Panasonic to cease plasma development

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Panasonic to cease plasma development

Postposted on Thu Apr 11, 2013 7:58 am

While I'm not surprised at the announcement, this is still very much a bummer. After the launch of the ZT60 models this year, Panasonic is shifting their focus to OLED.

I guess my decision to hold off on buying a VT60 has paid off, as I'll be buying a ZT60 in the near future. Do you think anybody will carry the torch that was passed from Pioneer to Panasonic, or is this the death knell of plasma?

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Re: Panasonic to cease plasma development

Postposted on Thu Apr 11, 2013 8:51 am

Plasma screens are very expensive to run and not as bright as LCD's

Whilst I will mourn the loss of a true, zero light-leakage black, that's about it.

LCD's are thinner, brighter, much more efficient and all the old issues such as colour accuracy, viewing angle and motion blur have been improved upon to the point that the LCD's actually look better for blur and contrast alonside similar spec plasmas in your typical high-street store.
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Re: Panasonic to cease plasma development

Postposted on Thu Apr 11, 2013 9:22 am

I'm more than happy with my VT30 and just may have to grab a ZT60 at some point in the future.

And Chrispy, other than power consumption you're flat wrong. Brighter is not always better and a good set of curtains fixes the problem anyways.
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Re: Panasonic to cease plasma development

Postposted on Thu Apr 11, 2013 9:45 am

Chrispy_ wrote:Plasma screens are very expensive to run and not as bright as LCD's


I have to disagree. I bought my Samsung Plasma (51" smart tv & 3d 1080p) last year for less than any current LED for the same capabilities. And as Ned pointed out a good set of curtains and facing away from glare or lighting sources and a Plasma does very well.

I love my Plasma and get comments about it all the time. I will do my darndest to keep it running.
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Re: Panasonic to cease plasma development

Postposted on Thu Apr 11, 2013 10:07 am

tanker27 wrote:
Chrispy_ wrote:Plasma screens are very expensive to run and not as bright as LCD's


I have to disagree. I bought my Samsung Plasma (51" smart tv & 3d 1080p) last year for less than any current LED for the same capabilities. And as Ned pointed out a good set of curtains and facing away from glare or lighting sources and a Plasma does very well.

I love my Plasma and get comments about it all the time. I will do my darndest to keep it running.


He was referring to power consumption, not the price of the TV itself.
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Re: Panasonic to cease plasma development

Postposted on Thu Apr 11, 2013 12:26 pm

Chrispy_ wrote:Plasma screens are very expensive to run and not as bright as LCD's
I'll counter your argument that the cost per year for a plasma vs LCD is negligible for most people. Maybe when LCD first started becoming more popular, they consumed far less energy than plasmas, but that's not really the case now. I'm pretty sure that a lot of plasmas are Energy Star rated. I've never had a problem with my 2007 Panny 50PZ700U's brightness, either. I know it's purely anecdotal, but I've never seen an LCD that looks as good as my 6 year old plasma, at least at the same price range. Dollar for dollar, it was the best "bang for your buck" set available, and it's still kicking ass.

Chrispy_ wrote:...the LCD's actually look better...alonside similar spec plasmas in your typical high-street store.
I think that's also part of the problem. Since LCD's are cheaper to produce, it's in a store's interest to sell the cheaper sets, as they'll sell more of them. One of the ways to do so is to "sabotage" the image quality of the few plasmas that are actually on display. They'll tweak the calibration of the LCDs until the cows come home to look good in the store, and either poorly calibrate the plasmas, or not at all. Also, it's not exactly wise to base your purchasing decision strictly on how something looks in the store. The brightness and color settings are going to be jacked up just so they catch your eye.
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Re: Panasonic to cease plasma development

Postposted on Thu Apr 11, 2013 1:04 pm

That seems like a pretty silly way to look at it. I doubt the margins at the retail level are significantly different which is what you awkwardly hint at by talking about manufacturing costs. A less expensive item might sell more volume because it's less expensive but that's no reason to sabotage the image of a more expensive item - they'd still be happy to sell the more expensive one.
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Re: Panasonic to cease plasma development

Postposted on Thu Apr 11, 2013 1:13 pm

MadManOriginal wrote:A less expensive item might sell more volume because it's less expensive but that's no reason to sabotage the image of a more expensive item - they'd still be happy to sell the more expensive one.

