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Downfall Of Plasma Televisions?

by adeoku / February 12, 2009 7:12 AM PST

I recently read a review on a Plasma TV and one customer stated that plasma was doomed because of it's life span, and high price. Last time I checked, the prices are dropping and the life span has improved to match LCD's. Vizio and Pioneer have reported they will no longer produce Plasmas. I've been researching I will be purchasing a Pioneer Kuro. Should I look in to purchasing an LCD instead? Are plasma televisions losing popularity?

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There is a common component in these sets with a 5 year life
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 12, 2009 8:35 AM PST
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Flat Flex Cable
by adeoku / February 12, 2009 8:50 AM PST

Could this be a major factor in my decision to purchasing a plasma? I hear good things about LCD's but Plasma is better I just want to make sure, It's taken me so long to purchase a flat-panel because I want a reliable television that can meet my movie/ gaming needs and I don't to have to buy specific components after owning the TV in such a short time. I'm also being cautious because I don't want to regret purchasing the wrong television.

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Obtuse- why?
by Pepe7 / February 12, 2009 1:22 PM PST

How about answering someone without phrasing things like such an obtuse riddle(?) ROTFL

I believe you have a lot to offer the regular & casual visitors to this forum, but I don't understand the vague references sometime which you know well tends to confuse the novices who stray here. At least clarify things a little and tell the poor soul that only cheaper brands are really affected by this mysterious part malfunction. They way you've worded your response is open ended enough that the OP might infer that you either generalize the failure rate to *all* plasma brands so you recommend LCD instead, or, you feel either the Vizio or the Pio might be affected by this rogue part failure(?) Hopefully you could elaborate a little for everyone's benefit.


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What's not clear?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 12, 2009 10:21 PM PST
In reply to: Obtuse- why?

Consumers are being taken for a ride and I shared the simplest part that you wouldn't give a second thought to until you start finding it's life span. Yes it could be longer but here's my question for you to answer.

-> What do you think of the shortened designed life span of these products?

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*Which* products exactly?
by Pepe7 / February 12, 2009 11:22 PM PST
In reply to: What's not clear?

It would really help if you were more specific. Off brand plasmas or LCDs? Or more generally, specific parts inside many of the common brands sold by the big box stores(?)

FWIW, a lot of these parts last longer than their suggested lifespan. But I'm with you 110% that putting in cheaper parts to save $.02-05 makes little sense other than the accountants perspective.


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Make a list.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 13, 2009 12:35 AM PST

I picked out a part used widely now. You seem to here to want a discussion about part life spans and what is used in today's common LCD, Plasma and electronic gear in general. To do that, start your own new post.

My offering was narrowed down to one simple part that was not used in prior designs.

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which sets exactly share this '5 year lifespan'?
by Pepe7 / February 18, 2009 5:19 AM PST
In reply to: Make a list.

It would be nice if we could be specific about that at least to not have to expand the discussion. You didn't give enough context IMO.


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Regardless of Pio's business decision...
by Pepe7 / February 12, 2009 1:24 PM PST

...going with a Kuro is a wise choice. I've yet to meet someone who did not appreciate the amazing PQ. Just because the neighbor went with an LCD, I'd still follow your gut if it already lead you to the Pio brand.


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Plasma sales are rising
by givemeaname / February 12, 2009 3:24 PM PST

I think last (2008) year the sales where up 47% over 2007 & 30% something over 2007. They are selling very good.

Pioneer is just 1% of the Plasma market & the KUDO tec is not dead but sold to Panasonic and since plasma tec is mostly profected there is not much more R&D money that needs to be dump into it too make the picture perfect. The only thing is to cut the weights & cut power usage & this years Panasonics (from what I have read) the wieghts have seemed to drop about 18% over the 2008 models & power usage is at lease 30% lower.

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Not By a Long Shot...
by Dangermouse0 / February 13, 2009 9:20 AM PST

Hi Adeoku.
To answer your question, it shouldn't be about popularity but rather personal preference and quality. Of course people are gonna run out and by an LCD tv when it's selling for under 500$ at Walmart! That doesn't make it a wise investment! If you want a plasma, I recommend a Panasonic. Yes it is true that Pio Kuros have received some of the highest overall ratings in plasma picture quality and their blacks are truly gorgeous. Pio, however, has turned their plasma production over to Panasonic. Panasonic happens to also be one of the highest rated manufacturers of plasma TV's. Now if Pio has turned to Pana, that should tell you something.

