LG Electronics to cut PDP production

LG Electronics has announced plans to cut back production of plasma display panel screens as part of it efforts to improve the business performance of its display operations. The company will close the oldest of its three PDP manufacturing lines but won't ramp-up production on its other two lines to compensate. As a result, monthly capacity will drop from 430,000 panels to 360,000 panels, which is expected to result in savings of between $22 million and $32 million per year.

Falling prices in the display market as a result of fierce competition are causing the move. Until a few years ago, the market was neatly divided between PDP and the rival LCD technology. There's now fierce competition in the entire middle range of the market where the two overlap. PDP appears to be losing. In the first quarter of this year, shipments of PDP panels fell 1% compared to the same period last year – the first time the industry has seen a year-on-year decline, according to DisplaySearch. The market research company attributed the drop to a loss of market share to LCDs at screen sizes over 37 inches.

News source: InfoWorld

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This article ignores the simple fact that LG's plasmas are just plain poor performers.

Orange/green fleshtones, poor black levels. Terrible shadow detail & contrast.

They also use more power and run hotter than the competition.

Now if Panasonic announced they were dramatically scaling back their plasma business then I'd think it was the beginning of the end of this technology.

But it's not all doom and gloom for plasma TVs.

"The 50-inch-and-up segment will become a battlefield soon -- as early as the second half," said Park Hyun, an analyst at Prudential Securities. "A full-fledged showdown will come next year as LCD has further room for cost cuts."

Which is speculation that's been inaccurate in the past. Several times we've heard LCD prices would come down, and they either were late in coming down, and/or didn't drop as much as expected.
Sharp and Samsung Electronics built new, larger production lines to tackle the 50-inch grade market where PDPs still enjoy a price advantage.

"PDP has a set of strengths in 50-inch-and-bigger screens in terms of cost and picture quality. We won't let (LCD) take over that easily," said Sky Park, Samsung SDI's vice president in charge of PDP marketing said.

"LCD has an edge, but I don't think PDP will disappear. It has its own strength in the larger TV segment," said S.I. Lee, senior vice president of Samsung Electronics, which makes both LCD and plasma TVs.

Reuters

As an example, BestBuy: at 42", you're only paying about 40-45% more for LCD than plasma. However, the least expensive 47" LCD is about 140% more expensive than the least expensive 50" plasma. These differences in price haven't changed much over the last year or two, yet I keep reading stories almost every month that LCD is now "price competitive" with plasma.

Personally, I don't see how spending a minimum of 40% more as "price competitive", especially when we're talking about four digits before the decimal point.

For the HT market, plasma still has a considerable amount of time left. And as far as burn-in is concerned, it's more of a historical footnote than a current concern for making a purchasing decision.

Its only the matter of time before plasma is gone all together. Fijutsu to me has the best pdp panel out there. Pioneer just released their new panels as well with awesome black levels. However pdp's just burn in too easily. Especially with console systems like the PS3, Xbox, Wii, etc... I know because I burned in a Hitachi Ultravision plasma in just 50 minutes player return to castle wolfinstein. LOL Oh well. I stick to LCD and LCOS panels now. Bring on Laser and OLED tv's!!!

I know because I burned in a Hitachi Ultravision plasma

How old is it?

Newer Hitachis I've seen alternate the pixels at all times. If you look REALLY close you can see them, it almost looks like video noise.

That said, their latest displays falter against Panasonic's. Hitachi used to be much better than the competiton. Not so much now.