Has Sony's trash-talking finally killed plasma TVs?
By Adam TURNER
Why is plasma TV dying when it still puts most LCD TVs to shame?
The Sydney Morning Herald recently republished a Mashable story which asked Why has plasma display technology fallen so far out of favour with TV buyers? I was surprised that Sony's long anti-plasma campaign didn't get a mention.
When it comes to trash-talking the competition, Sony could make Muhammad Ali blush. Sony's standard tactic is to declare itself the victor before the fight has even started, as it did in the war between Blu-ray and HD DVD. Sony shouted "HD DVD is dead" so often that it became a self-fulfilling prophecy. Sony has also spent the last five years trash-talking plasma, starting right after it got out of the plasma market to focus on LCD.
"The LCD versus plasma debate is over," claimed Sony Australia deputy managing director Carl Rose back in January 2007. "Consumers and retailers alike are showing their increased understanding of which technology is best for a future that's in high definition."
That was bullshit then and it's bullshit now. At the time Pioneer's Kuro plasmas were considered by many to be the best televisions money could buy. Pioneer lost the marketing war and pulled out of plasma, but Panasonic snapped up its engineers and they picked up where they'd left off.
Today the picture quality on a decent plasma TV from the likes of Panasonic will blow anything else out of the water in the same price range. Shop around and you'll find yourself a 50-inch 1080p Panasonic plasma for around $1200, but you'll get change from $1000 during a sale. Now see what you'll get for the same money in LCD. To match the size and picture quality of that 50-inch plasma you can forget cheap and nasty CCFL-backlit LCD televisions. You'll need to spend around double on an LED-backlit LCD to come close to matching the picture quality of a good plasma. You can see the difference with your own eyes, at least you could if you could trust the retailers to set up the televisions properly.
Even when OLED TVs finally take off, plasma is still going to offer the best bang for your buck for quite a while. There's nothing wrong with plasma, it's only dying because Sony keeps saying it's dead.
|Subscribe to Hydrapinion|
(1) Lifespan of a plasma TV is shorter than that of LCD and preceded by extended period of decaying picture quality.
(2) Plasma TVs are more power hungry than LCD.
My understanding is that plasma manufacturers have gone a long way to address these issues, but LED still gets higher energy ratings than plasma;