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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The last two B&M stores I have been in, I have had the sales people tell me to wait, as prices are really going to drop by the end of the year due to some new chip, or manufacturing process. What are they talking about?


Mike:confused:
 

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Could be the newly announced Intel chip BUT, it would seem to me that those "sales" people may be out of a job it they continue to discourage purchases.....one way or the other (store closes or owner finds out they are saying these things)


Mort
 

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It's got nothing to do with Intel. It's got everything to do with capacity expansion of mfrs.


If you want to wait, you'll save money. Of course, I could write that sentence every day for the next 10 years (and could've for the last 20 years), and it'd still be true.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Rogo, I have been constantly impressed with what you always have to say. And I believe you are right this time also, BUT, I do recall one of those sales people mentioning something about a new chip which would decrease the cost of producing plasmas. What can you tell me about this chip? Mort, what can you also tell me about the chip?

Also, since I started this thread, a couple of other people (intelligent people with some connections) have mentioned to me that by the middle of 2005, prices would be "significantly" lower. Now, I know I could wait forever, but I wonder what information I have been missing that they are privy to. I really don't think I can stand waiting too much longer.


Mike


PS. So far I have saved a bundle of money, but alas, I have been unable to enjoy any plasma viewing. Always tough decisions with a limited income.
 

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I bought my plasma ~ 6 months before the DVI-capable ones came out. I don't regret it at all! Whatever you buy, there's going to be a new one coming out in less than a year.


I don't know about any chip that would affect plasmas as a whole (since most of the circuitry is the scaliong, which varies by vendor), but there was some work into a new way to produce the actual panels that would possibly decrease the cost of production. The expected arrival date for any such tech is always exaggerated though - I remember the press IBM received when they found a less error-prone way to produce LCD screens using EM fields to array the crystal substrate, but as far as I am aware, no one is actually using it. And that was in 1999.
 

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I would not be too quick to brush off these comments, as it is very unusual for salesmen to advise a customer to wait to buy something - usually they come up with a million reasons why you must buy immediately - and from them, of course.


Maybe they know something we don't. Why not ask them what they base their prediction on? (And be sure to let the rest of us know if they really have some inside dope!)
 

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Mike, I don't know what this chip may or may not be. But plasmas and LCDs do not rely on any one chip or set of chips to be cheap -- or expensive. So if there is news, I'm not sure what it is.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by steuert
I would not be too quick to brush off these comments, as it is very unusual for salesmen to advise a customer to wait to buy something - usually they come up with a million reasons why you must buy immediately - and from them, of course.


Maybe they know something we don't. Why not ask them what they base their prediction on? (And be sure to let the rest of us know if they really have some inside dope!)
Not trying to be a real wise-guy...but do you really think that the 20 yr old sales "men" from CC and BB have an "in" with major electronics manufactors? Even their supervisors???


I have been following this board for several months and have learned mountains more of information than the vast majority of sales folks at the B&M's could hope to learn
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Kgoetz97 and elvisdoc. I agree with you both. In most all cases I would likewise dismiss what I hear from them, but it was just so strange that from four very seperate and distinct sources, I got the same information.


Rogo. Thanks for your reply. It is as I suspected, but as I mentioned to Kgoetz97, the cause for my wondering was so unexpected.


Stuart. I always and will continue to keep my ears open, knowing that most of what I hear has the probability of being misinformed, or speculative rumor.


Stormsweeper. Such is the world of electronics...full of actual advancements, hopeful advancements, and imagined advancements. Waiting is a gamble; filled of intrepidation, second thoughts, and reproach.


Mike
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by steuert
Maybe they know something we don't. Why not ask them what they base their prediction on?
Not likely - I've never seen any salesperson that can rival the information to be gathered at this forum, and that includes many high-end shops, not just the large retailers. I've seen a few very knowledgeable people in audio sales, but that's mainly because they've been audiophiles for decades and have learned a lot from experience.