Depends on what mfgs are paying what spiffs.
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Re: Panasonic to cease plasma development

Postposted on Thu Apr 11, 2013 1:23 pm

Mass mediocrity trumps high quality I guess (the new generation all grew up on lossy MP3s without knowing better :().

Dizik wrote:
Chrispy_ wrote:Plasma screens are very expensive to run and not as bright as LCD's
I'll counter your argument that the cost per year for a plasma vs LCD is negligible for most people. Maybe when LCD first started becoming more popular, they consumed far less energy than plasmas, but that's not really the case now. I'm pretty sure that a lot of plasmas are Energy Star rated. I've never had a problem with my 2007 Panny 50PZ700U's brightness, either. I know it's purely anecdotal, but I've never seen an LCD that looks as good as my 6 year old plasma, at least at the same price range. Dollar for dollar, it was the best "bang for your buck" set available, and it's still kicking ass.

Chrispy_ wrote:...the LCD's actually look better...alonside similar spec plasmas in your typical high-street store.
I think that's also part of the problem. Since LCD's are cheaper to produce, it's in a store's interest to sell the cheaper sets, as they'll sell more of them. One of the ways to do so is to "sabotage" the image quality of the few plasmas that are actually on display. They'll tweak the calibration of the LCDs until the cows come home to look good in the store, and either poorly calibrate the plasmas, or not at all. Also, it's not exactly wise to base your purchasing decision strictly on how something looks in the store. The brightness and color settings are going to be jacked up just so they catch your eye.

Exactly. May be the LCDs are brighter, but those are really for crappy showfloor setups where there are fluorescent lights shining on the TVs. I don't even need total darkness in order to see my plasma with "good brightness". Then comes the black levels. Only LCDs with local dimming can we even begin to talk about comparing with plasmas in the same category. And those LCDs are often more expensive than plasmas.

Expensive to run? It may be back in 2008, but with California's more stringent power consumption requirements and the more general Energy Star program, the latest Panasonic plasmas have dramatically improved on the power consumption department, to the point that the price advantage over local dimming LCDs, and the fast response time with little motion blur begin to win out. I made my decision to jump to a Panasonic plasma in 2008, and the IQ/price situation is still the same today. What LCDs can now offer is even bigger panels (65"+) at mainstream prices. But then again how much of the general population are buying those?

OLED needs to ramp up fast to fill the void.

Edit: fix quote blocks
Last edited by Flying Fox on Thu Apr 11, 2013 3:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Panasonic to cease plasma development

Postposted on Thu Apr 11, 2013 1:57 pm

This sucks... Plasma displays still offer best picture quality even today and difference in power consumption is not very significant with latest Panasonic models... OLEDs really need to come out soon, at similar price points.
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Re: Panasonic to cease plasma development

Postposted on Thu Apr 11, 2013 2:13 pm

JohnC wrote:OLEDs really need to come out soon, at similar price points.

Well, blue is the problem then. Still can't get the blue OLEDs to last long enough.
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Re: Panasonic to cease plasma development

Postposted on Thu Apr 11, 2013 3:37 pm

Flying Fox wrote:Mass mediocrity trumps high quality I guess (the new generation all grew up on lossy MP3s without knowing better :().

Or maybe they just don't want to carry around a stack of CDs which will inevitably deteriorate and become useless.

I switched to em some time ago. I'd do the same with video but my bandwidth and the prohibitive copy protection prevent it.

