TV for the budget conscious
RCA is a consumer electronics company whose history is steeped in the history of America's early use of electricity. When the invention of the television was introduced at the World's Fair in 1939, it was an RCA. RCA's all-electronic black-and-white-compatible color TV system was declared the standard for color television in 1953. RCA began production on the first color televisions the very next year.
Today RCA has television product lines that meet every need in a display device. Flat-panel LCD monitors, an array of direct-view CRTs, rear-projection TVs that use DLP and CRT-based rear projection sets by RCA can all be found at the most the most competitive prices. The DLP-based rear-projection TVs from RCA's Profiles line are some of the slimmest projection TVs on the market. The Scenium line of DLP projection TVs is RCA's economy brand that can usually be found at the big box stores with the rock-bottom pricing that can turn heads. Unfortunately, the picture quality of the Scenium line compared to competitors will often turn the heads right back.
Despite RCA's storied history in consumer electronics and the use of electricity today, the company specializes in economy. It's a worthy niche, as many families will place an RCA in their living room who might not have been able to afford a higher-priced model from another brand. Usually if you stack the image quality of an RCA HD DLP against the image quality from a similarly sized Samsung or Sharp, it's the Samsung that will get the recognition as having the smoothest picture. Toshiba also makes DLP sets using the HD2 DMD chip that has garnered the respect of the industry as the engine behind the best available DLP sets.
But, like most manufacturers that dabble in the lower-end markets, RCA is capable of the odd hit. The RCA HD61LPW162 is a DLP rear-projection TV that has received some good reviews and does indeed use the HD2 DMD. When auditioning TVs for use with your own home theater, it's best to look around at all manufacturers that meet your price needs. The good news is that RCA has carved a niche for itself in the budget models and the multi-purpose TVs are an additional way to save money.
Many of RCA's Scenium models have built-in DVD players; although, why someone would find a built-in DVD player a cost-saving feature is anybody's guess. DVD players are very cheap nowadays even for a moderate quality progressive-scan digital audio output DVD player that will surely rival the picture and sound quality offered from a DVD player built into a TV. If picture quality looks acceptable on any RCA you audition and it's not enough to turn you away, remember that Consumer Reports statistics show RCA as one of the most-repaired TVs made.