Panasonic has developed its 'last plasma panel,' but television sales to continue - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 44 Old 04-10-2013, 11:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Panasonic Display Vice President Kiyoshi Okamoto confirmed to The Verge today at an event in New York that development has ceased, and said that the ZT60 uses "the last plasma panel" from research and development. Okamoto was quick to note, however, that panel development is not the same as television production: he made it clear that Panasonic would continue to make and sell plasma televisions into 2014 at the very least, saying that "we have a responsibility" to customers to continue production.

http://www.theverge.com/2013/4/10/4210556/panasonic-ceases-plasma-panel-development-will-continue-to-make-tvs

Bye bye plasma... frown.gif
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post #2 of 44 Old 04-10-2013, 11:28 PM
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A Panasonic insider said it was written to get the website attention.. It might be true but hopefully not for us picture quality lovers.
stock up on some VT60s if its true LOL biggrin.gif
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post #3 of 44 Old 04-11-2013, 01:59 AM
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I don't think you can really improve on the current technology without a massive investment.
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post #4 of 44 Old 04-11-2013, 04:52 AM
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Damn. frown.gif
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post #5 of 44 Old 04-11-2013, 05:30 AM
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Like the last Sony XBR CRT tube I bought in 2007, I think I'll buy the last plasma later this year.
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post #6 of 44 Old 04-11-2013, 05:55 AM
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Panasonic R&D may be done with, but that leaves LG and Samsung, right? If I'm LG, I'd go after the Panny R&D folks. I don't how non-compete issues would apply, but if Panny is moving on then it seems that the former Pioneer guys could move on once again.

In any event, I'll be hoping that the ZT60 takes the crown definitively over any consumer plasma ever. I expect it will be my last (assuming I get one).

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post #7 of 44 Old 04-11-2013, 06:10 AM
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Hope Panasonic improves on their LED TV's then because their 2012 line up didn't really have any shining stars.
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post #8 of 44 Old 04-11-2013, 08:06 AM
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Originally Posted by jh901 View Post

Panasonic R&D may be done with, but that leaves LG and Samsung, right? If I'm LG, I'd go after the Panny R&D folks. I don't how non-compete issues would apply, but if Panny is moving on then it seems that the former Pioneer guys could move on once again.
It seems like LG is even further ahead of Panasonic in winding down their plasma offerings. Samsung OTOH could give it a go.

The other issue with this annoucement is that firmware development might come to a halt as well. So unless the LED TV firmware can be easily ported to plasmas, you won't be getting any more updates.
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post #9 of 44 Old 04-11-2013, 08:25 AM
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Originally Posted by biker19 View Post

... I think I'll buy the last plasma later this year.
Or maybe Panasonic's first OLED smile.gif

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post #10 of 44 Old 04-11-2013, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by biker19 View Post

It seems like LG is even further ahead of Panasonic in winding down their plasma offerings. Samsung OTOH could give it a go.

The other issue with this annoucement is that firmware development might come to a halt as well. So unless the LED TV firmware can be easily ported to plasmas, you won't be getting any more updates.

That would be a different section IMO, firmware is more support than development......While R&D may have stopped that does not mean support or the releasing of Plasmas has stoppped, there is a difference wink.gif
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post #11 of 44 Old 04-11-2013, 09:24 AM
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Disappointing, but not really surprising... Panasonic already knows what they'd have to do to improve plasma tech significantly at this point (they own all those Pioneer technologies) and they obviously also know that it's too expensive to turn a profit on.

If I'm interpreting the guy at HDJ correctly the plan is to release a 2014 lineup with minor tweaks based on whatever bits are left over from the last R&D operations that didn't make it into the 2013 models. Obviously most of the upgrades will end up being on the non-panel side (CPUs, video processing, "smart" features) since they're still developing that technology for their other TVs. I would also expect an even smaller number of models next year, my guess being just S70, ST70, and a VT70 based on the ZT60's panel (or not? some people are predicting that this bonded panel thing may be a 1-off, and the HDJ insider won't comment on the potential for it to be used again next year).

