Junko - you say 'I would hate to say it, but things like "price" get much more important.'
Absolutely - The 2013 Pansonic TC-PST60 get this review from CNET 'Affordable TV with amazing picture quality'. The only TV this year they give a 5 star rating - yet with prices starting at $1299 (on the CNET site) for a 60" TV doesn't seem unreasonable.
@docdivakar, Panasonic says that they are transferring some in the work force that produced the plasma TV pfoducts to other facilities. They have not said how many would be made redundant.
You're absolutely right about the cost of complacency.
But I am also wondering if the Panasonic R&D should be held responsible for not setting a vision. I am inclined to fault the previous top management who didn't ask tough questions, and didn't make tough decisions. (because every R&D manager wants to keep his pet project...no?)
Your points are well taken, philospher0923. However, I think, Bert's point is not about the format war, but that a certain thing -- certain aspect of any given technology -- is more important to a certain individual than others.
Consumers are finicky.
Moreover, those with golden eyes and golden ears are much tougher to please.
That said, golden eyes and golden ears won't have the final say in terms of what gets popular on the mass market.
In order to win the hearts of mass consumers for TV sets, you need a lot more than a slightly better visual quality. I would hate to say it, but things like "price" get much more important.
As the years progressed I noticed a big improvement on LCD from 1st gen to the latest LED edge lit, 240Hz, and all kinds of ckt improvements over the years to the 3 other LCD generations I got, all Philips made in Mexico at same factory so it was incremental ckt and display improvements. Each one got thinner and thinner, lighter and much much better image. Latest one is superb, has a movie like depth and color saturation, unlike the other 3 older units which are CCFL, without the improved Philips video chips. it makes one of the older one look pretty obsolete. And they all use HDMI. OLED is the next improvemnt super light and thin and better image. Rotary phones are also obsolete. And bag cell phones. Plasma is an OLD technology. They are the incandescent lamp in an LED/CFL lamp world. Even LED lamps are old, OLED lighting is next!
I know that many videophiles prefer the image quality of plasma, but there are apparently not enough of them as a percentage of all TV consumers to allow an unprofitable line of TV sets to turn profitable. I wonder how long the big Korean companies will continue to design new plasma models?
cedup - unfortunately the LCD improvements in the last few years did not go into picture quality. In fact the argument could be made that todays LCD or not as good as the LCDs from 2 - 3 years ago. Pretty much all the manufacturers have gone to edge lit LEDs and away from local dimming with LEDs set in zones across the display. The result is issues with screen uniformity and blacks levels which are actually worse than before. The focus is on tiny bezels and adding 3D and smart TV features.
A couple of years ago I switched from a 55" local dimming LED/LCD to a 55" 2011 Panasonic Plasma. The Plamsa is actually lighter and certainly does not run hot. Power consumption is higher at about 250 Watts vs 80 Watts for the LCD - but this is a price I am willing to pay for the superior image quality.