Mitsubishi abandons plasma to boost LCD stable

Mitsubishi abandons plasma to boost LCD stable

Mitsubishi Electric has scrapped its local plasma screen business and begun spruiking a wider range of LCD-based displays as it knuckles down for a more focused 2007.

Acting manager, Paul Calderara, said the plasma business no longer made business sense in the face of competition from the LCD market.

"We've have made plasma products end-of-life [EOL]; we just don't want to know about it anymore," he said. "There's no money in there, for starters. Some of the products you now see coming out onto the market with crazy prices also have crazy quality. We just don't want to be playing there."

The vendor would continue to expand its current range of LCD-based screens in both consumer and commercial lines, he said. It had just released a 32-inch LCD television and expected a smaller 26-inch version in coming weeks.

Calderara, who stepped in to lead the vendor's digital electronics division in October following the departure of Richard Freggi, said plasma screens weren't the only Mitsubishi products to be phased out this year.

"We're really changing the face of the division to be very visual - basically anything you can see, like a monitors and projectors," he said. "So we've also EOL'd things such as keyboards, mice and micro drives, too."

Surviving product lines include the vendor's mainstay of projectors and projector screens. One upcoming screen model could give club and pub patrons a viewing area of 130-inch compared to the 42-inch or 50-inch they might currently get from a plasma screen, Calderara said.

20 new specialist resellers have also been signed on the back of a single new projector release - the HC5000.

Calderara said that Mitsubishi is also dipping its toe into the low-end of the security market and was looking for resellers to push its 9- and 16-channel Digital Video Recorders (DVRs) alongside CCTV surveillance applications.

"We've got out units into the high end of the market - places such as Westfield and Stockland Mall - but the specialists who install at that level don't want to do a video shop that might only have a few cameras," he said. "We're looking to resellers in IT who might have previously been installing PC-based solutions and might already have some expertise in that area to take on our DVRs."

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