Three Strikes and You’re Out: Samsung Ending Plasma TVs
Will OLED and Ultra HD TVs make up for the loss of plasma?
July 03, 2014 by Grant Clauser

Well, no one should be too surprised at this, but it appears Samsung is joining Panasonic (and Pioneer, Hitachi, Fujitsu, Runco…) as the latest HDTV manufacturer to call it quits on the plasma TV business. That leaves only LG.

As you probably remember, last year Panasonic, known at the time for making the industry’s best-performing television (the ZT60), pulled the plug on those plasma TVs to focus solely on LED LCD TVs. Samsung is now joining them, reports Reuters, which states the reason as “the decline in overall demand for plasma display panel televisions.”

This is something that continues to baffle people in the home theater business. Let’s make this clear—plasma TVs (mostly) produce better pictures than LCD TVs, even LED LCD TVs. There are some LEDs that come close, very close, but those have always been the most expensive models. Plasma looks better and cost less (check out this 64-inch plasma for $1,2999).

What part of that didn’t the buying public understand?

Now the only plasma TV maker left is LG, who no doubt also has plans to scrap its plasma business.

Another likely reason, aside from consumer lack of interest, is the move to 4K. The entire TV manufacturing business is transitioning to Ultra HD 4K TVs, and that’s not a transition that plasma panels make easily. What kind of message would Samsung (or anyone else, for that matter) be able to make about picture quality if they sold top-performing plasmas but pushed more expensive LED 4K sets at the same time?

So with plasma TV’s end of the road soon upon us, what can we hope for next? What about OLED? OLED TVs are our hope for a truly awesome display technology, and the examples we’ve seen so far, mostly from Samsung and LG, have been as impressive as we could want. But they’re also crazy expensive. Samsung earlier this year made motions that it’s OLED adventures were going to move a little slower than previously expected (see here), but LG, on the other hand, pledged a whole lotta new OLED products. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.

Finally, the change isn’t happening immediately. According to the Reuters article Samsung will keeping making plasma TVs until November (probably to have them available for the holiday sale season).

By the way, we have a 65-inch Samsung 8550 Ultra HD LED TV in for review, which will be posted soon.

Also Check Out:
LG Launches 79-inch Ultra HD LCD TV for $8,000
JVC Launches 4K Ultra HD TVs from 55 to 85 Inches

Follow Electronic House on Facebook and Twitter.

Grant Clauser - Technology and Web Editor, Electronic House
Grant Clauser has been covering home electronics for more than 10 years with editorial roles in several consumer and trade magazines. He's done ISF-level damage to hundreds of reviewed products and has had training from THX, the Home Acoustics Alliance, Control4 and Sencore. His latest book is Necessary Myths. Follow him on Twitter @geclauser.

FREE Charter Platinum Membership
Claim your FREE Charter Platinum Membership to EH Network and receive 6 FREE issues of EH Magazine.*
First Name
Last Name
Email Address

We understand your email address is private. By granting you access to the EH Network, you agree to receive email communications from us, including our newsletters. You can manage your subscription at any time in the future.
* The new EH Network launches and your free subscription begins December 2014.


Commenting is not available in this weblog entry.