As for OLEDs, I don't expect to see em this year or next but I'd be happy to be proven wrong. We've been waiting how long?
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Re: Panasonic to cease plasma development

Postposted on Thu Apr 11, 2013 3:56 pm

I.S.T. wrote:
tanker27 wrote:
Chrispy_ wrote:Plasma screens are very expensive to run and not as bright as LCD's


I have to disagree. I bought my Samsung Plasma (51" smart tv & 3d 1080p) last year for less than any current LED for the same capabilities. And as Ned pointed out a good set of curtains and facing away from glare or lighting sources and a Plasma does very well.

I love my Plasma and get comments about it all the time. I will do my darndest to keep it running.


He was referring to power consumption, not the price of the TV itself.


You obviously should factor in both if looking at the cost of the TV over its life time in your home.

As far as I can tell, the electricity costs for newer plasmas vs LCD TVs aren't that discrepant. I remember reading elsewhere that someone estimated your average 55-60" LED LCD vs plasma would save about $130 per year. And that was assuming they would be on 10 hours/day.

This is to say, if the 60" plasma that will suit your needs is in the neighborhood of $400 less than a comparable LED LCD, and the set will be on for roughly 35 hours per week on average (my TV isn't on any longer than that), you'll need to own the TV for over 6 years before the LCD becomes cheaper. I would think, for most people, this would make the difference almost a wash.
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Re: Panasonic to cease plasma development

Postposted on Thu Apr 11, 2013 4:02 pm

I can't stand plasma displays because it flickers. Most people can't see the flicker but I can see it and it causes massive headaches. For me led is just simply better even if the picture quality isn't as good. At least I won't feel like vomiting after watching a movie.

I remember having to crank up the refresh rates back in the day of CRT monitors to 100Hz... even 85Hz wasn't enough, and 60-75hz was just torture...

Even plasma screen rated at 100Hz still look very flickery to me..
Last edited by CB5000 on Thu Apr 11, 2013 4:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Panasonic to cease plasma development

Postposted on Thu Apr 11, 2013 4:08 pm

Just to chime in on the power consumption of newer plasmas. I have a model year 2008 50" Samsung plasma and yes, it runs hot and sucks up a lot of power. I have an UPS that my TV is connected to that displays real time power usage and, depending on the brightness of what's on the screen at the time, it wasn't uncommon to see the Sammy peak over 500w.

In December I upgraded to a 2012 60" Panasonic Plasma. Good god the picture just slays any LCD I've seen in person. The power usage has dropped precipitously down to somewhere to a quarter to a fifth of what the Sammy drew, and the Panny is bigger.

Plasma's can't be beat. I'm sorry to see this happen. :(
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Re: Panasonic to cease plasma development

Postposted on Thu Apr 11, 2013 4:55 pm

Savyg wrote:
Flying Fox wrote:Mass mediocrity trumps high quality I guess (the new generation all grew up on lossy MP3s without knowing better :().

Or maybe they just don't want to carry around a stack of CDs which will inevitably deteriorate and become useless.
There is FLAC and its lossless frends. And no more excuses now as flash memory storage is much cheaper than the 512MB - 2GB MP3 player/iPod days.

CB5000 wrote:I can't stand plasma displays because it flickers. Most people can't see the flicker but I can see it and it causes massive headaches. For me led is just simply better even if the picture quality isn't as good. At least I won't feel like vomiting after watching a movie.

I remember having to crank up the refresh rates back in the day of CRT monitors to 100Hz... even 85Hz wasn't enough, and 60-75hz was just torture...

Even plasma screen rated at 100Hz still look very flickery to me..
What about those Pannys with 640Hz(!)? ;)

BTW, I really don't like people making LED out as some totally fancy new tech. It is only half new since the panel technology is still LCD and just the backlight changed from CCFL to LED. :x
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Re: Panasonic to cease plasma development

Postposted on Thu Apr 11, 2013 5:15 pm

Flying Fox wrote:There is FLAC and its lossless frends. And no more excuses now as flash memory storage is much cheaper than the 512MB - 2GB MP3 player/iPod days.

