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Is the Japanese TV Business Facing Extinction?

post #1 of 54
Thread Starter 
Is the Japanese TV Business Facing Extinction?


You would be forgiven for thinking that TV manufacturers were doing pretty well. After all, for the last few years we've seen abundance of new products flooding the market: 3D, ultra-skinny backlit LED, 70+ behemoths, 21:9 ratio sets and OLED is being released later this year. Despite this, all is not well in TV-land. Several manufacturers have recently issues losses (or warnings of losses) in their TV divisions:
  • Panasonic warned of $10.2B loss and reduced projected shipments of TV from 19 million to 18 million sets this year.
  • A few days ago, Sharp announced its worst ever annual loss of $3.8b and said it will cut the output at its largest TV panel factory by 50% to reduce inventory.
  • Sony is predicting losses in its TV business for the 8th consecutive year.
  • Hitachi announced that it will stop making TV's in its Gifu facility by September this year.
  • In 2011, Philips abandoned TV production.

For the complete story and more visit the Hot Stories section at HomeToys.com
post #2 of 54
Very simple.

Japan, along with much of the West, gave away our know-how in order to gain access to the Chinese market, once every competitor have access to the now, new acquired Chinese manufacturing expertise, is now become the battle of low wages and the West with its high living/expense standard have no prayer.
post #3 of 54
Isn't that why they just formed an alliance/company called Japan Displays?
post #4 of 54
Thats a very misleading statement about Panasonic. What it doesnt say is that it is Panasonic as a whole that is posting 10.2 billion in losses. And that includessome sort of write down IIRC. Nowhere in its statement does it say what its loss is for the TV division.
post #5 of 54
The headline is sensational and the numbers are not entirely accurate because they aren't apples to apples, but Sony, Panasonic and Sharp all lost money making and selling TVs last year. Hitachi too. That's not going to continue indefinitely.

Expect one or more of them to be out of the TV business within just a couple of years. All of them being out of the TV business would not be shocking.
post #6 of 54
Panasonic, Sharp, Sony, Hitachi, Philips. Who cares? They are all has-been asian or european consumer electronics manufacturers like Fisher, Marantz, Zenith, RCA or Sylvania were in the U.S..

The more things change, the more they stay the same!
post #7 of 54
Since when is Philips japanese? Last time i checked they where dutch.
post #8 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by 8mile13 View Post

Since when is Philips japanese? Last time i checked they where dutch.

Read again. I said "They are all has-been asian or european consumer electronics manufacturers".
post #9 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrBobb View Post

Very simple.

Japan, along with much of the West, gave away our know-how in order to gain access to the Chinese market, once every competitor have access to the now, new acquired Chinese manufacturing expertise, is now become the battle of low wages and the West with its high living/expense standard have no prayer.

Well Said ! And if you see the panasonic plasma tv division used to bring out new models(VT,GT,ST Series)every year.They could very well sell the same model with all the bugs rectified for 3 to 5 years before bringing newer models.All wanted good quality sets that last long and no one is asking for newer models which are becoming thinner & flimsy looking ! So due to R&D & launch of newer models have made the very existance of tv manufactures difficult.If they don't change their methods of marketing,then sooner or later they are all bound to have the same fate of pioneer tv division.
i.e they would not bring down prices of there hi end plasma models but will launch newer models every year...
post #10 of 54
TV's are not getting better, just cheaper, unless of course you are willing to pay the price for OLED. So in reality, the LED or plasma tv you have now, will likely be pretty close to the quality of LED or plasma 5 years from now.
post #11 of 54
Philips said goodbye to the TV market about a year ago, IIRC.
It seems the epicenter of this market comes from Korea, not from China (specifically LG and Samsung).
post #12 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by cctvtech; View Post

Read again. I said "They are all has-been asian or european consumer electronics manufacturers".

Was not directed at you.

The article says '' is japanese TV business facing extinction? Panasonic Sharp Sony Hitachi Philips''
post #13 of 54
We all know TV prices are too low to be sustainable. But what's going to give? A maker or two drops out and the rest put up prices a bit? Won't be popular. But likely has to happen.
post #14 of 54
I just think everyone has bought a new TV and that is that. Hell, how long did they think this gravy train would keep going. Back in the day you bought one TV and it lasted 20 years. I just think there is no longer a demand,PERIOD!
post #15 of 54
Problem is not the demand for TV's but the weak $$ and .
post #16 of 54
Seems rather fitting since in the 1960s/70s the Japanese TV industry (with the complicity of the Japanese government) targeted the American TV industry with the goal of driving them all out of business. Karma's a ...
post #17 of 54
The problem with these guys is they are all stuck in the old school of "churn" marketing. They rarely focus on deep, long lasting relations with customers instead trying to flood the big box stores with "new" product every few months. There is only so much that can go, because basically you teach the customer NOT to value your product and that just means you are on a treadmill of ever decreasing prices to match the declining customer valuation of what you provide.

