Print 16 comment(s) - last by Ratinator.. on Dec 27 at 2:06 PM

Toshiba and Sharp agree to buy LCD TV related components from each other

With the LCD flat panel HDTV market currently booming, competition is fierce between rival manufacturers and the need to drive manufacturing costs down is highlighted. To meet the need for better LCD TVs at lower costs many of the largest LCD panel makers are looking to team up and invest heavily in the manufacture of LCD panels.

Toshiba and Sharp announced a new alliance today where Toshiba Corp will purchase 40% large LCD panels from Sharp. Sharp is currently building the largest LCD manufacturing plant in the world in Japan.

Under the agreement, Sharp will purchase 50% of its needed semiconductors from Toshiba for use in its LCD TVs. Reuters quotes Toshiba President Atsutoshi Nishida from a news conference as saying, “It would be difficult for one company to do everything on its own. It's necessary to join forces with others that have complementary strengths.”

Nishida went on to say that he hopes to grow business between Toshiba and Sharp to about 70-80 billion yen, or about $618 million USD to about $706 million USD. The two companies will also be able to have a steady buyer for their components to help maintain development and sales volume.

This isn’t the first big announcement this week in the LCD TV world. Earlier this week DailyTech reported that Matsushita and Hitachi were in talks on a multi-billion dollar deal where Matsushita would take over an LCD manufacturing joint venture it has with Hitachi.

Toshiba announced earlier this month it would not bring OLED TVs to market in 2010 as promised.

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By MADAOO7 on 12/24/2007 1:56:47 AM , Rating: 2
Hopefully, the quality will improve as well. Sharp and Toshiba make pretty good LCD's, but their mainstream LCDs still aren't in the same league as Pioneer, Samsung, Panasonic or Sony, at least not in my opinion. If you spent billions building LCD plants and investing in design wouldn't you bother to compare it to the competitors? They should see the same differences consumers see while walking through Best Buy or Circuit City. You walk through the store and you can pretty easily discern which are putting out a better picture. I'm not alone in this opinion either, ranked the best LCD's of 2007 and it was composed of 4 Samsungs, 3 Panasonics, 2 Sonys, and 1 Pioneer.

RE: Quality
By intogamer on 12/24/2007 5:32:43 AM , Rating: 2
I believe Sharp is half decent. But my Toshiba has very bad backlight bleeding. Very very noticeable.

RE: Quality
By Inkjammer on 12/24/2007 8:59:46 AM , Rating: 2
If you want examples of bad LCDs just look at Toshiba's laptops. The X205 line is known muted colors and a screen that's slightly lacking in brightness (and this is one of their high ends). Many of the Tecras (like the M7 I own) have really low end LCDs with really bad viewing angles which causes color shifting and/or hard to view screens if you so much as tilt it slightly. And the M7 is a tablet PC, by the way, so tilting is to be expected.

I use my M7 for art, too. I always end up having to color/touch up non-stop on my desktop after.

RE: Quality
By MADAOO7 on 12/24/2007 1:56:52 PM , Rating: 2
I love how if you say anything against anything or you state a valid opinion you get voted down....

RE: Quality
By masher2 on 12/24/2007 6:39:20 PM , Rating: 2
> " ranked the best LCD's of 2007 and it was composed of 4 Samsungs, 3 Panasonics, 2 Sonys, and 1 Pioneer..."

Panasonic doesn't make LCD panels. They do, however, produce some of the best plasmas. I'm not sure about Pioneer, but I believe the same is true of them also.

RE: Quality
By Gul Westfale on 12/24/2007 7:58:52 PM , Rating: 2
pioneer was uh, pioneer in plasmas, i think. and FYI: the nintendo gameboy/DS screens are all made by sharp, if i remember correctly.

