Print 75 comment(s) - last by exdeath.. on Aug 9 at 12:09 PM

Sony gives up on plasma

Sony has announced plans to exit the plasma TV market. The company has been facing increasing pressure in the market and it doesn't own any plasma display panel (PDP) plants to support its business. Sales for Sony PDPs for fiscal year 2005 were down 67% compared to the year before and the company has failed to disclose its targets for the current fiscal year.  Coupled with the enormous amount of backing Sony has committed to LCD, the move to exit the plasma market was almost inevitable.

With PDPs now out of the picture, Sony can now focus its efforts entirely on LCD TV production where it has seen much success. Back in February, DailyTech reported that Sony was number one in global sales for LCD TVs for Q4 2005. To keep up the momentum, Sony and Samsung invested $2 billion USD into the expansion of their jointly owned 7G LCD facility. The investment increased monthly production by 50,000 units per month. Sony is seeing large profit margins for LCD TV panels of 40" and above so the company is focusing on that sector of the market and is preparing for 8G. DigiTimes reports:

In a bid to secure more panels with which to win the large-size TV battle, Sony has signed a contract for the construction of an eighth-generation (8G) TFT-LCD production line through S-LCD, a joint venture with Samsung in July. The new plant is targeted to start production in fall 2007, with a monthly capacity of 50,000 glass substrates.

Earlier this year, Sony had to issue a recall for over 400,000 of its Bravia flat-screen and Grand Wega rear-projection LCD televisions. It was found that affected models wouldn't turn off after prolonged usage.

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RE: Quality
By abhaxus on 8/8/2006 12:50:58 AM , Rating: 2
plasmas look better up close, LCDs begin to approach the quality of a PDP as you get further back. however, in most stores you can't get more than 8-10 feet from the TVs because of the aisle setup. i work in a store where you can stand 20-30 feet back if you want to, and at these distances there is very little difference in noise and graininess between the two technologies.

anyone who tells you that LCDs look better than plasma is full of it. it is simply impossible to have that opinion objectively. LCDs cannot and will not ever provide as vivid, dark, and noise-free an image as a plasma. however, they have numerous other advantages that keep them selling, not the least of which is the backlight which is replaceable on some models and also of course that they soon will be cheaper to manufacture.

if i were a rich man i would have a pioneer pro-fhd1 in my living room and a sony SXRD in my theater room. LCD and DLP do not cut it (well, dlp does, but i am unfortunately sensitive to the rainbow effect).

RE: Quality
By exdeath on 8/8/2006 10:30:31 AM , Rating: 2
Noise free my ass. Plasma = screen door with its .8" pixel pitch and the color on most sets I've seen, even the Panasonic, looks like a 16.7m color image dithered to a 8 bit .gif. The image on LCD probably looks grainy to most people because the tighter pixel pitch makes the compression artifacts stand out, where the large pixel gaps on plasma hide it a little better much like interlaced CRTs do.

Sorry that’s just what I've seen. I've never really been impressed by plasma, don't know what the hype is. Though I may be spoiled by front projection (I have a Sanyo Z3 and Sony VW100) and CRT (still use a Sony F500R 21" on the PC).

BTW they have 3 chip RGB DLP projectors if you want DLP and can't stand rainbows. The color is constant RGB instead of the sequential color wheel updating so no rainbows.

As for LCD projector, for gaming you cannot beat them. LCD provides the sharpest image and most vibrant color when it comes to gaming with a projector. DLP is better suited for video where it generates a softer blend between pixels (mirror tilt overlap) and trades color accuracy (poor due to a plastic color wheel) with better contrast. It is well known that DLP cannot compete with LCD in color vibrance and sharpness as much as LCD cannot compete with DLP in black level.

Different tools for different purposes. There is no such thing as a perfect display technology.

RE: Quality
By exdeath on 8/8/2006 11:40:29 AM , Rating: 2
Hmm .8" WTF should be .8 mm

RE: Quality
By abhaxus on 8/8/2006 10:11:34 PM , Rating: 2
LCD is terrible for gaming. HDnet ran a great show tonight showing a jazz trumpet player with various singers (sting was one, dont remember the show name). The LCDs simply could not handle the dim but colorful lighting the way the plasmas could. The inky blacks of plasma could not be beat, and also the dark image really showed off the response times of the LCDs. They simply looked terrible whenever the camera panned.

I would be hard pressed if I had $4500 to spend on a TV in the 42 inch size... probably would go for a pioneer elite pdp over a 1080p LCD.

RE: Quality
By exdeath on 8/9/2006 12:09:07 PM , Rating: 2
Like I said I've experienced bad ghosting on both PDP and LCD; My fiancee looked like she was going to puke when playing Metroid Prime on a 50" PDP (was either Panasonic or Pioneer, don't remember)

Not only did it motion blur like crazy (you had to stop every now and then to see clearly enough to get a bearing), it had this murky sea green tint to everything.

And every time I've looked at PDP the black areas look like a dithered mess of grey, green, and purple pixels blotted together. Inky indeed.

In the end I decided to skip flat panels altogether. They just aren't that great, though LCD tends to have more in it's favor.

RE: Quality
By exdeath on 8/8/2006 10:40:26 AM , Rating: 2
To see LCD vs PDP for what they are worth, use a real time 480p or higher feed from a game console where the image is real time generated with vibrant colors and no compression. (or better yet a PC game like UT2004 on a DVI/HDMI link at the native resolution of the panels)

LCD has a much tighter pixel pitch than PDP thus resulting in a more continuous image and this shows up the compression in video more, to the point of being painful to look at anything that isn't high bitrate high def or real time uncompressed images.

This is *exactly* why you say plasma looks better up close. Up close the large interpixel gaps of plasma helps break up the compression macroblocks while that compression becomes glaringly obvious on a LCD at close distances.

Again no bias, I'm just stating my knowledge and experience in my quest for "the perfect screen" that eventually led me to bypass flat panel displays altogether.

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