This goes across pretty much all their product lines, not just TV. I had for example several Panasonic toughbook laptops. Great engineering, but clearly designed with zero customer input, then marginal "improvements" in next generation of product - and that mistake repeated constantly through many generations.

Sorry but these guys are just stuck and they dont learn. Its a shame to lose a good source of high quality manufacturing that isnt slave labour, unlike China, but its the Japanese manufacturers' own fault in this case. They have been far too insular and arrogant.

There have been a few exceptions along the way, eg Pioneer plasma TV division and the Mitsubishi TVs also. They really made products designed to last and treated customers well. But then they lacked either skill in mass marketing or in the ability to build on a cult following and cultivate a widening customer base from that. Its not impossible - see what BKK is doing with the Oppo brand. I dont see why the Japanese like Mitsubishi and Pioneer could not have done the same, if they were more open minded.
post #18 of 54
What worries me is that because of the low prices of TVs and the level of market saturation of thin TVs, that there is a chance that OLED could arrive with a 'yawn' response by a public satisfied with it's LCD flat screens and not really understanding or accepting the improved technology. Sometimes having an overly cheap but decent product saturating the market can kill the marketability of higher quality gear. I hope not, but I sense the danger is there.
post #19 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffredo View Post

seems rather fitting since in the 1960s/70s the japanese tv industry (with the complicity of the japanese government) targeted the american tv industry with the goal of driving them all out of business. Karma's a ...

+1
post #20 of 54
Great. So can I assume with everyone's reduction in inventory production the Quality will be increased?? HA!
After replacing the inverter chips in my dead Visio last year and reading all the horror stories from other owners over various manufactuers, I cant WAIT to see what new excuses come down the line to explain the new crop of warranty issues....
post #21 of 54
A large majority bought new TV tech in a short time frame = Large majority not buying new TV tech for a long time frame.
post #22 of 54
That does not bode well for 4k displays or 4k media.

Some of it has to do with them losing ground to Chinese and Korean goods since everyone is still is on the prowl for workers to exploit with ultra low wages and horrendous working conditions. Some of it has to do with a global economic downturn spurred on by fraud, greed, and corruption to the tune of trillions.
post #23 of 54
IMO,Sony will eventually follow pioneer & close down their TV manufacturing facilities. Whether or not they franchise BRAVIA out,is another thing.But its really sad that the most original TV manufacturer in Pioneer & the KURO brand,became extinct,like sony possibly will as they can't keep making bravias at huge losses.Sony along with Panasonic are the two truly original Japanese based TV manufacturers left & maybe Toshiba.Samsung made a big but predictable statment that regardless of oled 4k,crystal LED backlit TVs they are flooding the market with budget 720p plasmas & LED LCD TVs.Talk about wanting it all.Have they not learned since the introduction of bluray/bluray full 3DHD that in order to get new technology into the home they must try go forward & commit to taking a chance,even if OLED succeeds in time...Its an LG & Samsung TV world & getting bigger,with less originality involved.As a person posted on an WHF S&V forum:"Pack them to the rafters & the guy that wants a half decent TV just pop a Samsung TV into your carboot,with no WEB access,full 3DHD or even true bluray/1080p....i reckon the average HDTV consumer wants a bit more,nowadays
post #24 of 54
I don't think it really matters. It isn't written on stone tablets somewhere that TVs or anything else have to come from a particular country. After all, decades ago, some people were lamenting that the Japanese were killing the U.S. TV industry. It's the product that matters, not some nationalistic border.
post #25 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by maladjusted View Post

IMO,Sony will eventually follow pioneer & close down their TV manufacturing facilities. ...Its an LG & Samsung TV world & getting bigger,with less originality involved.As a person posted on an WHF S&V forum:"Pack them to the rafters & the guy that wants a half decent TV just pop a Samsung TV into your carboot,with no WEB access,full 3DHD or even true bluray/1080p....

Survival at the high end of the market is all about quality. Survival for the rest of the world is about price, price, price. Ultimately I'd wager in 4-6 years the only end of the high end display market to survive will be Apple and their Apple-TV's commanding $1-2k premiums for streaming and computer like integration features for those vested owners of I-phones and I-pads. Let's hope their quality will be superb. They will finally kill off Sony's display division who dosen't get what consumers want - just like they did their Walkman/portable audio division.

