PANASONIC: OUR FUTURE IS 4K AND OLED TECHNOLOGY - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 46 Old 11-01-2013, 01:43 PM - Thread Starter
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http://www.flatpanelshd.com/news.php?subaction=showfull&id=1383312908

"Panasonic will now focus entirely on Ultra HD and OLED technology. All resources will be moved to research, development and production in these fields, following the plasma exit. Panasonic’s goal is still to create the leading TV products in the industry, and “combine stunning design with user-friendly Smart TV function and sharp picture quality.

- "We will continue to focus on expanding sales and offer a strong line-up of new TV models, based on the experience we have in flat panel TVs. Going forward, we will use all our resources to maintain the leading position in 4K Ultra HD technology," says Calina Gavril, Business Manager at Panasonic Nordic to FlatpanelsHD."
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post #2 of 46 Old 11-01-2013, 04:44 PM
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^They had me at "flat".  Do you suppose they mean "non-curved"?

 

I was just trying to figure out the panasonic 4K/OLED stance.  Good timing!

 

And by the way, (lol), was there supposed to be a link to a press release in that mini-article?  It says nothing.

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post #3 of 46 Old 11-01-2013, 05:01 PM - Thread Starter
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It was not a statement from Panasonic Global Headquarters, but from their Nordic region business manager, but I expect that it was a statement that had been cleared first with the superiors in Japan.
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post #4 of 46 Old 11-02-2013, 08:12 AM
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Originally Posted by greenland View Post

It was not a statement from Panasonic Global Headquarters, but from their Nordic region business manager, but I expect that it was a statement that had been cleared first with the superiors in Japan.


What I meant was that the article only referenced their prior-day article on Oct 31 on plasma ending.  It said "4K and OLED technology", but it didn't actually say anything that was attributed to anyone other than the 31st article.


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post #5 of 46 Old 11-02-2013, 10:13 AM
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The actual quote from the Panasonic manager says they will focus on "4K Ultra HD" but doesn't mention OLED. Though the author of the article put OLED in the title he doesn't cite anything related to OLED other than that Panasonic displayed one at CES. Perhaps the manager made other references to OLED but just saying its not in the article. Panasonic also announced a restructuring and that press release also doesn't mention OLED.
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post #6 of 46 Old 11-02-2013, 12:18 PM
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Yeah, out of uncountable myriads of incredibly useful links from Greenland, statistics finally caught up with him and he got first dud.  :)


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post #7 of 46 Old 11-03-2013, 06:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ynotgoal View Post

The actual quote from the Panasonic manager says they will focus on "4K Ultra HD" but doesn't mention OLED. Though the author of the article put OLED in the title he doesn't cite anything related to OLED other than that Panasonic displayed one at CES. Perhaps the manager made other references to OLED but just saying its not in the article. Panasonic also announced a restructuring and that press release also doesn't mention OLED.

There have been many many reports of Panasonic execs saying they are going to focus on OLED. Maybe this particular quote didn't include it but others have. Look what this article says:

"As for the future, a Panasonic Display vice president told The Verge in April that plasma research and development efforts would likely be diverted to OLED. The company sees televisions using the technology as "one of the key future products," and it is working to insure that it can make affordable OLED TVs that still leave room for profit before putting any up for sale. If and when that day comes, sticklers for the picture quality offered by plasmas should be more than happy with OLEDs."
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post #8 of 46 Old 11-03-2013, 06:45 AM - Thread Starter
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When Panasonic announced that they were no longer going to invest in any further R&D to make further improvements on future Plasma models, I took that as a strong message that the 2013 models were going to be the end of the line.

I recently came across this older news item, which made it clear last year that the new guy in charge at Panasonic had pretty much already decided that he was going to get out of the Plasma business.

http://www.eetimes.com/document.asp?doc_id=1319759

"Tsuga earned his reputation by becoming the first Panasonic executive to question openly if plasma screens were visibly better than LCD panels. In a 2012 essay that appeared in the reputable monthly publication Bungei Shunju, Tsuga described a personal experiment at home. Soon after taking over the money-losing TV unit in April 2011, he had a Panasonic plasma TV and a rival brand's LCD TV installed in his home to compare them from the consumer's viewpoint. "My wife and I watched them every day. My wife, who was probably rooting for Panasonic, said that plasma TV might be a little better. But I didn't see a discernible difference."

I am wondering if Panasonic will even stay in the TV manufacturing business for much longer, since they really are way behind other brands, when it comes to competing in the LCD display arena, and they do not even manufacture their own large LCD panels.

I came across this bitter comment which was posted yesterday by the "Panasonic Insider" over on the "Junkie" site, and he has suddenly turned on Panasonic. Reading between the lines, I suspect that he probably has been told that he will no longer have a job there.