If you can buy music straight off the internet that way from the stores you prefer, cool. Sadly I can not.

To be honest, I don't know why anyone would care unless they've spent thousands on their sound system.
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Re: Panasonic to cease plasma development

Postposted on Thu Apr 11, 2013 9:20 pm

Captain Ned wrote:
MadManOriginal wrote:A less expensive item might sell more volume because it's less expensive but that's no reason to sabotage the image of a more expensive item - they'd still be happy to sell the more expensive one.

Depends on what mfgs are paying what spiffs.


It depends on a lot of things, but it's stupid to assume that a seller would intentionally sabotage an item which is taking up showroom space - it's simply bad business. If a retailer is willing to do that in a broad, general, and ongoing manner as implied they would simply not stock the item instead.
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Re: Panasonic to cease plasma development

Postposted on Thu Apr 11, 2013 9:23 pm

Savyg wrote:
Flying Fox wrote:There is FLAC and its lossless frends. And no more excuses now as flash memory storage is much cheaper than the 512MB - 2GB MP3 player/iPod days.

If you can buy music straight off the internet that way from the stores you prefer, cool. Sadly I can not.

To be honest, I don't know why anyone would care unless they've spent thousands on their sound system.


Because they like having a lossless 'master' so to speak to transcode as they like, and for archiving.
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Re: Panasonic to cease plasma development

Postposted on Fri Apr 12, 2013 5:47 am

I'm basing my actual opinions on Plasmas vs LCD's having worked with 50-60", top-of-the range plasmas from Pioneer, Panasonic and NEC over the last decade or so. Only very recently (last couple of years) have I decided that LCD's are the way forwards for everyday viewing;

Power consumption of large plasmas is truly shocking - around three times higher than your typical LCD. Yes, I know new plasmas are much better, but we're still talking about >200W versus <100W in the 50" range.
Boardrooms do not have curtains and I do not like my living room to be in a perpetual blackout state, which also means that a plasma needs to be run at maximum wattage to match the lower-brightness, eco-settings of an LCD.

Plasma vs LCD is an apples to oranges comparison, that much I know; What strikes me as prominent with the current generations is that the LCD tech has matched all the previous advantages plasma had over LCD, and yet still carries all of its existing advantages over plasma. Short of cost reasons on a 60" display or larger, I am being biased (by my love for watching a movie in a very dark room) if I try and defend plasmas. Things like lower weight and physical thickness, are all just icing on the cake, so to speak.
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Re: Panasonic to cease plasma development

Postposted on Fri Apr 12, 2013 8:03 am

I would venture that the cost of projectors has gotten low enough they have taken much of the market where plasma's hold an advantage over LCD. You can get a good 1080p projector for under $1k and one for under $2k that works in a dim, but not black room. The light output has improved tremendously.
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Re: Panasonic to cease plasma development

Postposted on Fri Apr 12, 2013 8:17 am

I love my panny vt30 55" along with 3D. I will be very disappointed if it dies anytime soon.

It weighs 100 pounds maybe more, so i picked up a adjustable wall mount from monoprice for 37$ + 20$ shipping . It is capable of holding 175lbs and will extend 3 ft off the wall and adjust in any direction. Any mount i looked at from Best Buy or target where 250$
Even fully extended it barely wiggles. But it does take some force to extend and retract the tv.
I am confident it could hold my 215 lbs but i do not want stitches in my head if it rips out of the studs :)
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Re: Panasonic to cease plasma development

Postposted on Fri Apr 12, 2013 10:36 am

You couldn't pay me to swap my 60" LG plasma for an LCD screen. Sure, it's heavy and sucks down a decent amount of power...but those are downsides I can live with for excellent black levels, insane contrast, and accurate color. That, and the essentially zero blur in fast-moving scenes.

