Panasonic to Exit Plasma TV Business by March 2014
October 9, 2013 10:30 AM
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Workers in the division will be reassigned
In previous years, plasma technology was very popular with consumers that demanded large-screen televisions. However, as LCD technology became cheaper and image quality improved, the demand for plasma TVs has dwindled dramatically.
A rumor surfaced in March of this year that Panasonic would be
exiting the plasma television market
. That exit has now been confirmed according to sources that claim to be familiar with the company’s plans. The sources claim that Panasonic will leave the plasma television panel market by the end of March 2014.
Panasonic has continued to eliminate areas of its business that have performed poorly (as witnessed by its
recent exit from the consumer smartphone market
). Plasma televisions accounted for less than 6% of global shipments in 2012 compared to 87% for LCD TVs.
Sony, Panasonic, and Sharp combined for less than 20% of the worldwide flat-panel TV market by revenue. Samsung has 27.7% of the overall market while LG has 15%.
sources also tipped that the several hundred workers that are currently employed at Panasonic in the plasma television operation will be moved to other divisions within the company.
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RE: Too bad
10/10/2013 5:09:00 PM
The best product does not always succeed in the market. Marketing can do a lot. Plus, the type of people who buy the product (the consumer profile) makes a huge difference. A product may be objectively better, but that doesn't mean it matches the consumer profile.
Plasma does have a few significant drawbacks:
1. Image retention. (I don't believe that it has been eliminated, although some people claim the latest models don't have it. My 2008 model certainly has it when connected to a computer. It never has problems with TV content.)
2. Less brightness. This is only a problem for people who want to use the panel in poor lighting. However, there are usage scenarios that involve poor lighting, such as TVs in brightly-lit public areas. Also, more expensive models have higher brightness.
3. Power consumption. This is only significant for certain situations, like wall TVs in brightly lit public areas. For home use in a properly lit room, it's not an issue.
4. "Buzzing." Fan noise can be an issue because of the mostly irrational consumer demand for thin televisions. This makes it more important to place the TV in proper lighting so it doesn't have to run as hot.
1. Offers less costly square inches. Plasma tends to be cheaper per square inch than LCD, especially in terms of picture quality per square inch per dollar. Panasonic offers some very inexpensive large size plasma TVs.
2. Offers better contrast ratio than LCD.
3. Offers faster pixel speed than LCD (less motion blur.)
4. Doesn't have LCD's uniformity problems (especially edge-lit LCD models.)
5. Doesn't suffer from LED backlighting blue or green tinting.
6. Doesn't suffer from clouding caused by the polishing process.
Just the first one alone makes plasma compelling. But, it takes marketing and consumers who care about picture quality. Many consumers think plasma TVs are hot, expensive, noisy, don't last long, and use huge amounts of power.
RE: Too bad
10/10/2013 10:57:47 PM
Also, compared to "white" LED, plasma generally has a larger color gamut. The new GB-LED is going to help with that some, though.
RE: Too bad
10/11/2013 1:28:57 PM
I recently bought a 50" Panasonic plasma TV at Costco for $630. I don't claim it's the best TV ever, but it has some "smart" features, and it was cheaper than almost all the LCD TVs I looked at, except for maybe the ones that don't have any "smart" features. I am satisfied, though I only use it at night, mostly to watch movies on the weekends.
"I f***ing cannot play Halo 2 multiplayer. I cannot do it." -- Bungie Technical Lead Chris Butcher
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