I think the plasma R&D department was largely moved over to OLED already since the tech is somewhat similar. I'm not as excited about OLED as a lot of people are since I know that it will feature the same motion blur as a fast (1ms GTG) LCD panel (look up "sample and hold", which is the real cause for LCD motion blur, not the slow pixel response time). These OLED TVs coming in the near future will be heavy on the frame interpolation to try to cover it up. And the blur won't be that bad at 240 fps, but for people like me who insist on the original video only (and play games at 60fps) the sample and hold blur will be no better than those fast LCDs. Someday they might develop OLED panels that pulse and correct the issue, but I don't see that coming soon since they're still dealing with a 20k hour half-life on blue pixels. And the market has largely spoken, saying they're fine with 240fps interpolation as a bandage for blur.
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Originally Posted by Ph8te View Post

That would be a different section IMO, firmware is more support than development......While R&D may have stopped that does not mean support or the releasing of Plasmas has stoppped, there is a difference wink.gif

Yeah, I wouldn't worry about firmware updates. Especially not for the 2013 models since they're still going to be developing 2014 models. R&D does the work of designing new panels and drive systems, not developing minor firmware updates for existing TVs. Even after all plasma production ceases Panasonic will probably want to make some effort to keep their plasma customers happy because they're hoping to convert them to OLED customers.
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post #12 of 44 Old 04-11-2013, 09:30 AM
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I keep seeing so many people posting doom and gloom and i think people are reading more into these articles than they should be. I don't understand why everyone thinks that just because Panasonic is ending Research and Development of Plasma technology, that also means the end of Panasonic's Plasma TVs. Panasonic has already done all the R&D they need to do over the past several years and it has resulted in nearly reference quality panels for the masses so why would they need to continue R&D? They've already arrived, there's really no need for any further research or development - they know everything they need to know to produce fantastic panels that outperform virtually any LCD or LED LCD TV and at much lower prices inch per inch.

I've been saying for a few years now that i think PDP technology is mature and perfected, and the panel manufacturing plants are probably all bought and paid for, so now all they need to do is continue to produce maybe 3 models; one bargain model and one mid-range model both selling with low margin but high volume, and a high-end model that sells in lower numbers but at much higher margin. And i know they can price them with enough margin so they are profitable while still being priced much lower than the inferior LCD and LED LCD TVs. And they do need to advertise on TV more (Panasonic TV ads are virtually non-existent which baffles me since, well, it's TV), and market and educate the public about PDP's superior and more cinematic picture quality compared to LED.

One example is the automobile industry - take BMW for instance; they spend 3-4 years doing R&D on an upcoming model 's body style upgrade, then after that new model is released they cease R&D on it and simply continue making that body style for the next 7 years with minor trim and feature revisions throughout it's model run. I can absolutely see something similar happening with PDP - it's actually happening now what with the 2013 models re-using last year's 2012 panels but with revised cabinets and improved software which doesn't cost much to do.


And then the article seems to tame down the hype at the end with this statement:

"With Panasonic and the industry as a whole moving away from plasmas, the so-called "Beyond the Reference" ZT60 may very well be the pinnacle of the display technology. If you've been holding out, there is little reason to wait any longer — though it appears that televisions using this same panel and other plasma displays from the company will be available for some time to come."

Which goes along with my thoughts on continuing Plasma for a few more years as they continue to develop OLED and work on getting the manufacturing costs down so it can compete with the onslaught of overpriced LED TVs. I can even see Panasonic making few Plasma models along with their LED and OLED lineup several years down the line.

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post #13 of 44 Old 04-11-2013, 10:15 AM
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I think you cant say it any better then randy just did
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post #14 of 44 Old 04-11-2013, 10:38 AM
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Yeah you can. "most people are clueless, comment on things of which they are totally clueless, and then invent things from extrapolating the meaningless."

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post #15 of 44 Old 04-11-2013, 11:34 AM
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I think its funny that everybody is freaking out about this because (if I am not mistaken) this information (that they are done with R&D)has been out there since ces. I would expect at least three more years of plasmas from Panasonic. I think even they know that their lcd/leds suck, so outside of getting out all together with tvs (something that could happen and does kinda concern me) , I think we won't see them exit plasma until they have an oled lineup ready to go. At that point, most people will be okay with letting plasma ride out into the sunset. I love plasma but I really think oled is something that will make me ready to move on. Like moving on from one super hot chick to Kate Upton..lol. I just bought a 65" gt50, so I wont be in the market for quite a while. I would hope that my next tv will be a 70" ish panasonic 4k oled for around $4k. I don't think that is totally unrealistic in 5-6 years. Of course, they need to get the oled ball rolling. If things keep going the way they have w/ Samsung/lg, we still won't have any oleds in 5 or 6 years eek.gif
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post #16 of 44 Old 04-11-2013, 11:51 AM
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Just to add to what Randy said. The Panasonic insider said "2014 will only bring about more improvements from this year. Just nothing groundbreaking as we are already so close to reference."
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post #17 of 44 Old 04-11-2013, 12:35 PM
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TOKYO | Sun Mar 17, 2013 8:02pm EDT

"(Reuters) - Japan's Panasonic Corp is leaning towards withdrawing from plasma television operations as part of a downsizing of its television business over three years starting next fiscal year, the Nikkei newspaper said on Monday.