"PANASONIC INSIDERS THREAD -rumors hints and info!
At a cross roads guys. I'm a part of a company that after the massive layoffs I can no longer respect. The inhumanity shown for the sake of covering up poor business decisions and mistakes has lead me to this point. Where I no longer wish to be part of this company that for many years has been my home. I'll actively be looking for new employment in the coming months as I cannot get behind products such as led knowing it's inferior to the zt. This is my preference. You decide for YOURSELF

This has been very very hard to reach this decision. Many hours spent with my family but I know where Panasonic is headed and it's not looking good. So I need to make this choice for my families future and I am a man who stands on honor and doing what is right. As the A line of products approaches I'll give hints to those that are interested. This has truly been a terrible time and the darkest of times for Panasonic. I think I speak for everyone who is even left at the office that morale is broken.."
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post #9 of 46 Old 11-03-2013, 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by greenland View Post

I am wondering if Panasonic will even stay in the TV manufacturing business for much longer, since they really are way behind other brands, when it comes to competing in the LCD display arena, and they do not even manufacture their own large LCD panels.

How many times have I written this? 30? 50?

The idea that they are making some great TV comeback on OLED, which they also have no plans to manufacture, is a pipedream for the moment and very likely to remain one.

Until or unless someone at the C-level at Panasonic says, "We are announcing today a new fabrication facility for 8G OLED manufacturing," you can assume they are beginning an exit from the TV business entirely.

This is the only reason I believe there's even a 10% chance Apple will make a TV: Sharp, Sony, Panasonic, Toshiba may all be gone from the TV business soon. In a world where there are few competitors, Apple's interest in a business with no growth might exist.

There is no difference in HDMI cables. If you can see the picture without visible dropouts or sparklies, the cable is working at 100%. No other cable will display a better version of that picture. You're simply wrong if you think there is a better digital cable than one that is already working.
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post #10 of 46 Old 11-03-2013, 11:21 AM
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I agree with Rogo. I don't see how Panasonic can stay in the tv business at this point. Their LCD's are crap. Unless Sony and Panasonic can somehow merge their tv efforts, I don't see how either of them can survive. CES will be very telling. Without a real OLED set with both Sammy and LG actually having sets in the marketplace, I doubt that they ever will deliver one. They would be better off concentrating their efforts on what actually makes them money.
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post #11 of 46 Old 11-03-2013, 01:19 PM - Thread Starter
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If Panasonic intended to become a serious player in the large Panel OLED sector, then I feel they made a huge mistake by not having at least one top of the line Plasma model available for customers, even if they just sold a small number at the break even point, in order for people to still associate the brand name with picture quality, when they started to roll out their OLED offerings. Leaving such a reputation vaccum for a number of years, before they can possibly expect to be competitive with others for the OLED consumer dollars, is going to make it almost impossible for them to ever become a big player once more. Their new head guy, who made the decision based on he and his wife watching a Panasonic PLasma and an other brand's LCD in their home in 2011, appears to not have studied how several other companies who dropped Plasma manufacturing before now, have never been able to grow their market share in the LCD sector.
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post #12 of 46 Old 11-03-2013, 02:28 PM
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.....except that they have been expending a considerable amount of company effort on plasma to date, and we have no idea what will happen with things are rechanneled.

 

I didn't go to MIT, but I did attend the "MIT Enterprise Forum" as a kid interested in software entrepreneurship in the 80's.  One of the things one of the members of the panel said was extremely goofy, but its intent has always stuck with me: There's no hocus-pocus about focus.  (Author patiently waits while the giggling dies down).

 

Companies have finite amounts of energy to spend on such things.  Only so many "brilliant managers", "gifted engineers", "forward thinking strategists", (etc.) to go around.  While personnel utilization is not something that can turn on a dime: you don't get to retask folks without significant impact and time, it still stands to reason that the display landscape might be squeezing down to OLED, and only OLED.  The sooner they dumped the technology that just would not sell and refocused on it the better.

 

If it's "too late" for them in the display business, then this seems like precisely the president who would make that decision and fairly soon.


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post #13 of 46 Old 11-03-2013, 04:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tgm1024 
: There's no hocus-pocus about focus.  (Author patiently waits while the giggling dies down).
I guess he was a fan of Focus
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9fEkYxRCl_c smile.gif
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post #14 of 46 Old 11-03-2013, 11:36 PM
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So just to be clear, there was no realistic way for Panasonic to stay in the plasma business. The utilization of the plant was ridiculously low. Even with the plant amortized, spinning it up for some tiny portion of the year to produce panels was doubtless uneconomical from a labor and materials standpoint. Running it at 10-20% utilization year round was probably worse.