When/if OLED becomes affordable (and long-lasting) at the 60" size class I might be persuaded to upgrade. Even today if I had to choose between a high-end LCD and a high-end plasma I'd go with the plasma. I honestly don't understand the fetish with thin/light HDTV sets unless you're wall-mounting.
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Re: Panasonic to cease plasma development

Postposted on Fri Apr 12, 2013 3:53 pm

Sounds like the reports that Panasonic will stop making Plasma TVs was incorrect.

http://www.engadget.com/2013/04/12/panasonic-buries-rumors-of-plasma-tv-death/
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Re: Panasonic to cease plasma development

Postposted on Fri Apr 12, 2013 6:29 pm

Yay!
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Re: Panasonic to cease plasma development

Postposted on Fri Apr 12, 2013 6:49 pm

Chrispy_ wrote:I'm basing my actual opinions on Plasmas vs LCD's having worked with 50-60", top-of-the range plasmas from Pioneer, Panasonic and NEC over the last decade or so. Only very recently (last couple of years) have I decided that LCD's are the way forwards for everyday viewing;

Power consumption of large plasmas is truly shocking - around three times higher than your typical LCD. Yes, I know new plasmas are much better, but we're still talking about >200W versus <100W in the 50" range.
Boardrooms do not have curtains and I do not like my living room to be in a perpetual blackout state, which also means that a plasma needs to be run at maximum wattage to match the lower-brightness, eco-settings of an LCD.

Plasma vs LCD is an apples to oranges comparison, that much I know; What strikes me as prominent with the current generations is that the LCD tech has matched all the previous advantages plasma had over LCD, and yet still carries all of its existing advantages over plasma. Short of cost reasons on a 60" display or larger, I am being biased (by my love for watching a movie in a very dark room) if I try and defend plasmas. Things like lower weight and physical thickness, are all just icing on the cake, so to speak.


I agree that it depends on the usage model. But I would argue this is the most important factor. Power use, not so much. As already mentioned, at least with larger screens, 60" plasmas tend to be a few hundred less than a similarly specced LED LCD. There goes most of the power savings cost advantage (unless you run the thing 12 hours a day). And have you seen plasmas made since 2010? Some of the mid and higher range sets are near as damn as thin as LED LCDs. And who cares about a few mm on a ~60" screen?

If you want a movie-centric display in a moderately light controlled environment, plasmas probably win. For more casual viewing, especially in bright rooms, LCDs have the edge. TO me, everything else is secondary.
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Re: Panasonic to cease plasma development

Postposted on Fri Apr 12, 2013 6:54 pm

cynan wrote:If you want a movie-centric display in a moderately light controlled environment, plasmas probably win. For more casual viewing, especially in bright rooms, LCDs have the edge. TO me, everything else is secondary.

Don't forget sports. Hockey on a plasma is miles better than hockey on an LCD. Sports were the reason for my purchase of a plasma over LCD. The movie benefits are nice, but not the original driver.

As for power costs I could give a squat. $15/month on the power bill means nothing at this point in life if it means I get the image quality.
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Re: Panasonic to cease plasma development

Postposted on Fri Apr 12, 2013 6:55 pm

I'm actually thinking of getting a plasma precisely because of hockey. Everything else looks fine on my LCD but hockey's clean ice surface brings out every single flaw.
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Re: Panasonic to cease plasma development

Postposted on Fri Apr 12, 2013 7:07 pm

ChronoReverse wrote:I'm actually thinking of getting a plasma precisely because of hockey. Everything else looks fine on my LCD but hockey's clean ice surface brings out every single flaw.

You'll be happy.

Now to agitate with Comcast to get the Canadian ESPN, a/k/a TSN, so I can see my curling in HD.
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Re: Panasonic to cease plasma development

Postposted on Fri Apr 12, 2013 7:55 pm

So are there any plasma displays that will actually take a >60Hz native signal and then actually refresh the screen more than 60 times per second?

From what I have read all this noise about "600Hz" plasma screens is just talking about the "backlight" (as it were; I realize there is no simple backlight as in an LCD) and has very little to do with the actual screen refresh (much the same as a "240hz" LCD is usually only 60Hz).
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