A CDE Definition
See rear-projection TV.
An earlier large-screen TV set that has employed one of several technologies for generating the image. Rear-projection TVs (RPTVs) were developed to extend the size of a TV screen beyond the CRT TV, which for all practical purposes maxed out at 36". Introduced in the 1970s and very popular throughout the 1980s and 1990s, at the end of 2012, Mitsubishi, the only remaining vendor of RPTVs, ceased production of its DLP-based 82" and 92" sets (for a novel rear-projection device, see SPUD).
Although RPTVs were still bulky, no CRT TV could have been built with as large a screen. Using mirrors and lenses, the projected image was flipped up and over rather than straight toward the screen.
The Largest Screen for the Money
Early rear-projection systems suffered from a narrow viewing angle. Because the screen itself was a lens, standing up or walking off to the side dramatically changed the brightness. Although newer sets had wider viewing angles and were the only large-screen TVs available for many years, they were nowhere near as visually dazzling as the flat TVs that followed. See viewing angle.
Rear Vs. Front Projection
RPTVs were a fixed size, whereas front projectors can change their screen dimension by changing the external screen and repositioning the unit (see front-projection TV). See microdisplay, plasma, LCD and video/TV history.
Rear Screen Vs. Front Screen
It All Started With CRT Guns
Liquid Crystal Microdisplays (MicroLCDs)
Digital Light Processing (DLP)
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