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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-23-2009, 10:11 PM Thread Starter
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Plasma tv's going extinct

or so it seems. several companies are now dropping them.

Pioneer’s Kuro Killing: A Tipping Point in the Plasma Era

The Pioneer Kuro line will be gone by March 2010The end of the Pioneer Kuro line of TVs represented a true tipping point in the TV industry, one preceded by long-gestating momentum from opposing forces. The recession and LCDs tipped over plasmas for good, and the slope downward will be quite steep, and fast.

Last week, Pioneer announced it was killing off its critically acclaimed TV business by March 2010 and will concentrate on car and audio/visual systems. It was a dramatic fall for a company that just one year ago had CES abuzz with its newest plasma TV, the so-called “Ultimate Black” Kuro.

The Kuro’s tech was impressive because it reduced light emissions from black areas of the screen to such a degree that at its maximum brightness, the contrast ratio was “almost infinite.” The result was a plasma display with the most vibrant, colorful images yet.

But even at the hype’s peak, problems in the plasma industry were apparent.

Plasmas were at their most popular from 2004 to 2006, a period that saw them overtake rear-projection TVs as the top big-TV format. But they had a tough time offsetting their lowest average prices with high sale volumes. The spectre of LCDs also prompted many customers to hold off on making a purchase. By February ‘08, soon after the recession had officially taken hold, premium-quality Pioneers seemed out of touch. Most critically, LCDs were sporting features long the domain of plasma: bigger screens, greater contrast ratios, thinner and cheaper sets. LCD picture quality still failed to reach plasma levels, but to average consumers, the difference was no longer obvious.

Fast-forward to the start of 2009, and LCDs were outselling plasmas 8-to-1 globally, and the dominating the best-selling lists on Amazon.com.

Pioneer tried a last-ditch partnership with Panasonic to create a version of its plasma TVs, contributing its own “secret sauce” to keep the Kuro tech flowing, but that effort appears to be over.

The slumping demand is already having consequences: Projected losses of $1.41 billion in 2008-09 (following a loss of $203 million in 2007-08) and a nearly 50 percent drop in operating revenue have set the scene for 10,000 jobs cuts and the closing of U.S., UK and Japanese facilities. But Pioneer’s not the only TV maker suffering. They’re all taking it on the chin, regardless of display type.

Both Hitachi andVizio had to end the bleeding by shuttering plasmas to concentrate on LCDs. And not even the usually flush holiday period buoyed TV companies to a safe financial landing: Sony, Panasonic, and LG all posted lower quarterly profits.

Component suppliers have similarly been unable to escape the pain. As Om noted in recent posts, screen manufacturer Corning posted fourth-quarter 2008 revenues of $1.1 billion and still had to let go of 3,500 jobs.

Pioneer’s decision to end its plasma production was more complicated. It bought out NEC’s plasma business in 2004, used it as an OEM for its glass, but was recently forced to shutter the unit. Now, the only plasma manufacturers left standing are Panasonic, LG, and Samsung, all of which make their own components.

Panasonic is in good position to benefit from Kuro’s death. Most of the Pioneer engineers who came up with Kuro switched sides and are now working for Panasonic. In addition, recent demos have shown that Panasonic plasmas are nearing Kuro quality. Already in possession of the biggest plasma market share in the world (at more than 35 percent), the company will be able to build a diversified product line using plasma TVs as a premium screen type that appeals to a niche that still wants them. Add to that the fact that it receives significant revenues from selling its glass to other companies, including JVC and Fujitsu, and it appears that it’ll be able to keep plasmas afloat longer than any other company. Panasonic will inherit the burdens of the difficult economy and the LCD challenge, but once plasma is no longer economically feasible, its own LCDs will have likely caught up in picture quality. In fact, ultimate black contrast tech is already getting closer to LCDs. So it’s only a matter of a few years (maybe even less) before plasmas finally die out.

As for Pioneer, not all is lost. Reps say that the plasma TVs only accounted for 14 percent of its business worldwide, and patents for the Kuro technology will provide a profit for awhile. But any positives are bittersweet. The legacy of the Kuro TV will be that it was another best-in-class technology that was humbled by the force of the economy and the competitive market.


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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-15-2009, 06:40 AM
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Wow - at least it should mean some lowered pricing on high end plasmas.

I still think the best LCD has a way to go before it can match the PQ of the best plasma. But apparently with time and technology that gap is closing.

Hard to imagine right now plasmas going the way of the BetaMax recording systems.