Plasma prices will constantly drop, and they've been plummeting for 3 years now. Even continuing on their current pace, they will be "substantially" cheaper at the end of the year. It wasn't many years ago when an 42" ED panel cost $6500. If I was thinking about pulling the trigger now might the time - time to start enjoying them.


I bought my TV for 10K and a new 42" ED panel is worth half that or less now. I don't regret it at all.
 

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I recall an article that Motorola has developed a new process from which plasma could be made less expensive, more compact, better, without size constraints. My recollection is somewhat fuzzy, but I believe it has to do with integrating the electronics with the chips. I do not think that this technology is ready for the market yet. Motorola was seeking partners.
 

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Motorola's "announcement" was somewhat idiotic and wrong. They are years from having a display based on what they've developed. The hype they put out should never have been picked up by the media.
 

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Where is the main cost in a plasma set? I imagine it is the display, so barring any significant manufacturing process improvements to bring the cost down, it is hard to see why prices would come down significantly.

If, however, the cost is in the electronics (driver, deinterlacer, etc.) then I can see that a lower cost and/or higher performance chipset could become available. There aren't that many companies doing chips in this space, but if the price decrease is due to be at the end of the year, the new low cost chip should be known about right now given what product cycles must be.
 

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Well, it might be a sad thing if it was electronics being dumbed down to make plasmas cheaper... i.e. crappier scaler electronics with the advent of more digital sources and upconverting DVD players.


I'd hope that's not the case, but never know what the bean counters can get through.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
It is my thought that it will be a combination of several factors that bring the prices down.


1. There will be some "dumbed down" going on, but as with all other types of products, that will seperate the quality units from the mass market "also rans"..."you get what you pay for".


2. Increased production capacity=lower costs per unit.


3. advances in technology=better performances and/or more effecient use of materials= lower costs.


Which is why I wondered what information was available that would cause a number of diverse? people telling me basically the same thing; prices will dramatically drop by year end (or soon after).
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Clepto
Well, it might be a sad thing if it was electronics being dumbed down to make plasmas cheaper... i.e. crappier scaler electronics with the advent of more digital sources and upconverting DVD players.


I'd hope that's not the case, but never know what the bean counters can get through.
Actually, I'd LOVE that - I use my HTPC to send a 1:1 pixel mapping to the plasma [well, almost - 8bit multipliers make me send 856x480, and I lose 2 pixels on either side]. I don't need, don't want, will never ever use the scaler technology in plasmas. If you could cut that out and drop the price another $500, I'd buy another one right now for the bedroom.


I have HTPC clients in every room. Today they control just the audio/video on demand [i.e., any CD I own, any DVD I own, any TV show I've recorded, TIVO functionality for live TV]. Sounds expensive, but it only costs me $500/client to build, $750 if I want one capable of pushing 1080i. Heckuva lot less expensive than a DVD player&TIVO&MP3 player.

Tomorrow they'll control the HVAC, drape control, lighting per room, so I don't have to run around after my wife/kids turning off the lights or turning down the thermostat as they want to heat my whole dang house to 73deg when they're only in 1 room.


Anyway, I digress. I can also get a PQ that I think is much better than any plasma ever could natively as I can run a scaler/filtering program to automatically tweak the image based on what I'm watching. [I.E., sports get a different filter setting than movies than live TV].


My point is simply - there is a market for dumbed down electronics but premium optic technology. I want a plasma with gorgeous blacks that will display EXACTLY what I'm sending it. Maybe this is where commercial vs consumer could finally start showing some serious differences - leave the complex electronic stuff for the consumer version.
 

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The way the displays are churned out at the factory, volume production will lead to dramatically lower costs. The "learning curve" effect is generally a 30% reduction in cost for every doubling of production.


I would say that when you read plasma prices will keep falling around 20-25% per year, you can believe it.


That said, the electronics will be more integrated over time and therefore cheaper as well.


Mark
 
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