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Mark Henninger
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)


Say it ain't so! The Curse of the Kuro strikes yet again. Samsung plans to end plasma panel production by November 30, 2014, marking the end of an era.

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According to Reuters UK, Samsung SDI Corp. is exiting the plasma business. It's a very short article that lists November 30th as the target date for the shutdown. In the Reuters piece, a statement from Samsung blames the decision on a decline in demand for plasma displays. Last year, Samsung's own UNxxF8500 plasma line was often cited as one of the best-performing TVs ever made, whereas the curved screen LED-edgelit LCD UHDTVs taking its place are an unknown quantity.

Read the original article here: Samsung SDI says to end plasma panel display production - Reuters UK

It's only been a few days since I went to a local Best Buy and saw Samsung's new curved-screen TVs going up on a wall. Over to the side, I saw a 64-inch Samsung UN64F8500 plasma on open-box clearance. I bought it immediately because just a few days earlier at CE Week in NYC, a Samsung exec told me that the F8500 was going to start to become "hard to find." Since I had already missed out on buying a Panasonic plasma in 2013, I did not want to take any chances—the enduring fame of Pioneer's Kuro plasma is a lesson in how each successive year does not necessarily bring an even-better performing television to market.


When I saw this display go up at a local Best Buy last week, I knew it was the beginning of the end for Samsung plasma.

It's entirely possible that Samsung's decision to end plasma panel production will truly spell the end for the original flat-screen TV technology. LG is the last major TV manufacturer that has not announced an end to plasma production; however, given the current industry trends it's likely that day is not far away. The irony is plasma image quality kept getting better and better but each time a TV maker set a new performance benchmark, it turned out to be the kiss of death for the product line. It happened to Pioneer, Panasonic, and now Samsung. At this point, I'm just glad I found a reference plasma when I did.

I sincerely hope that FALD LCDs and OLED displays can fill plasma's shoes. The new generation of TVs will be more energy efficient, larger, and boast higher resolutions than what plasma offered. Unfortunately, it might take a few years before another display technology matures to the point where it offers the same price/performance ratio achieved by reference plasma HDTVs. Hopefully OLED will become more affordable in the near future; for now, it's a sad day for videophiles who appreciate what plasma has to offer in terms of picture quality.

Here's a recent article I wrote about how I wound up buying a plasma this year, despite all the new LED-lit LCDs on the market: Why I Bought a Plasma HDTV in 2014

Check out this discussion in the Plasma Flat Panel Displays forum: Samsung makes it official

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Mark Henninger
Sony VPL-VW295ES, Denon AVR X8500H, GoldenEar SuperSub XXL, GoldenEar Triton 7 speakers, PS5 Pro
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Discussion Starter #5
WOW! I would have snatch that up in a second. Usually their open box is at most 10% off.
At this point, anyone who's interested in one had better act fast. If you look at what happened to Panasonic's VT60 and ZT60, after that company ceased production the price went up! I'm curious whether the same thing will happen with the F8500.
 

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At a round table meeting at CES 2011 in Las Vegas, Samsung executives adressed questions from the press regarding current and future plans for consumer electronics products.


bpbs said:
Samsung said that they expect to remain in the Plasma business for at least 10 years


Samsung executives at the CES round table (left to right): Kevin Lee, VP, Smart TV Partnerships; Bong-Ku Kang,
SVP, Product Marketing Group; Hyo-Gun Lee, VP, Software Group R&D Team; John Revie, SVP,
Home Entertainment.
 

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Mark Henninger
Sony VPL-VW295ES, Denon AVR X8500H, GoldenEar SuperSub XXL, GoldenEar Triton 7 speakers, PS5 Pro
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Discussion Starter #7
Kuro-heads, ZT60-heads, and now F8500-heads

At a round table meeting at CES 2011 in Las Vegas, Samsung executives adressed questions from the press regarding current and future plans for consumer electronics products.



Samsung executives at the CES round table (left to right): Kevin Lee, VP, Smart TV Partnerships; Bong-Ku Kang,
SVP, Product Marketing Group; Hyo-Gun Lee, VP, Software Group R&D Team; John Revie, SVP,
Home Entertainment.
That bit of optimism is history, along with Samsung's OLED offering. Evidently going all-in on oversized, curved, edgelit, UHD LCDs is the power move. Family TVs for the living room drive the market, and having the biggest curved screens for the lowest price looks like the chosen path.

