December 27, 2007 / 6:09 AM / 12 years ago

UPDATE 1-Sony becomes latest to quit rear-projection TVs

(Updates with details, background)

TOKYO, Dec 27 (Reuters) - Sony Corp (6758.T) said on Thursday it would stop making rear-projection televisions, becoming the latest company to distance itself from a technology once seen as a promising rival of LCD and plasma displays in the flat-TV market.

Sony said it would focus its resources on liquid crystal display (LCD) and organic light-emitting diode (OLED) technology to address the flat-TV market, which is growing rapidly as consumers trade in their boxy tube sets for sleeker flat screens.

The consumer electronics firm plans to stop making rear-projection TVs at three plants in Japan and overseas in February, company spokesman Shinji Obana said.

Seiko Epson Corp (6724.T) said earlier this month that it had halted production and sales of its rear-projection TVs, while Hitachi Ltd (6501.T) withdrew from the North American rear-projection TV market earlier this year.

Demand for rear-projection TVs, which were once dominant in the large-sized flat-TV market, has been dwindling as electronics makers in recent years started offering larger and cheaper LCD and plasma models.

In October, Sony cut its rear-projection TV sales target for the year to March by 43 percent to 400,000 units. (Reporting by Taiga Uranaka and Nathan Layne; Editing by Mike Miller)

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