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Why Madrigal Imaging Is Out Of the D-ILA Business (for Now) Print E-mail
Tuesday, 18 June 2002
Madrigal’s attempt at making a high-end, fixed pixel video projector has hit a big bump in the road. Madrigal contracted with JVC’s Professional division to be an OEM client for JVC’s D-ILA technology and chipset for use in the Madrigal Imaging MPD-1 D-ILA video projector. Madrigal took a similar approach to the MPD-1 that they do with their audio gear including hand choosing the top performing chipsets and tweaking the performance specifically with regards to the contrast. At $26,000, the projector was marketed to high performance video enthusiasts through Madrigal’s dealer network with enough profit margin so that the dealers could provide the type of support that Madrigal’s clients expect included in the retail price of any Madrigal component.

Enter JVC’s Consumer Division (not to be confused with the Pro Division) with a new projector called the HT150 with many similar performance improvements found in the Madrigal projectors, priced $8,000 less at $18,000. Exit Madrigal from the world of D-ILA… that is for now. JVC’s move could have cost them an ally in D-ILA, however sources inside of Madrigal point to them evaluating a LCOS (the core technology behind D-ILA but not tied into JVC’s patents) based projector that is far less dependant on a core JVC machine. This project will take no less than one year in development. Despite Madrigal’s loyalty to the D-ILA technology, don’t be surprised if they ultimately develop a DLP projector using the Texas Instruments chipset. Unlike JVC, Texas Instruments encourages other AV companies to use its technology so it can sell more chips. TI also doesn’t compete directly with its licensees. After getting burned by JVC, a making a DLP projector isn’t that much of a stretch. And as SIM2 Seleco has proven with their successful line of DLP projectors, there are quite a few modifications a conscientious video manufacturer can make to a DLP projector that all make a big performance difference.

Madrigal Imaging is still successfully selling their big gun CRT projectors which are widely accepted as having better overall performance than any fixed pixel video projector despite their larger size and need for more maintenance. With Vidikron now out of the picture, there is a limited but not insignificant market in the cost-no-object world of video of which 9 inch CRTs are still king. Strangely, Madrigal reports their $60,000 nine inch CRT outsells their $28,000 eight inch CRT by a ratio of 10 to 1.

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