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Sony renounces rear-projection TVs

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Sony has decided to drop its rear-projection TV business worldwide in order to focus instead on two flat-panel technologies - liquid crystal display (LCD) and organic light-emitting diode (OLED).

Sales of rear-projection TVs had been declining recently as LCD TVs gain in popularity and grow in size. Sony showed off a series of OLED-based TVs at CES early in 2007, as we reported at the time.

Its first OLED model went on sale in Japan in December.

In October, the Japanese electronics giant lowered its global sales forecast for rear-projection TVs - which use a projector to create images on large screens - from 700,000 to 400,000, and that figure is down from 1.1m given the previous financial year.

By contrast, it expects to sell 10m LCD TVs this financial year through March, up from 6.3m the previous year.

Sony sells 85 per cent of its rear-projection TVs in the US, and about 10 per cent in Europe, according to Sony spokesman Shinji Obana. Production at the three plants that make the rear-projection TV sets in Japan, Mexico and Malaysia, will be halted.

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