WEGA was founded as Wuerttembergische Radio-Gesellschaft mbh in Stuttgart, Germany in the year 1923. In 1975, it was acquired by Sony Corporation. At this point, they were known throughout Europe for stylish and high-quality stereo equipment, designed by Hartmut Esslinger amongst others. The WEGA brand continued to represent Sony quality for thirty years until 2005 once LCD displays superseded the company's Trinitron aperture grille based CRT models.
Starting in 1998, Sony released a television line called FD Trinitron WEGA, a flat-screen television with side-mounted speakers and a silver cabinet. At its release, the television was considered revolutionary in its performance and minimalist design; the WEGA was a success in the marketplace to the point that almost every flat-screen CRT television has copied its design.
Sony marketing materials for the television state that the FD Trinitron WEGA was named after the main star in the Lyra constellation (usually spelled 'Vega' in English), and made no reference to the original WEGA firm. Many products sold by Sony after its acquisition of WEGA shared much design language with the television, notably the rather minimalist styling and silver metallic finish.
Although other European languages swap the V and W from German, WEGA is still pronounced "Vega".
Sony has also used WEGA to advertise flat-screen televisions with newer technologies than CRT. Their flat-panel LCD TVs were branded LCD WEGA until summer 2005 when they were rebranded BRAVIA (early promotional photos exist of the first BRAVIA TVs still bearing the WEGA label). Sony's rear-projection televisions, either SXRD (Silicon X-tal Reflective Display) or LCD-based, were branded as Grand WEGA until Sony discontinued production of rear-projection sets.
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