Sony will close out its high end lines. They are the smartest player in the room right now killing off OLED and essentially sitting out the trade shows. Their CEO is running scared from Apple and at CEDIA basically raised the white flag with his comments.

Vizio, Viore, LG, Samsung and Westinghouse will dominate display sales with inexpensive mass manufacturing in China or Mexico for those who want basic connected TV's to hook up to a DVR or cable and could care less about Netflix or i-Phones

Consumers want cheap fast and easy - they shop for food in the same way they shop for displays. What can I get for $3.99 or $399. Why else do we still have 720p plasma in the market and even higher end plasma panels made in Mexico?

The only thing that may save all of us who appreciate quality is an economic recovery in the short term and the Chinese elite's demand for high quality product.

I for one am glad I have a final gen Kuro. Just as Flagship receivers from Japan died in 2008, Flagship changers, displays and just about anything else above the $1k pricepoint is becomming obsolete for joe and jane blow.

Netflix, i-Tunes and convenience are the death of quality. It will be a sad say day when we can't buy a Blu-Ray at 1080p (or better) and a CD or SACD/DVD-A with higher quality sampling rates. As least online CD/SACD/vinyl isn't dead - that offers some hope the quality niche will survive for those than can afford and are willing to look for it.
post #26 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffredo View Post

Seems rather fitting since in the 1960s/70s the Japanese TV industry (with the complicity of the Japanese government) targeted the American TV industry with the goal of driving them all out of business. Karma's a ...

You can't blame the Japanese government for wanting manufacturing jobs then any more than you can blame the Chinese now. In the mid 60's the USA made something like 95% of all the TV set in the world but the US retailers were pushing for cheaper and it was them that started the exodus to Japan. Is the Wal*mart of today any different?

You can't blame them when it has always been us...


Brian
post #27 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertR View Post

I don't think it really matters. It isn't written on stone tablets somewhere that TVs or anything else have to come from a particular country. After all, decades ago, some people were lamenting that the Japanese were killing the U.S. TV industry. It's the product that matters, not some nationalistic border.

I think we all realise that,well without the "Nationalist border" statment.The thread is about & named " Is the Japanese TV buisness facing extinction?".When i started buying HI-FI seperates,then Sony trinitron tvs when they became affordable,the statment on the back of the units "Made in Japan" gave me an inner sense of comfort regarding reliability & build quality,& the plummeting economy ,which i realise is world-wide along with the recent earthquake on top of a final hammer blow regarding the extinction of Japanese based TVs &/or AV equipment which the country certainly doesn't need,or any other country for that matter as it would lead to the loss of millions more jobs.Apathy is not the answer here..
post #28 of 54
Interesting Topic, but who really cares when you can buy a very good projector for the same price as a ****** Samsung that is all rusted up on the terminals after a year and showing signs of dying.

Production in Chinese items are also slowing down where they have become a victim of their own success. Some are now moving to other countries such as Vietnam.
post #29 of 54
All of this discussion misses the larger point.

The TV industry was artificially buoyed by the forced march to digital in the US which effectively forced everyone to go out and replace all of their TVs. About as effective an artificial stimulus as can be had.

Ironically, at the time the spectrum reallocation occurred, there was NO groundswell of public opinion demanding new video capabilities.

So, there was a period where all the manufacturers rushed in to capture their piece of the finite pie, and for a few years it was a seller’s market as the production capacity lagged demand.

Then the market reached a point where the majority now has 'a' digital TV and supply exceeds demand and the market shifts to a buyer’s market.

This will continue until the market adjusts and again reaches equilibrium balancing the production capability and demand.

Thus many manufacturers are consolidating and outsourcing the supply of screens, etc., as the market has returned to its relatively static commodity status with extremely tight margins typical of a commodity market.

Now factors such as economies of scale, and labor costs will be determinant drivers for producers. Factors that in almost all markets favor the move of production to locations where necessary production standards can be maintained at the lowest cost.

Thus the rule of the day will be consolidation and outsourcing and outright divestiture of a market niche that consisted of what was a temporary bump in the demand cycle. A temporary demand that was never sustainable. And to the degree that companies can source such products in locations with lower fixed and variable costs than the US move elsewhere, the same will be true to secondary manufacturing locations where production facilities can be more profitably relocated to lower cost regions.

So, couple production cost realities combined with a contracting market on the downward side of a short term artificially stimulated market, and there should be absolutely no surprises. In fact, the only real surprises would be movement contrary to the expected product and market life-cycle.
post #30 of 54
TV will be done in 2020, we will have a better form of home entertainment by then.
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