This should come as no surprise to anyone who’s been following the smart TV business, but LG has finally thrown in the towel on plasma TV production. Last year Panasonic called it quits on plasma, then Samsung made the same sad news earlier this year. Everyone knew LG was next, but now it’s official. There will be no new plasma TVs at CES this year, or ever again. A massive blood drive won’t help. The industry is plum out of plasma.
Let’s back up here a bit—companies like Philips and Fujitsu changed forever what the world thinks a TV should look like when they started promoting some of the first plasma TVs back in the mid 90s. They were actually some of the first to bow out of the business.
The reasons LG made for ending plasma production, according to etnews, include “decreased demand” and increased “concentration of competencies on OLED LCD TV.” The decreased demand we can understand—for whatever reason, the majority of the buying public has preferred LCD TVs (including LED LCD) over plasma, despite reviewers’ and experts’ opinions that plasma technology produces the best-looking TVs for the money. Another nail in plasma’s coffin apparently is the difficulty of produce plasma panels in 4K (Ultra HD) resolution.
While many people are still sore over Panasonic’s decision to end plasma last year (the companies final ZT60 line of plasma TVs were some of the best the industry had seen) there’s still a silver lining to all this.
That silver lining is OLED. Both LG and Samsung (LG apparently a little more than Samsung) are putting more resources behind OLED technology. OLED IS a superior display technology to plasma. At its best OLED can reach the deepest blacks any home theater enthusiast could want, produce stunning colors, be very thin and also energy efficient. What else could a new TV buyer ask for? If you need more proof, check out the results of this year’s Value Electronics TV Shootout.
OLED TVs are more expensive than anything else on the market, but the trend is already moving in the consumer’s direction. This year LG made a big impression by releasing a curved 55-inch OLED TV for $3,499, which was more than half the price of its similar model last year. I expect next year’s round of OLED TVs to be even better and more affordable. Let’s hope they’re also flat.
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According to etnews, China’s Changhong company (not a major player in the US) will continue to manufacture plasma display panels, but good luck finding them.
If you want one of the last LG plasma TVs, you better get shopping now.
More helpful articles on Smart TVs, HDTVs, Ultra HD:
LG 65-inch 65EC9700 4K OLED TV Can Be Had for Under $10K
8 Ultra HD 4K TVs Over 70 Inches
Almost Everything You Need to Know About Ultra HD 4K TVs