What's Next For Plasma TV?
By Rebecca DayWith Pioneer and Vizio dropping out of the business, many are wondering if we've seen the beginning of the end of plasma TV.
Plasma TV. It used to be one of the luxury purchases that signaled you had made it. You were hip, rich, beau monde. How times have changed. Now LCD is king and high-quality plasmas are a steal at three figures from Costco.
When Pioneer announced earlier this year that it was exiting the TV market altogether--and taking its esteemed Kuro line of plasma TVs with it--many had to wonder if that was the death knell for the one-time technology king of flat-panel TV.
After all, there are far more LCD manufacturing plants than plasma factories, which has increased competition among the LCD suppliers. That won't change since it has never been economically feasible to make a plasma for less than 37 inches (and even Panasonic no longer makes a 37-inch), while LCD TVs run the gamut from 5- to 65-inch screen sizes.
There are lots of people, consumers and TV reviewers alike, who hope the end of plasma is far down the road. Many still prefer the rich colors, deep black levels and dark-scene detail of plasma TVs compared with the relatively washed-out look of LCD TV. No question, LED backlights on newer LCD TVs are narrowing the delta when it comes to more accurate colors and black levels, but high-end plasma still rules when it comes to picture quality, viewing angle and motion response.
Consumers and reviewers aren't the only ones still devoted to plasma. For now, at least, Panasonic, LG, and Samsung remain committed to plasma TV, although they all offer LCD TVs as well. For 2009, look for all of the companies to step up with higher end models to fill the void left by Pioneer's Kuro line. Bargains exist at the entry-level as well after Vizio, too, announced it would end plasma TV production this year.LG
As a leading provider of both plasma and LCD, including core panel technologies for both, LG sees LCD and plasma coexisting in the marketplace for years to come, according to John Taylor, vp of public affairs and communications for LG Electronics.Click here to continue.View slideshow.