Samsung: We'll have new plasmas, just not at CES 2014
Among the two remaining TV makers that produce plasma TVs, LG and Samsung, only LG is announcing any plasmas at CES 2014.
Unfortunately, we don't have any official announcements yet. Unlike LG, Samsung said it will not reveal any new plasma TVs at CES 2014.
On the other hand, Samsung assured me it will release new plasma TVs later in the year. I spoke to Dave Das, VP of Home Entertainment for Samsung, and he said the company was planning to release new models around the middle of the year.
Panasonic ST60, that description is music to my ears.
In the meantime, Das said the 2013 lineup would continue to be produced and sold. He stressed that none of these plans are final, however, which is why there's no CES announcement.
I was told in a follow-up conversation with John Ryu, VP of Samsung's Visual Display R&D office, that the lineup will encompass just a few models and, more tellingly, that he doesn't think the technology has a future beyond 2014 at his company. He cited the difficulty of making a cost-effective 4K version--reportedly a factor in Panasonic's pull-out--and the overall cost of production compared to LED LCD.
It's impossible not to take these words along with Samsung's sorta-non-announcement as another nail in plasma's inevitable coffin. Samsung's plasmas received very good to excellent reviews last year, and I fully expected to hear about their 2014 successors at the show. I guess Samsung didn't want overshadow its with news of any new plasmas.
The bottom line? TV buyers who value picture quality and don't want an LED LCD can take solace that Samsung will continue making plasma sets, at least for a little while.
Updated with comment from John Ryu