Could Plasma be coming to an end?
There appears to be no manufacturer left to speak out in support of Plasma.
In what has been a very rocky month or two for Plasma it would seem that our favourite panel format (not including the new Planar) could be set to die out.
Pioneer recently announced that it will soon be stopping making Plasmas in favour of LCD. This came as a major shock as Pioneer have always been the major proponents of Plasma displays. This has no doubt been fuelled by the announcement that Plasma inventors and the major suppliers of the best quality display panels to other manufacturers "Fujitsu" has decided that it "no longer sees a viable future financially in the manufacture of Plasma display panels". This also means that Hitachi (part owners of Fujitsu) are now unsure as to their role (probably none it would seem) in the future of Plasma, especially as they're set to bring out a new range of 42, 50 and possibly even 55" LCD's. It's possible that they are only denying that have yet to make a decision to avoid being stuck with stocks of Plasmas.
Recent reports worldwide about the substantial costs in making Plasmas compared with the decreasing costs and better profits of making LCD panels appear to be leading the market in only one direction. Further concerns that with the disappearance of the inventor of the breed and major supplier of the Panel Glass itself there will be a shortage of spares in years to come, will no doubt only exacerbate the situation.
LCD has always had a few advantages, no screen burn, which for people using them for gaming is probably the biggest boon, lower power consumption, no reflections off the screen for those in lightened rooms (Plasma displays must have glass fronts, which is prone to reflections) and perhaps longer life were the others. Certainly LCD panels are improving, and it would seem that they now have the capability to make one as good, and indeed better than a Plasma, but it's expensive to do, and expensive is not a place where major big sales manufacturing wants to be. As a rule we still believe that in most instances Plasmas are better to look at than their LCD cousins in the larger sizes. We only know of one exception to this rule, but it would seem that the end quality won't dictate what the manufacturers make. In these times of what is apparently a global recession, the only thing they are likely to follow is their pockets, and this is definitely telling them that LCD is the way to go.