The troubled consumer electronics maker has already been selling assets, including real estate, to strengthen its financial position.

Panasonic's TV business, which generated sales of more than 1 trillion yen ($10.5 billion) during the peak in 2009/2010, is seen earning less than half of that amount in 2015/2016, the newspaper said without citing any sources.

"We are considering a number of options regarding our TV business. But nothing has been decided yet," a Panasonic spokesperson said.

Panasonic planned to end plasma TV panel production at its main plant in Amagaskai in western Japan around fiscal year 2014, the Nikkei said, adding that the company had already written off the value of production equipment there.

The Japanese firm has already halted new development of plasma TVs, and decided that handling both plasma and LCD models would be inefficient, especially in Japan, where the flat-TV market is shrinking, the newspaper said."
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post #18 of 44 Old 04-11-2013, 06:13 PM
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What no one, not one person in any forums, is talking about is that Panasonic has reportedly already written off the value of the production equipment at the Amagasaki plant. I suppose that there's some room for hope, since they've been producing new plasmas even though they took that deduction in 2011?

But then there's this:
Quote:
OSAKA – Panasonic Corp. may withdraw from plasma display TV operations in fiscal 2014 to focus more on profitable products, corporate sources said Monday.

There will be no full-time Japanese producers of plasma TVs if Panasonic, which began selling them in 1997, pulls out.

Panasonic is being forced to abandon the technology because it failed to keep up with the strides being made in liquid crystal display TVs aggressively sold by Samsung Electronics Co., Sony Corp. and others.

Panasonic is expected to formally announce the downsizing of its TV operations later this month when it releases a new midterm business plan.

Panasonic is arranging to cease production of plasma TV panels at its plant in Amagasaki, Hyogo Prefecture, as soon as the business year ending in March 2015, the sources said.

Panasonic, which has already ended research and development on plasma panels, will assess the timing of its complete withdrawal from the money-losing business while gradually reducing the output volume, because it still needs to win agreement on the move from its partners.

Other than TVs, it is possible that Panasonic will entirely pull out of plasma panel operations for electronic blackboards and other products as well, the sources said.

Panasonic could face hefty losses if it is required to record an impairment of asset value in its accounts after terminating the operations at the Amagasaki plant, which has three production buildings.

The Osaka-based company will also consider relocating the plant’s workers, they said.

In flat-panel TVs, Panasonic’s strategy was to focus on plasma, which provides better picture quality on large screens, and to spend heavily on the Amagasaki plant.

The plentiful availability of large-screen and high-quality LCD TVs, however, allowed the less-exotic units to take market share from plasma, forcing Panasonic to scale down its operations.

Panasonic’s retreat from plasma TV follows similar moves by Hitachi Ltd. and Pioneer Corp.

Panasonic plans to pare its LCD TV and panel operations and raise its production outsourcing ratio to 70 percent by March 31 and eventually procure most panels from other firms.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2013/03/18/business/panasonic-looks-to-exit-plasma-tvs/#.UWde0MqRe4I

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post #19 of 44 Old 04-12-2013, 05:49 AM
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Wheather Panasonic keeps selling plasmas will depend on sales. All it takes is for the sales people at B&M stores and a few more stories like this to scare people away from Panasonics and their gradual decline in sales could become a cliff dive. Couple that with continued red ink and a total closure of the plasma business could happen even before 2015. I can see a few tweaks added to this years' model for 2014 but I doubt we'll ever see a 2015 model.
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post #20 of 44 Old 04-12-2013, 07:18 AM
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Crazy thing is next year will be 10 years since Sony announced they were getting out of the plasma business. The tech has been around for a while but obviously it's something that going to go away first over the other TV tech out there. Hopefully Panasonic just continues to sell the current lineup for a few more years.

It would be awesome if Panasonic just continues to sell plasma's by being able to sell them cheaper year to year. I don't even know if its possible for them to find a way to manufacture say the ZT cheaper 2 years from now.
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post #21 of 44 Old 04-12-2013, 07:43 AM
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Originally Posted by hotskins View Post

Just to add to what Randy said. The Panasonic insider said "2014 will only bring about more improvements from this year. Just nothing groundbreaking as we are already so close to reference."

Exactly, they're basically there. I think what most people aren't ready to appreciate is how similar these panels and next years will look compared to OLED. They're going to be virtually identical in most content.

