By Sam Taylor
EVP & COO, Almo Professional A/V
It is a sad day for me to see Mitsubishi cease production of its large format LCDs and entire projector line.
I started in the industry in 1987 for a company named Electrograph. Mitsubishi was our primary line and the company was instrumental in our early growth. Electrograph grew to be the largest ProAV distributor in the industry, but was unable to survive the 2008 recession.
Back in 1987, I was a regional sales manager and I made a nice living selling two Mitsubishi displays, the AUM1371A and the XC3710C. The AUM1371A was a 13” monitor that could accept both VGA and NTSC, which was a unique product back then. I was successful in getting this model designed in with Dupont Medical Systems, which used them as its display for blood analyzers sold into hospitals. I sold these by the thousands for around $500 apiece.
The XC3710C was truly the “big brother” to the AUM1371A. It was the first large format display at 37”(another division of Mitsubishi sold a retail version of this piece- the AM3501R). This monster weighed in at 300 pounds and had a depth of about 2 feet. It looked like something that was a cross between a video arcade game and something from the Space Shuttle. This futuristic-looking monitor could display both video and VGA as well up to a stunning 640×480 resolution and was only $10,000. What a deal! I sold these into many different applications, but the majority of these went to the Department of Defense and other government agencies.
Both of these displays helped me pay the mortgage until plasma and LCD made both of them obsolete.
Mitsubishi was one of the very first plasma manufacturers with a product called the Leonardo. Unfortunately, there was a major design flaw with this product and Mitsubishi had to exit the plasma business.
The company was never a market leader after that. It always made great products with the highest quality, but fell behind on both innovation (in my opinion) and pricing in the ProAV market.
It truly is a sad day for me and many others that Mitsubishi has pulled the plug. It is sad to see very good and dedicated people lose their jobs. All of the people I have worked with recently at Mitsubishi have been very good folks. So if someone applies for a job at your company and Mitsubishi was their last place of employment, I highly recommend them for the job!