
In particular, Sony's SXRD series of premium rear projection televisions proved to be extremely popular thanks to their solid picture performance. These sets are not readily available except as refurbished, but they still represent a possible valid option at their present significantly reduced price tag.
Panasonic LiFi RPTVs:
Panasonic is mainly renowned for its range of top plasma HDTVs rather than rear projection televisions. But up to 2007, Panasonic was still in the rear projection TV business with its LIFI brand (LIFI stands for Light Fidelity).
Their greatest feature is their long-lasting bulb and which according to Panasonic, lasts as long as the set lifetime - in other words, you will never need to replace the bulb! The LIFI™ light source carries various advantageous over traditional 'High Intensity Discharge' (HID) lamp. Apart from their exceptionally long life which minimizes overall cost of ownership, Panasonic LIFI sets have relatively accurate primary colors, and quick start-up time (typically turn on time is 10 seconds against the 30 seconds to almost one minute necessary with traditional lamps). Equally important, these sets have a stable picture performance over the bulb lifespan.
This does not mean that LIFI-based RPTVs represent the perfect rear projection HDTV solution. Unlike Panasonic's plasma TVs which are renowned for their exceptionally deep black levels, Panasonic rear projection televisions lack the deep shade of black - so much typical of Samsung and Sony 2007 rear projection TVs.
Sets from within the Panasonic 2007 1080p flagship line-up such as the PT-61LCZ70 61-inch 1080p LIFI Rear Projection HDTV, are hard to find but entry-level sets that are more readily available include the Panasonic PT-56LCX70 56-Inch LIFI HDTV. This is a 720p with a typical feature set associated with entry-level HDTVs; its main differentiating feature being the LIFI™ light source.
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Sony SXRD Series of Rear Projection HDTVs
Sony rear projection TVs have become rather difficult to find. Do not expect to find new sets from the highly popular Sony SXRD A3000 series we reviewed last year. In particular, the Sony Bravia SXRD KDS-60A3000 60-inch 1080p Rear Projection HDTV did prove to be one of the top sellers within its category at the time of release.
These sets turned out to be extremely popular despite their rather expensive price tag. The SXRD series made use of Sony LCoS chip, re-branded in 2006 as SXRD (Silicon X-tal Reflective Display). At that time, the Sony was rated by major review sites as the best performing rear projection TV for its excellent color accuracy and best overall picture quality. Surely worth considering if you manage to get hold of one at the right price.
Toshiba TALEN Rear Projection Televisions
Toshiba rear projection HDTVs have always represented an inexpensive, yet feature-packed pick in rear projection TV systems, and competes very well with other major TV makers. In general, Toshiba RPTVs have also become hard-to-find now but a few sets from Toshiba 2007 line of HM167 DLP HDTVs may still be available. The HM167 covered screen sizes from 50-inch up to 65-inch and exhibited very good overall picture performance; their most popular rear projection TV being the 65HM167 65" 1080p DLP HDTV.
All models are based on what Toshiba defines as 'TALEN' or 'Toshiba Advance Light Engine'. And as with most 2007 models, the Toshiba 'TALEN' range come with 3 HDMI inputs. Furthermore, except for the 50-inch, the remaining 57-inch and 65-inch sets in the HM167 series support 1080p display resolution.
Toshiba DLP HDTVs are rather 'fatty' in comparison to Samsung slim line; the Toshiba 57-inch 57HM167 in this same series is 18.75-inch in depth against the 14.4-inchs of the slightly larger 61-inch HL61A750 Samsung LED DLP TV.