RE: Quality
By Noya on 12/24/2007 9:30:31 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, I've also read it goes something like this:

LCD: Sony >-- Samsung >--Sharp

Plasma Pioneer >-- Panasonic

RE: Quality
By aos007 on 12/25/2007 1:06:21 PM , Rating: 2
That's not how I know it. Last year at least, when I did my research, Sharp LCDs were better than anyone else's. Perhaps this year, with the LED backlighting, the order has shifted but the only thing Sony has higher than Sharp last year was the price (and number of HDMI inputs). As for Samsung, all of their TVs were doing undefeatable 2% overscan. Although that was only true if your Sharp didn't have banding issues...

Anyhow, I am surprised that people here on a tech site mention CNET reviews as if they were some kind of a good reference site. Seriously?

This news is a shocker, at any rate.

RE: Quality
By Justin Case on 12/26/2007 2:13:38 AM , Rating: 2
Sharp certainly made the best LCD TVs until not too long ago (in fact, they were the only ones making true 1920x1080 panels, everyone else was faking it at 1366x768). But this wasn't necessarily true for (smaller) computer LCD monitors.

In any case, even the best LCDs today are still behind the top CRTs in terms of dynamic range and color accuracy. The LCD craze (and especially the "reaction time" craze, which came at the expense of image quality) was a step forward in terms of space and power savings, but two steps backwards in terms of image quality (compared to high-end CRTs, of course, not $100 ones). And it didn't help that DVI was so limited and unambitious.

Hopefully, with DisplayPort supporting more advance features (like built-in calibration, for HDR imaging, etc.), we'll see manufacturers start to bet on improved image quality instead of stupid marketing gimmicks (like 2ns reaction times, which would be pointless even if they were actualy true).

RE: Quality
By Ratinator on 12/27/2007 2:06:53 PM , Rating: 2
You do realise that places like Best Buy don't set all their TVs up properly (color, brightness, contrast, etc...) and just leave the settings as they are out of the box. In fact some of these places outright setup certain brands of TVs to look better than others. Where I come from we have one well known store where all the Sony TVs have been tweaked. Another store down the street tweaks all the Sharps and Samsungs to look better. Just walking through and eyeballing is not the best way to determine how good a TV looks. Also, Sharp produces one of the best LCDs around especially in that $3000 52" price range. Tell me how many TVs out there have 120Hz refresh rate. The competing Samsungs and Sonys are priced well above the Sharp's. Lookup reviews on the Sharp LC52D82U and PC52D92U and you will be suprised.

By Gul Westfale on 12/24/2007 1:01:09 AM , Rating: 2
two companies of high-quality LCDs working together.. i think this is good. maybe this will allow them to lower their prices, or to develop new technology faster. i recently bought a cheap HDTV (26 inches, 720p) for my computer/PS3, and i payed 400 bucks for it (no-name). a similar toshiba would have cost almost $600... so i really hope that this will help them to offer more competitive pricing... because that would allow me to buy one of their TVs :)

RE: good
By codeThug on 12/24/2007 1:06:22 AM , Rating: 5
i think this is good. maybe this will allow them to lower their prices

...or maybe it will allow them to price fix more easily.

Just a thought.

RE: good
By omnicronx on 12/24/2007 11:02:37 AM , Rating: 4
It's pretty hard to fix prices when you are only two companies out of a handful that make LCD's. Many people misinterpret what price fixing really means. You need to essentially form a monopoly in order to fix prices, otherwise other manufacturers will just lower their price below that of yours.

Making an agreement with another company to lower your cost to produce and make your product, even if you do not lower the final cost of the product, does not mean you are fixing prices.

RE: good
By Chadder007 on 12/24/2007 4:22:26 PM , Rating: 2
Kinda like how the Oil companies are price fixing? :D

RE: good
By Ringold on 12/25/2007 1:10:11 PM , Rating: 3
Kinda not, since oil companies don't set prices? They accept whatever consumers offer at the NYMEX and other trading services. I'm not sure we'll ever see the day when LCD's are traded next to pork belly futures..

By lindejos on 12/26/2007 3:46:12 AM , Rating: 1
Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't Toshiba and Matsushita (MEI-Panasonic) already have a panel manufacturing partnership?

Why would these two companies run of to Sharp and Hitachi respectively if they are already participating in a fairly successful partnership? Are they dissolving TMD, or are these only Television market segment partnerships?

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