RIP PLASMA TV - FLAT SCREEN FORMAT GOING WAY OF BETAMAX
Posted: 1:10 am
May 7, 2009
THE plasma TV isn't dead yet -- but it looks like it's not long for this world.
Like the Betamax videotape format and laser disc DVD before it, the plasma TV set -- the favorite of techies -- is losing out to the more popularly priced LCD TV.
Pioneer and VIZIO -- the nation's No. 2 set maker -- say they're abandoning the plasma business.
With a 22 percent sales drop in the first quarter of 2009 compared to last year -- when the sale of flat-screen TVs overall is sky rocketing -- "the writing is kind of on the wall" for plasma, says Wired.com senior editor Dylan Tweney.
"The market has really shifted dramatically towards LCDs in the last year or two," he says.
The success of LCDs can be attributed to the fact that they're available in a wide range of sizes.
Plasmas begin at 42 inches -- and don't come in the smaller sizes that fit New York apartments and kids' bedrooms.
And LCDs are generally a few hundred dollars cheaper than plasmas, because the technology behind them is less expensive.
"People are more price conscious since we've got a recession going on," Tweney says. "You might want a 50-inch TV, but you'll settle for 37 inches. And for that, a $600 LCD from Costco is going to be your best bet."
Right now, a big-screen plasma is actually a better deal than a similarly sized LCD. But that hasn't helped save it.
"If the trend continues, LCDs are going to continue to get cheaper and bigger and that's going to put pressure on plasmas until the market -- if it doesn't go away completely -- will only be relevant to videophiles and home theater enthusiasts," Tweney says.