If the 2014 panels are based off of the ZT60 and offer these new features across the range, it'll be another phenomenal year for Panasonic. Bring on the ST70

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post #22 of 44 Old 04-12-2013, 10:13 AM
 
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^Do you feel a ZT60 is a waste given what the more value-oriented models are capable of?
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post #23 of 44 Old 04-12-2013, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by vinnie97 View Post

^Do you feel a ZT60 is a waste given what the more value-oriented models are capable of?

I might be completely wrong, but for PQ I think the VT60 wil match the ZT60 except for just a very slightly higher MLL.

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post #24 of 44 Old 04-12-2013, 10:37 AM
 
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Could be, but gmarceau only mentioned excitement at the prospect of the ST series. eek.gif I'm betting the BL performance of all the panels is similar, with the ZT going a tad deeper.
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post #25 of 44 Old 04-12-2013, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by vinnie97 View Post

Could be, but gmarceau only mentioned excitement at the prospect of the ST series. eek.gif I'm betting the BL performance of all the panels is similar, with the ZT going a tad deeper.

As we get closer and closer to reference and sets start "taking" tech from the previous genertions higher end modles eventually you may start to see some canibalization of the upper tiers. There are other added benefits of going with the VT\ZT models, but its up to the consumer to decide if those "extras" are worth it....Lets face it though, most of the Gen pop will never knwo the true differences and everything will be based on sales pitch and pric, those looking for a deal or dont ahve the money will go with a lower end model, those looking for status symbol or have the money to burn would go with a higher end model....This of course does not really apply to those that visit forums like this as we tend to be more informed then the general public on these things and in some cases more informed then the salespeople.;
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post #26 of 44 Old 04-12-2013, 10:52 AM
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Looks like reports of the demise of plasma are a bit premature: http://hdguru.com/breaking-news-panasonic-to-continue-plasma-tv-research-and-development/
Quote:
Reports were published this week claiming Panasonic is pulling out of plasma TV panel development and its 2013 will be the last panels they will design. This statement was not made at this Tuesday’s Panasonic press event we attended. HD Guru reached out to Panasonic to confirm the story. A Panasonic executive just issued a response, stating Panasonic’s continued commitment to continue plasma research and development for its plasma HDTVs. Read the statement after the break.



“Reports that Panasonic will no longer develop and manufacture Plasma HDTVs are not correct. ”

“This week in New York City, Panasonic demonstrated the latest development of our gapless Plasma panel technology in our 2013 Smart VIERA ZT Series Plasma HDTV. The technology incorporated into our ZT Series Studio Master Panel will be the basis for continued plasma display panel development and production. While the Smart VIERA ZT Series introduces a new level of Plasma picture quality, we believe there is still room for further improvement and intend to continue to research ways to take our Plasma technology to even higher levels where it also has the potential to be applied in our other Plasma series in the future.

“VIERA Plasma HDTVs continue to set the standard for picture quality and black level excellence and the ZT Series is another example of the continued ability of Plasma to evolve and continue to deliver a best-in-class HDTV.”

– Henry Hauser, Vice President, Merchandising Group, Panasonic Consumer Marketing Company of North America

I feel strongly both ways!
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post #27 of 44 Old 04-12-2013, 11:00 AM
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I'm glad this finally came out. I seriously got slammed in here for quoting a major member here that said this Panasonic was giving up the Plasma business. People telling me that I misunderstood and didn't know what I was talking about. Panasonic will be greatly missed in the Plasma world. I do love my GT50. I plan on keeping for a very long time. I won't be able to afford an OLED anytime soon and I refuse to put forth a penny towards an LCD set.
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post #28 of 44 Old 04-12-2013, 11:07 AM
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[quote name="HLdan" url="/t/1467758/panas. Panasonic will be greatly missed in the Plasma world. .[/quote]

I think you missed the point. Panasonic IS NOT getting out of the plasma biz. So no need to "greatly miss" them.

I feel strongly both ways!
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post #29 of 44 Old 04-12-2013, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by AuralSex View Post

I think you missed the point. Panasonic IS NOT getting out of the plasma biz. So no need to "greatly miss" them.


Did I say NOW? No. The title of the thread says they will no longer be developing panels. It's only a matter of time. They are putting forth much efforts on their LCD lines. Are you denying that?
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post #30 of 44 Old 04-12-2013, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by vinnie97 View Post

^Do you feel a ZT60 is a waste given what the more value-oriented models are capable of?

From what I saw on Tuesday, yes

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