Originally Posted by [Irishman]
I just don't agree with your doom and gloom assessment.
I was playing devil's advocate a bit. However, it's difficult to look at facts such as LCD outselling plasma 8-to-1 worldwide, and not wonder if plasma is indeed destined for niche status.
What size range performs the best for LCDs? I think it's telling that it's the range in which there is no real plasma competition - the sub 42" range. As you go up in size from 42" up to 65", plasma dominates more and more, largely because the manufacturing costs for equivalent plasma are lower than LCD.
I tend to agree with that, but I also think the ground is starting to shift away from plasma as LCDs get bigger and bigger.
For example, if you go look at the best-selling TV charts over at Amazon, only 8 of the Top 50 are plasmas, nearly all the rest are LCD. Many of the best-selling TVs are 46- and 52-inch LCDs. Basically, LCD is already encroaching on what was previously 'plasma turf'. I would expect that trend to continue and only intensify.
Since more and more households are on their 2nd, 3rd, or even 4th HDTV now, secondary rooms that don't need a big screen, LCD does phenomenally well.
Actually, HDTV penetration is still pretty low in the US, on the order of only about a third of all homes:http://www.engadgethd.com/2008/11/12...-s-households/
Contrary to what you say, most of us really don't have HDTVs coming out of our ears in our homes. Many ppl are still buying their first HDTV set, and they tend to buy LCD even then, as sales figures show.
Doesn't mean plasma is sailing without rudder. Doesn't mean plasma is dying.
I definitely don't want plasma to die. It has several significant advantages over LCD, and it pushes LCD makers to do better.
But the trends seem to be pointing to plasma being pushed into a niche in the very large set category. Many would say that this process is well under way already. And of course, even there, it will still have to compete with LCDs, as those get ever larger.
I could just as easily throw out some comment that if LCD makers don't get their act together and produce panels that are cost-competitive with the largest plasmas, then they're toast.
I don't see why you would. LCD competes on plasma's turf (large sets), but plasma seems unable to compete strongly on LCD's turf (small and mid-size sets). For good or ill, LCD is obviously not the one in danger of becoming heated bread slices.
But it's no more true than your assessment of plasma's future.
I would say that the process of plasma becoming niche is already well under way. Pioneer's possible exit from plasma and attempts to get into the LCD market are only the latest signs.
I would like to see Pioneer technology transferred to a reasonably capable mid-price TV maker, such as Panasonic, which could possibly strengthen plasma's position in the market. Though I have my doubts about that occurring to any very significant degree.
Frankly, I'm not sure what can reverse plasma's slide. It could be as simple as Panasonic's work in increasing plasma brightness... if a plasma can sit right next to a torch-mode LCD on the showroom floor and have the same kind of 'first glance' appeal, then that might be very helpful.
But then again, it may be that the public has written off plasma as 'old technology', dim, prone to burn-in, etc etc, and that their mindshare has gone to LCD in a more or less permanent way until the next major 'new kid on the block' technology shows up.
It would be sad if it plays out that way, because it means that most consumers will be confined to one display technology for the next several years. More competition is nearly always better for the consumer.