Originally Posted by mailiang
Since you're so good at this, how much more would it cost to produce a 1080p panel, all else remaining equal, compared to one that is only 720p?
Here's what I actually wrote:
"Clearly, my business experience and MBA doesn't qualify me to discuss this matter." :rolleyes"
Obviously, there was sarcasm intended.
I don't think that said, "I'm so good at this." Nor did it say, "I can tell you with two-digit precision what every specific change would cost on manufacturing a TV."
The methodology I used to come up with the $150-200 figure for the Smart TV vs. dumb TV was basically to look at a few pictures on the internet of what's inside modern TVs and delete a few chips that would only relate to Smart TVs, but try not to relate to "dumb" ones. Honestly, the difference between the manufacturing cost of the two is probably not even $150-200. And if you start spec-ing better filters for the dumb TVs and use other low-volume manufacturing processes, you will likely end up with a higher COGS, never mind the other parts of the process.
Now, for 720p vs. 1080p, it's worth noting that both processes are highly mature at this point. In other words, Panasonic (or whomever), is really good at making both kinds of TVs. It looks like -- using Best Buy's prices but not actually running through to checkout -- that the retail price difference between the 720p model and the 1080p model is about $200 (the X3 and the S30).
It's obvious but worth stating that even if they cost exactly the same amount to make, consumers would pay more money for the 1080p model
. My guess, however, is that they don't cost precisely the same amount to make. There might be very slight differences in the electronics used since the 1080p model needs a more sophisticated scaler for example. That could be anywhere from about $1-2 to $4-5 per unit difference. Obviously, the display structure between the two is very different. The barrier rib structure and phosphor on the 1080p model has to exist for the 6 million sub pixels vs. only about half that many for the 720p model.
My sense is your question was kind of trolling and whatever answer I give will be used as "proof" that I don't know anything, but maybe I'm wrong and I just completely misinterpreted your intentions. So to that end, I'd guess that the panel structure has a difference in cost of about $10-15 between the two. Could it be more? Sure, I haven't any specific insight into plasma fabbing of late so what the actual cost is of making the PDP module (as opposed to the drive electronics, the display electronics, etc.) is something I couldn't say. About all I know for sure is that the display leaves Panasonic for something approximating half of the suggested retail price. They are making a positive margin when they do that, meaning their fully laden
build cost -- including the logistics of getting it into distribution or directly to a Best Buy warehouse -- is very, very approximately $300. That estimate has a decently large error margin.