It's a bit mind-blowing, considering how incredible the UN64F8500 is, I did not expect it to calibrate so perfectly, and look so good. Soon, I'm going to sound like those Kuro-heads that people in the LCD forums make fun of. :D
 

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Sigh. Looks like plasma is becoming the Betamax / HD-DVD of the TV world. Glad I got a Panasonic P60ST60 last fall. Hope it lasts a long time.
 

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Are there recent plasma sales figures? I can't imagine they're very good, especially how they compare in bright showroom conditions. LCDs are probably much better for the average consumer that watches in a normally illuminated room and uses the vivid setting with raised sharpness. They don't need to be cautious about burns.
 
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Sigh. Looks like plasma is becoming the Betamax / HD-DVD of the TV world. Glad I got a Panasonic P60ST60 last fall. Hope it lasts a long time.
I don't think those are good comparisons. More like the 8-tracks perhaps. Betamax and HD-DVD were both techs that came out around the same time as a competing tech and lost the marketing war and never saw major consumer adoption. Plasma had its time in the sun as the primary consumer flat screen tech for a while.
 

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Mark Henninger
Sony VPL-VW295ES, Denon AVR X8500H, GoldenEar SuperSub XXL, GoldenEar Triton 7 speakers, PS5 Pro
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Discussion Starter #12
Are there recent plasma sales figures? I can't imagine they're very good, especially how they compare in bright showroom conditions. LCDs are probably much better for the average consumer that watches in a normally illuminated room and uses the vivid setting with raised sharpness. They don't need to be cautious about burns.
It's hard to argue with that. Nothing like choosing vivid mode, cranking up the sharpness, turning on overscan plus motion interpolation, and throwing open the window shades... it's time to watch some TV!
 

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That bit of optimism is history, along with Samsung's OLED offering. Evidently going all-in on oversized, curved, edgelit, UHD LCDs is the power move. Family TVs for the living room drive the market, and having the biggest curved screens for the lowest price looks like the chosen path.

It's a bit mind-blowing, considering how incredible the UN64F8500 is, I did not expect it to calibrate so perfectly, and look so good. Soon, I'm going to sound like those Kuro-heads that people in the LCD forums make fun of. :D
How is the buzz on yours? That is really my only complain. It is easily the loudest plasma I have owned. Eco mode on low helped, but it is actually distracting.
 

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Beta and HD DVD lost out to a perceived "equal".
A bit of a tangent, but I didn't think Beta was that much better than VHS, but Super VHS was better and the tapes were cheap if one put the hole in the shell on standard tapes. Funny how the Beta form survived in professional formats even to today, though tape usage is declining.
 

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Mark Henninger
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Discussion Starter #15
How is the buzz on yours? That is really my only complain. It is easily the loudest plasma I have owned. Eco mode on low helped, but it is actually distracting.
I have not heard it buzz at all from my usual seven-foot viewing distance.
 

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From a consumer's perspective, the timing of this decision sucks. As things are now, it is still unclear whether or not the flagship 2014 FALD models from Sony, Panasonic, Toshiba, or (possibly) Vizio have surpassed the F8500 plasma in overall PQ. I have not heard any consensus that the Samsung HU9000, nor any of the other edge-lit TV's currently available from any manufacturer, has superior PQ to the F8500. As a result, we are forced to take a gamble...assume that they are not better and buy an F8500 now or assume that they are better and wait until they become available. By the time that happens, it might be impossible to find an F8500. I would have been much more comfortable making this decision if the announcement had come after VE's next shootout (assuming that the FALD models from at least Sony, Panasonic, and Toshiba are included in it).

I wonder if they will pull the F8500 from the shootout given that it might not be a real purchase option by the time the shootout results are released. On the one hand, if they can show that the F8500's PQ has been surpassed then that could push current plasma owners to upgrade (good for the tv industry and retailers of high-end 4K LCD's in particular). On the other hand, if the F8500 wins, that could drive folks who need a new TV to ebay for used/refurbished plasmas, while reinforcing current plasma owners' decision to stick with what they have.
 

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A very sad day for videophiles but it was clearly coming. Oh well, until OLEDs are "perfected" and sold at reasonable price points, I'll very happily watch my VT60. I watched The Hobbit Extended Edition over the weekend and it was stunning on the Panny.
 
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