I too had been long awaiting my first flat screen purchase for quite sometime. I was adamantly against plasma from its inception. With the burn-in and the off-gas of the plasma cells, you have a $4k paperweight in a few years. The top manufacturers have improved their plasma technology over the last year, isolating the cells and containing them in a manner that prevents off-gas, reduces burn-in and extends quality and tv life exponentially. There's no reason that a well cared for plasma shouldn't last 20-30 years.

You just can't beat plasma for it's richness, blackness, and smooth yet crisp, clear picture. It far exceeds that of LCD. The latest technologies include LED and 240Hz LCD. The LED is a purer light source and much to my delight, is considerably more power efficient. The 240Hz LCD improves clarity during action/movement on the screen. As with any new tech, however, you're going to pay for it! $4-6k + depending on size.

After much research and much frugal comparison, I finally sprung for the Panasonic TH-50PZ800U. I bought it online for 1700 while MSRP was still 2500. It is an astonishing tv! The picture quality, the blacks, the clarity, the sound, all are phenomenal! I also have an Xbox 360. Let me tell you, playing Fable II or Star Wars Force on this baby is jaw dropping! I see things I didn't even know existed! It is so incredibly crisp, clean and rich! And the HDMI puts to great use the THX of the tv's 4 speakers.

I hope this helps, good luck with your purchase and keep us posted!

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by adeoku / February 13, 2009 4:03 PM PST
In reply to: Not By a Long Shot...

The Panasonic TH-50PZ800U was my first choice then I read about the blackest blacks and the accurate color the Kuro had to offer and both models were even more impressive at 50 inches. I own a PS3 and an XBOX too so your insight helped a lot.

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plasma is doomed, but will live strong for a while
by HD-Dave / February 17, 2009 2:51 PM PST

yes, plasma is dying. but plasma dies like a king!

LCD cannot kill plasma. they complement each other too well. pioneer running out of the plasma game has little to do with the plasma industry and more to do with panasonic producing a tv comparable for half the price.

OLED's will kill all competition. these panels are light weight, durable, and beautiful. they're not affordable yet, and probably wont be consumer-priced until 2013. until then, the best pictures will be pioneer 2009, panasonic 2010, samsung 2011.

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OLED for the masses that soon?
by Pepe7 / February 17, 2009 11:06 PM PST

I'd be shocked if really affordable 50" OLED panels became available that soon. Where is the scale of production coming from? You are definitely an optimist IMHO ;).


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Since we'll soon have 1" thick 600 hz plasmas...
by RustyDallas / February 18, 2009 12:13 AM PST

and LED backlit 240hz LCD's with very high contrast ratios, I'm not sure OLED will take over the way I would have thought a few months ago. Both plasma and LCD will use significantly less power than current models, too. OLED's look great but so do the others for a lot less money (at least so far). By the time the dates you list for OLED come and go, there will be 1/3" thick plasmas and LCD's available. Honestly, I'm wondering if Sony isn't making a strategic blunder not manufacturing any LED backlit LCD's. I think it's still any bodies ball game.


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LED backlit limitations
by Pepe7 / February 18, 2009 4:19 AM PST

My understanding is that the limitations of LED backlit LCD technology are enough where you'll hit a wall soonish rather than later. The bleed through of a little light will always be there to some degree, making the black levels worse that PDP, especially some of the models already showcased and some others coming out next year and the year after.

I thought Sony was indeed producing their own RGB LEDs for LCD(?)


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I stand corrected....
by RustyDallas / February 18, 2009 6:09 AM PST

I asked in the Sony booth and they said all their LCD's were CCFL. I guess they just meant the new '09 sets. The XBR9's are CCFL but clearly the XBR8's are LED backlit. I just looked up the thickness of the XBR8's and they are over 5" thick and 120hz. So, the next generation will be 240hz CCFL and noticably thicker than the next generation LCD's that will be introduced by the competition. If I had to pick, it would still be next years Panasonic plasmas but the next generation LCD's are a big improvement in contrast. They're thin and look great. I still wonder if Sony isn't putting their hopes in OLED prematurely.


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