On the flip side, the problem with the idea they are going "all in" on OLED is that no "fabless" display maker has ever been successful. And they are fabless for OLED with no plans to change that. If the Japanese want to exist in OLED, they probably do need to work together, but having a Taiwanese fab partner, well, that's not the way. The best bet is probably to combine Sharp's lead in IGZO and their 10G fab with this putative printing OLED tech that Sony/Panasonic are working on. That way they could leapfrog the Koreans and go to 60/70" OLEDs out the gate. This will never happen, but it's probably the only way.

There is no difference in HDMI cables. If you can see the picture without visible dropouts or sparklies, the cable is working at 100%. No other cable will display a better version of that picture. You're simply wrong if you think there is a better digital cable than one that is already working.
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post #15 of 46 Old 11-04-2013, 05:25 AM
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It sounds like Panasonic is doing what every other TV maker is doing. Focus on OLED and 4K LCD. It's clear this is what the public will want.

I think Panasonic will continue to sell Plasma for a couple more years. You won't see huge improvements. Only improvements that require no R&D.

What does Panasonic sell other than TVs? If they get out of the TV business, what will they sell?
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post #16 of 46 Old 11-04-2013, 05:33 AM
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As a reminder, Panasonic will stop all plasma panel production in December. Samsung and LG may continue it till OLED is extremely practical.
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post #17 of 46 Old 11-04-2013, 06:55 AM
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And they are fabless for OLED with no plans to change that

They converting a LCD plant to OLED...
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Originally Posted by KidHorn View Post

What does Panasonic sell other than TVs? If they get out of the TV business, what will they sell?
Seriously?

Digital cams are another significant market for them in the consumer realm, and they are significantly involved in battery production (i.e. Tesla). Solar panels are another area in which they are involved, and I'm sure that only scratches the surface of their endeavors.
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post #19 of 46 Old 11-04-2013, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by vinnie97 View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KidHorn View Post

What does Panasonic sell other than TVs? If they get out of the TV business, what will they sell?
Seriously?

Digital cams are another significant market for them in the consumer realm, and they are significantly involved in battery production (i.e. Tesla). Solar panels are another area in which they are involved, and I'm sure that only scratches the surface of their endeavors.

 

Panasonic sells a bunch of stuff.  And this doesn't include their B2B stuff.  It's not as do-it-all as Mitsubishi is I don't think, but it's pretty broad.

 

All Panasonic Products

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post #20 of 46 Old 11-04-2013, 10:36 AM
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They converting a LCD plant to OLED...

That was reported a while ago (see this article from April 2012), but has it been confirmed that's still their plan?
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post #21 of 46 Old 11-04-2013, 11:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ALMA View Post

They converting a LCD plant to OLED...
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Originally Posted by Rich Peterson View Post

That was reported a while ago (see this article from April 2012), but has it been confirmed that's still their plan?

You cannot mass produce TVs on a Gen 6 line. Sorry.

And it's not clear that even last year's announcement was for more than pilot production.

It's at least as clear that when they showed off the prototype in January, the clear message was, "We are designing but someone (identified as AU Optronics) else is building."

There is no difference in HDMI cables. If you can see the picture without visible dropouts or sparklies, the cable is working at 100%. No other cable will display a better version of that picture. You're simply wrong if you think there is a better digital cable than one that is already working.
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post #22 of 46 Old 11-05-2013, 04:58 AM
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It's at least as clear that when they showed off the prototype in January, the clear message was, "We are designing but someone (identified as AU Optronics) else is building."

AUO made only the TFT-substrate. OLED substrate is from Sumitomo.
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You cannot mass produce TVs on a Gen 6 line.

Of course you can, but not for the mainstream market. All mass produced LCD-TV´s before 2006 came from 5-6G plants. They can also converting an existing 8G line and you forget that OLED needs less raw materials than LCD (it´s cheaper to produce) and the worldwide TV market lies under 55", and it´s often even for high end TV´s not a question of money, but of room architecture how big you can go.
In the first two years it´s unimportant if mass produced in 6G or 8G process. Only important in the first years is availability of OLED in the premium TV market to replace high end LCD-TV´s for the same price (5000€ for 55-65").
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post #23 of 46 Old 11-05-2013, 05:21 AM
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IME anyway, most of the people I know with very high end TVs have gone big, even when it didn't look right in the room.


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post #24 of 46 Old 11-05-2013, 05:31 AM
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Originally Posted by ALMA View Post

AUO made only the TFT-substrate. OLED substrate is from Sumitomo.

The OLED materials come from Sumitomo. There is only one substrate and that came from AUO.
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post #25 of 46 Old 11-05-2013, 06:40 AM
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AUO made only the TFT-substrate. OLED substrate is from Sumitomo.

The OLED materials come from Sumitomo. There is only one substrate and that came from AUO.

 

I think we need an encyclopedia or glossary thread, locked to AVS members that are in the industry, as a sticky, and including a who's-who of the major manufacturers.  And no, I don't mean a wiki, nor wikipedia.