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-16-2009, 09:40 AM
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OLED is gonna replace both in the next few years anyways.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-16-2009, 11:39 AM
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LCD's have not caught up yet and I don't see how they can compare to Plasma, I did my reasearch and while LCD even LED LCD cannot combat motion blur. Now for slow moving picture resolution it is better than Plasma, but as soon as they start moving it's almost annoying. It makes me dizzy and hard to re-focus on LCD screens. The big LCD's with 120hz are pretty expensive for the same screen size, Plasma TV's are far more superior than LCD's at the moment. And by reading that article it seems that Pioneer is the only brand calling it quits.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-16-2009, 12:35 PM
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yes but technology and the market will determine who wins and right now it sure looks like LCD is on its way in.

Look at this graph:


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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-23-2009, 12:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miketyler View Post
yes but technology and the market will determine who wins and right now it sure looks like LCD is on its way in.

Look at this graph:

The chart is skewed due to the fact that any tv between 15"-40" is an LCD.




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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-23-2009, 12:39 PM
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I looked at both Samsungs when buying. I ended up with the Samsung 50" 550 1080p Plasma. The LCD was more expensive than the plasma and I felt the plasma still looked better. Hell I only paid $1220 for the plasma. The LCD was $1499.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-23-2009, 01:09 PM
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I looked at both Samsungs when buying. I ended up with the Samsung 50" 550 1080p Plasma. The LCD was more expensive than the plasma and I felt the plasma still looked better. Hell I only paid $1220 for the plasma. The LCD was $1499.
You did the right thing, the Plasma do look more realistic and not nearly as much motion blur. Now for still shots, the LCD is better buy I watch a lot of action movies and sports, the plasma was right for me. I've been watching the market for over 2 years before I pulled the trigger on my plasma. I was waiting on the 120hz LCD and LED LCD, I still winded up buying the plasma. Even the techs working at most places have plasmas. BTW I'm not knocking the LCD's, hell I have one in my bedroom and I love it.

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-23-2009, 01:16 PM
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You know, I really don't notice motion blurs on my LCD in comparison to plasmas, even though plasmas look better. Ever watched one of the 120hz LCD's, kind of makes you sick to your stomach.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-23-2009, 05:27 PM
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Quote:
The chart is skewed due to the fact that any tv between 15"-40" is an LCD.
Yup, the chart just shows market share for the technologies. They dont break it down beyond that. To remove all the computer LCD monitors sold between 2006 and present would have some correcting affect. But even if as much as 50% LCD sales were computer monitors or (LCD specific application, ie LCD projectors etc, )thats still 2-3 times the plasma numbers.

The author of that article doesnt break out that fact and merely states LCD is out-selling plasma's currently 8 to1. It does put plasmas in a bad light I think.

EDIT: And I just bought that 65" Panasonic plasma. Kind've hurts my resale value.

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Last edited by miketyler; 03-23-2009 at 05:29 PM. Reason: added remark
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-23-2009, 05:38 PM
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The fact that you can't play video games on a plasma without risking burn-in made that decision really simple for me. Plus, consider the massive price difference... the plasma has an up-hill battle as far as I'm concerned.

My LCD does the job just fine.

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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-23-2009, 08:26 PM
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Its not just plasmas that are on their way out... DLP is nearly dead, samsung and mitsubishi are the only ones left making DLP RP tv's and samsung has quit production this year. I just bought a samsung 61" LED DLP for this reason, great picture, excellent blacks, tons of screen for the $$, and with LED no bulb to change

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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-24-2009, 06:40 AM
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I wouldnt trade my samsung plasma for any lcd straight up. My picture is far better especially watching sports, i hate that stupid blur i see, especially in those sony lcd's, (crap)

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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-24-2009, 06:41 AM
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the fact that you can't play video games on a plasma without risking burn-in made that decision really simple for me. Plus, consider the massive price difference... The plasma has an up-hill battle as far as i'm concerned.

My lcd does the job just fine.
i agree, i bought a smaller lcd just for my video games, and left my plasma for my cinema. Its like having 2 cakes, but if you have to do only one and you like watching blue ray movies, go with the plasma.

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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-01-2009, 09:14 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by BOOSTED32V View Post
You did the right thing, the Plasma do look more realistic and not nearly as much motion blur. Now for still shots, the LCD is better buy I watch a lot of action movies and sports, the plasma was right for me. I've been watching the market for over 2 years before I pulled the trigger on my plasma. I was waiting on the 120hz LCD and LED LCD, I still winded up buying the plasma. Even the techs working at most places have plasmas. BTW I'm not knocking the LCD's, hell I have one in my bedroom and I love it.
you twice in this thread mention a "led lcd". there is no such thing. samsung makes a lcd tv, and they make an led tv. there's no mixing the two. the LED tv is the new tech and has 0 motion blur, and starts out at 120hz and the better ones are 240hz.


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