Junko - I don't doubt that neither LG or Samsung were showing Plasmas at the Korean Electronics Show.
I would imagine they were both highlighting OLED and UltraHD which they probably called 4K (even though it isn't and would be more correctly reffered to as 2160P).
Hopefully affordable OLED TVs will start to appear that match or beat image quality of the 2013 Panasonic Plasmas.
It is ironic that Panasonic are pulling out at the time when their Plasmas are rated as the top 4 TV's in the US market by CNET and with the incremental improvements Panasonic have achieved in the last few years now can be compared to previous picture quality champion - the Pioneer KURO's (also Plasmas).
As mohov0 said the LCD marketing won - ultra-slim bexels with torch modes in showroom displays.
The BetaMAX / VHS comparison analogy isn't really relevent.
LCD and Plamsa are just different display technologies for displaying images from the same source material. You pay your money and make your choice. LCD and Plasma can (and did) coexist quite happily in the market for many years. In fact they coexist in my house - I have two LCDs and one Plasma taking everything I can throw at them through HDMI.
With BetaMAX and VHS ( or HDDVD and Blu-Ray) there were two incompatible technologies fighting to develop new markets. One had to win before the new market (VCR or HD disc players) could fully develop. Most consumers weren't going to invest until they knew which standard would prevail in the market.
All the improvements went into LCD, they got lighter and thinner and cheaper. simple. Plasma run way too hot, and tend to fail earlier, LCD is cooler, more reliable. Black levels have improved big time especially when PHILIPS introduced IPS, which they pioneered, and sold it off too.
Hi Junko, it wasn't clear in your article as to what happens to the work force that produced the plasma TV products. Are they being retrained or is it another downsizing debacle?
I hold the Panasonic R&D as responsible for not setting & implementing a vision for future products & innovations. Complacency has already cost Panasonic dearly and I hope its does not go down on a path like that of Kodak.
A progressively poorer US middle class could no longer afford to buy consumer electronics made by well-paid Japanese workers. Then the lower-cost So. Koreans caught up in Consuner Electronics technology just as massive amounts of US manufacturing / free know how was being xferred to China to take advantage of their cheap labor.
But Japan is still competitive for components like the Retina display for the iPhone etc. Instead of trying to maintain strength across the board or market finished branded products like in the past, for a while the Japanese will have to pick and choose areas very carefully and follow a "Intel Inside" type "high value engine" strategy. They could easily dominate hardware and even AI software for robotic housemaids & self - diven cars.
USC educated Prime Minister Abe understands the challenge from China and that Japan can no longer rely on the US for export, perhaps not even for defense. The post WW II system is over for Japan, .
I recall when you Junko and David Lieberman used to do in-depth analysis articles for EE Times about next-generation display technologies. In those days plasma and LCD were just two of many contenders. Like the x86, LCD just kept coming back, making itself better and taking over more areas.
My parents started a video store in early 2000, when VHSs were dominating. Soon after, from sometime in mid 2000s, the store was renting movies in both VHSs and DVDs. My parents realized that when DVDs arrived, the sales started to go down. So they sold the business and started a sushi restaurant instead. The video store? changed to an indian restaurent soon. It took them guts to sell all the assets (for almost 0 dollars.... used movies don't cost that much) that were once valuable. What I am trying to say here is that a technology is very prone to newer technologies, and you need to know whether to keep the assets (patents, equipments etc etc) or let them go.