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post #26 of 46 Old 11-05-2013, 12:40 PM
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AUO made only the TFT-substrate. OLED substrate is from Sumitomo.

What Slacker said... See above... "OLED substrate" doesn't even make much sense.
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Of course you can,

Of course you can't.
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All mass produced LCD-TV´s before 2006 came from 5-6G plants.

How many of those were 55 inches and up? Oh right, basically zero. Back in 2005, on your 5-6G plants, LCD TVs were 11% of the world TV market. In other words, the entire capacity of the world LCD TV market -- using every manufacturer's 5 and 6G fabs -- was under 30 million units and they were essentially all tiny. You cannot mass produce OLED TVs on a 6G fab. Anyone announcing plans around 6G fabs is not planning on mass production but instead is piloting or planning on low volume production which cannot, by its nature, meaningful drive lower production costs.
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They can also converting an existing 8G line and you forget that OLED needs less raw materials than LCD (it´s cheaper to produce)

The evidence for that claim does not exist. OLED is far, far more expensive to produce than LCD in the actual world. Part of this is yield, part of this is a huge portion of the promised savings exist only in theory. Today, for example LTPS and IGZO backplanes are both far more expensive to produce than a-Si. The idea that IGZO will ultimately be cheaper remains that: an idea.
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and the worldwide TV market lies under 55",

And yet 100% of announced and demonstrated OLEDs with production plans/hints/goals are 55" an up. Go figure.
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In the first two years it´s unimportant if mass produced in 6G or 8G process. Only important in the first years is availability of OLED in the premium TV market to replace high end LCD-TV´s for the same price (5000€ for 55-65").
[

55" LCD TVs are $1000 in the U.S. for a midrange Samsung. The most expensive model is around $2500. The OLED is $9000. The gap there is so huge that 3 price cuts of 30% are needed to get OLEDs to only be 20% more expensive than those LCDs are today. And those LCDs may well be cheaper in the next couple of years because (a) idle capacity has a funny way of leading to ruinous price competition (b) the Chinese are coming -- hard.

So when we talk about the "first few years of OLED availability" we rule out this year, where essentially availability is not really relevant to 99.999% of TV buyers. Next year? Well, we'll see what pricing looks like. By 2015, things start to get a bit more interesting, but whether volumes and price constitute anything resembling a meaningful fraction of the high-end TV market remains to be seen.

(Incidentally, for me, a benchmark is this: "OLED Year 1" as a real thing is when it takes 10% of the premium TV market. The exact size of that market is something only the manufacturers can say for sure, but it's very approximately 10% of 10% of the TV market, or about 2.5 million units. So if OLED crosses 250K next year, I'd reasonably call that year 1, even though I don't see pricing as being reasonable for 99.99% of TV buyers. There are questions as to whether OLED economics will really work long term if it's only a premium product -- and statements from LG and Samsung about volume goals suggest it won't -- so the price really needs to get below $2000, not just to $3000. But there is time for that.)

There is no difference in HDMI cables. If you can see the picture without visible dropouts or sparklies, the cable is working at 100%. No other cable will display a better version of that picture. You're simply wrong if you think there is a better digital cable than one that is already working.
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post #27 of 46 Old 11-05-2013, 04:34 PM
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FWIW, I think the most expensive 55" LCD has been slashed to about $4000.  Sony XBR-55X900A.  Still a long way from the $9000 OLED.

 

EDIT:  Actually, if Amazon does the sorting, it's the LG 55LA9700 at $4300.


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post #28 of 46 Old 11-05-2013, 05:18 PM
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Panasonic is in deep, deep doo-doo.

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post #29 of 46 Old 11-05-2013, 07:55 PM
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I believe in one of the articles posted in this thread, the Panasonic president said they had lost 15 BILLION in the last 3 years, on their entire TV division. I don't even know how that's possible, it is such a staggering amount.

EDIT: Sorry, it is not in this thread, but I know I recently read the article here, in this forum.

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post #30 of 46 Old 11-05-2013, 11:36 PM
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Originally Posted by tgm1024 View Post

FWIW, I think the most expensive 55" LCD has been slashed to about $4000.  Sony XBR-55X900A.  Still a long way from the $9000 OLED.

EDIT:  Actually, if Amazon does the sorting, it's the LG 55LA9700 at $4300.

In 2K LCDs, which is also OLED can currently compete with, the most expensive LCD is $2500. That said, the $4000 55" 4K LCDs are almost certainly outselling the OLEDs by more than 100:1 right now.

There is no difference in HDMI cables. If you can see the picture without visible dropouts or sparklies, the cable is working at 100%. No other cable will display a better version of that picture. You're simply wrong if you think there is a better digital cable than one that is already working.
rogo is offline  
Reply Flat Panels General and OLED Technology

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